Less than a week after taking the first sports bet in Colorado, BetRivers has some interesting numbers to ponder: 61, 9.6 and 8.2. Those numbers represent the percentage of handle for the top three sports through the first five days of Colorado sports betting.
In the current climate, it might not be surprising that 61% of all money coming in was wagered on table tennis, followed by 9.6% on darts and 8.2% on baseball (in Taiwan and Korea). But what is a little surprising is that the action on table tennis continues to rise, from 52% of all monies wagered in the first few days to 61% by Tuesday. And according to BetRivers, 96.6% of all wagers placed Wednesday alone were on table tennis.
One question is whether or not sports bettors will stay interested in table tennis once the threat of COVID-19 passes and major professional sports in the U.S. and across the world resume play.
“We’ll keep on offering it,” Mattias Stetz, chief operating officer of Rush Street Interactive, which owns BetRivers, told COBets. “It will be interesting to see about table tennis because it’s such a fast sport. It’s a lot like a slot machine because the points are so quick, you get an immediate result. Tennis is usually a pretty good sport for betting, and this is just faster. Some of these people might migrate to tennis.”
BetRivers trying to be ‘nimble’
For now, though, BetRivers is focused on action coming in for this weekend’s UFC 249, which will be the first live sporting event in the U.S. since the major professional leagues went on hiatus on March 12. Stetz says the bulk of UFC betting usually occurs on the day of the event, but with a dearth of sports, his company is seeing advance wagering. Large action prior to Saturday’s event will likely tip the scale, and UFC will become the most wagered on sport, at least for a few days.
BetRivers was among four mobile platforms that began offering legal sports betting in Colorado on May 1. It was joined by BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel. Nearly 20 mobile platforms are licensed for sports betting in Colorado, and it is expected that BetMonarch will launch late this week, with Smarkets, FoxBet, and BetWildwood also planning May launches. Of that group, only BetMonarch and Smarkets are licensed to do so.
Full story on today's launches.
BetMGM, BetRivers, DraftKings and FanDuel all now taking sports bets in Colorado, making it the fourth new state this year to accept legal bets.https://t.co/c5lNbpZq2U
— Sports Handle (@sports_handle) May 1, 2020
Given the odd times, BetRivers is focused on being as flexible as possible as the available menu of sports evolves. In addition to offering odds on sports that may be unfamiliar to Americans in general and Coloradans in particular, the company has bumped up its livestreaming to include sports like Belarusian soccer, two different table tennis leagues, darts, and the International Tennis Series. Stetz said BetRivers began adding additional streaming as soon as it could get the rights for the sports. Under more normal circumstances, he said, the NHL is the most popular sport streamed on the site.
State-specific promotions, boosted odds available
Currently, BetRivers customers in Colorado, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey (under Rush Street’s SugarHouse brand) will find livestreams of the same sports across all sites. But going forward, the company does have the capability to tailor its offerings in each state — and that ability to be uber-specific is something Stetz believes sets his company apart.
“We try to be almost like the boutique sportsbook where we take care of our players better than everyone else,” he said. “We offer great customer service. It’s a family-owned business. We try to be as nimble as possible. We try to be a little more personal.”
Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-522-4700 pic.twitter.com/T2oZUfBa9l
— BetRivers (@BetRivers) May 1, 2020
To that end, after ex-Bronco Chauncey Billups made BetRivers’ first Colorado sports bet on Broncos rookie Jerry Jeudy to win offensive rookie of the year, BetRivers responded with boosted odds on the same bet on its Colorado site. It’s also offering boosted odds — from +4000 to +5000 — in Colorado for the Broncos to win the Super Bowl, as well as Colorado-only specials on certain wagers. They run the gamut from the NBA Nuggets to win the Western Conference and the NHL Avalanche to win the Stanley Cup to prop bets in Major League Baseball and the NFL.
Its Colorado site marked the fifth mobile platform that Rush Street Interactive has launched since the Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in May 2018. The company is also live in Indiana and Pennsylvania under the BetRivers banner and in Pennsylvania and New Jersey under the PlaySugarHouse brand.