After years of staying an arm’s length away from sports betting, Yahoo appears to be jumping into the fray with the acquisition of peer-to-peer wagering platform Wagr. The deal announcement did not disclose the financial terms of the agreement, but did say that Wagr will be integrated into the Yahoo Sports product.
“We are incredibly excited to welcome Wagr to the Yahoo Sports family,” said Jon Shaw, SVP of Yahoo Sports. “While we know our fantasy leagues increase fan engagement and give people something to root for, the real value is in keeping friend groups together through competition and camaraderie around the sports they love. Acquiring Wagr creates an immediate opportunity for us to expand into new group formats that can take engagement and friendly competition to the next level.”
Yahoo is a juggernaut when it comes to season-long fantasy sports, which are free to play but often participants organize pools around the results. Wagr would augment that offering with the chance to make real-money bets with one another as well. Wagr operated in Tennessee in 2022, but recently shut down operations and is not live in any real-money markets.
“Yahoo Sports offers us a stage to build products that will reach millions of loyal fans that have connected over fantasy sports for decades,” said Mario Malavé, co-founder and CEO of Wagr. “The unique combination of Yahoo’s scale and engagement creates opportunities for virtuous product loops between sports media and gaming. Joining Yahoo allows us to continue delivering on our mission to connect fandom to social gaming while elevating our ability to execute through expanded resources, new partnerships, and technological capabilities.”
Yahoo previously signed a deal with BetMGM in 2019 in which Yahoo essentially served as a massive affiliate for the sportsbook, allowing users to log into the Yahoo Sports app and place wagers through BetMGM. The deal also included Yahoo content distribution at MGM properties.
Whether or not that deal will continue in the states Wagr is not operational is unclear. Nor were there any indications of a timeline of when Wagr might expand into more US markets.