Colorado’s BetWildwood Off To Fast Start With Locals-First Sports Betting Strategy

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Over a span of a mere few days, a bettor at Wildwood Casino turned a $250 deposit into $25,000 by hitting a series of wagers on soccer, primarily featuring matches contested in the English Premier League.

The successful run underscores a marketing strategy BetWildwood hopes to perfect as the sportsbook promotes its mobile and retail sports betting offerings in the coming months. Billed as the “highest casino in the world,” the casino located 9,500 feet above sea level is about an hour’s drive from the United States Air Force Academy and Colorado Springs, the state’s second-largest city. While many sportsbooks around Colorado hope to tap the Denver market through their mobile apps, Wildwood will employ a different strategy.

“We set out not to be the market leaders, we’re not FanDuel, we’re not DraftKings,” Wildwood Casino General Manager Matt Andrighetti told COBets.com. “But we want to be the local sportsbook of choice.”

Uptick in player accounts

The casino, which launched mobile and retail sportsbooks earlier this month, is experiencing a spike in sportsbook account openings on a daily basis, Andrighetti said. Wildwood offers a plethora of options for account deposits, including Play Plus and Cashplus, two funding platforms that are highly regarded throughout the industry. The payment transfer apps allow customers to load funds onto their sports betting accounts within minutes.

Wildwood rolled out sportsbook operations in time for the restart of three top professional sports leagues following an extended hiatus. By opening an account through Play Plus, a customer will receive $50 in free bets for every $50 wagered on sports. For now, Wildwood has not set any targets on the number of new accounts it hopes to open over the next several months.

“We didn’t really set expectations to begin with, but the results we’re getting back are pleasing,” Andrighetti said.

Despite widespread COVID-19 concerns, Andrighetti has been pleased with the launch of Woody’s Sportsbook, the only retail sportsbook in Cripple Creek. The book contains two ticket windows, including one behind the bar, that is located in the main area of a popular casino restaurant. Andrighetti has already received feedback from customers that the sportsbook will be a desired location for large UFC fights and prime-time Denver Broncos games.

In order to assuage some coronavirus-related concerns, Wildwood has established extensive safety protocols. When a customer leaves their chair inside the sportsbook area, the customer can press a button to signal their departure. The button alerts the casino staff to sanitize the immediate area before another customer occupies the chair. Casinos throughout the state have followed strict guidelines from the state since they were cleared to reopen in June.

In terms of demographics, the sportsbook has received a good mix of customers with about 40% coming from Teller County, and an additional 30% from the Denver area, Andrighetti said. The remaining third have traveled from all areas of the state. BetWildwood has also seen a diverse customer mix for mobile sign-ups.

Technology snafus corrected

During the soft launch of the mobile app, BetWildwood experienced some tech issues that complicated the registration process for users. The sportsbook uses account verification technology from a third-party software provider that verifies a user’s identify before they are allowed to register for an account. At first, several users were unable to input data that verified their identity due to a software glitch. But after BetWildwood updated a new version of the software, the issues were fixed easily.

With the updated version, it took Andrighetti only about two minutes to register for a sports betting account, he said.

“We had a few technical hurdles to overcome but we’re at a spot now where the platform is very stable, it has a good product out there,” Andrighetti said.

 

Matt is a veteran writer with a specific focus on the emerging sports gambling market. During Matt's two decade career in journalism, he has written for the New York Times, Forbes, The Guardian, Reuters and CBSSports.com among others. In his spare time, Matt is an avid reader, a weekend tennis player and a frequent embarrassment to the sport of running.

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