Brent Winston, Co-Founder and CEO of BetSwap, talks to SBC Americas about the company’s proposition as an integrated marketplace platform within the sports betting sector and how the brand is delivering an entirely new and different experience for bettors.
For those of our readers who are less familiar with the BetSwap brand, can you tell us more about the company and its offering?
BetSwap is focused on providing solutions to two problems that currently exist in the online sports betting and daily fantasy sports (DFS) spaces. Firstly, if a player is to cash out of a ticket early on their sportsbook, their only option is to accept the price offered by the sportsbook (which typically favors the sportsbook heavily).
Secondly, if cash out is not offered by the sportsbook, the player has no way to exit their position or create liquidity for themselves. It is important to note that cash out, or any variation thereof, does not currently exist in the DFS world. BetSwap solves these problems by allowing players to exit their sports betting or DFS positions early at the maximum, market-appropriate price.
BetSwap is an integrated marketplace platform that allows a sportsbook’s or DFS platform’s users to buy and sell active bets or DFS entries within that secondary marketplace while remaining within the confines of the operator platform. When a player decides to “cash out”, they list their ticket or entry on the secondary marketplace offered by their sportsbook or DFS operator, as the seller. Unlike the current cash-out feature, the seller can advertise their ticket or entry to a broad audience and maximize their payout by setting a price for the ticket or entry that the seller is comfortable with, either independently or by using BetSwap’s pricing algorithm.
Buyers can discover valuable bets or DFS entries on their sportsbook or DFS platform’s marketplace by searching or browsing various categories (sports, bet/contest types, etc). Buyers will easily be able to measure the payouts of available bets against the odds currently offered on the sportsbook to assist in determining profitable buys.
What’s the next move in the marketplace for BetSwap?
We just launched our first product integration where users can use the marketplace to buy and sell DFS contest entries with Bounty Sports this month. We expect that we will next launch our product with Arkansas-based sportsbook BetSaracen, and then with a few other sportsbooks in North America and other jurisdictions shortly thereafter.
So far, feedback from a small group of beta testers has been quite positive. Users love the simple UX/UI making the marketplace incredibly easy to use and adapt. The fact that players are so used to using marketplaces in other facets of their lives (like Facebook Marketplace, Ticketmaster, Kijiji or eBay, for example), has made the adoption of the marketplace in sports betting and DFS incredibly fluid.
Just like any other marketplace, an individual can sell an “asset” to a corresponding buyer who wants to purchase the asset for sale. In this case, the asset is either an existing sports bet or DFS contest entry. We provide the technology to our partners to allow them to provide their users with the marketplace functionality so the users on any given sportsbook or DFS platform can actively buy and sell sports bets or contest entries, as applicable, with one another. It’s that simple for the user.
There is no need to have an intricate understanding of financial markets or exchanges. We help facilitate a simple transaction between two parties – one looking to sell an existing sports bet or DFS contest entry and the other looking to buy that existing sports bet or DFS contest entry.
From the operator/supplier side, our offering has been very well received, as evidenced by the agreements we have in place and others we will soon be announcing. Our value proposition is validated not only by the fantastic partners we are working with but also by industry experts who selected us as the winner of SBC’s First Pitch Competition back in July 2022.
What would you describe as BetSwap’s unique selling point? How do you differentiate from other betting exchanges?
BetSwap’s unique selling points are simple, but they differ for each stakeholder (ie, the users – both buyer and seller – and the sportsbook/DFS platform). I think we’ve already touched on the benefits for users above, so I’ll briefly highlight some of the benefits for sportsbooks and DFS platforms. For sportsbooks, they’ve now got a new way to interact with their users, keeping them engaged and active on their sportsbook for a greater period of time while also offering a product that is similar in nature to the exchanges that are actively trying to acquire their users.
For DFS platforms, they’ve now created, for the first time ever, the ability for their users to create liquidity for themselves before the expiration of their contest entry and they’ve given them a new way to play DFS. This could be something special with season-long fantasy contests like best ball, or for the recently popular single-player fantasy which is more akin to prop parlays against the house.
How do we differ from betting exchanges? Well, BetSwap is not a betting exchange at all – that is how we differentiate. We believe it’s very important to understand the distinction between what BetSwap offers compared to that of an exchange, like Betfair, Sporttrade, or Prophet.
An exchange offers users the opportunity to take action on either side of a bet. For example, if someone has placed a bet on Team A to beat Team B on a given night, a player can take the side of that bet that has already been placed and the exchange will help match that player. This does not involve an operator’s participation, as the customers bet against each other directly through the betting exchange.
The key differences between BetSwap and exchange are that:
- with BetSwap there are only backers, while with an exchange there are both backers and layers;
- the underlying odds are not traded on BetSwap as they are on an exchange – the odds are fixed in the bet that has already been placed with the operator and the bet is the item that carries value, not the movement of the lines; and
- an exchange “makes” the actual market and offers odds for players to place wagers – BetSwap does not make markets or offers odds for bets to be placed at first instance. BetSwap only allows for an existing bet with an operator that has already been placed with fixed odds to be exited by one customer and acquired by another customer for a guaranteed profit to the exiting party.
Accordingly, we consider the operation of BetSwap’s functionality and the operation of a betting exchange, like that carried on by Betfair, Sporttrade, or Prophet, fundamentally distinct in form and function.
Having partnered with BetSaracen late last year, how is that relationship progressing, and are you looking at more collaborations like this?
The relationship with BetSaracen has been fantastic. They are a group of very creative and intelligent folks. We’re in the process of planning some unique promotions with BetSaracen that will not only introduce their players to the BetSwap marketplace on the BetSaracen sportsbook, but it will likely give their users the opportunity to interact with their sportsbook in a way that has never been done before and win more than just their bet…I don’t want to give away too much just yet.
BetSaracen punches well above their weight class and with some of the things we’re working on with them, we suspect that these campaigns will start to shape the way other larger sportsbooks and DFS companies in the industry try to engage with their users. We hope to have the marketplace live for BetSaracen in short order and are very excited that they will be the only sportsbook in Arkansas to provide their users with our offering.
What plans are in place for BetSwap in 2023
Right now, we are laser-focused on launching our first few partners with our product, namely Bounty Sports (a compelling DFS company), BetSaracen, and PlayUp. We have quite a few new deals we’re working on closing in a few different jurisdictions, some of which we think may really have a substantial impact on the sports betting and DFS spaces. With the launch of the first-ever marketplace for DFS via Bounty Sports and our upcoming campaign with BetSaracen, we’re confident that we will inspire additional sportsbooks and DFS companies to hop on the marketplace train so as to enhance their product offerings, in turn providing their users with the best possible sports betting and/or DFS experience available.