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This Startup Built a Social Platform to Help Sports Gamblers Make Better Bets

13th January, 21:16

As sports gambling becomes legal in states across the country, including in Illinois, one Chicago startup is looking to create a social media platform where gamblers can connect and get tips for their next picks.

BetSperts, a startup that officially launched last year, has created a social network for sports gamblers who want to find experts who can help guide their bets. Users log their picks on BetSperts after making their bet, and the startup tracks and ranks gamblers based on their betting history. Gamblers can search for experts in every sports league, conference, division and even specific teams, allowing users to mimic the picks of successful bettors.

For example, users who are interested in betting on a White Sox game could find and follow gamblers who've had a track record of success on picking the outcome of White Sox games. Users can also message with one another about upcoming bets and help crowdsource advice.

Having launched less than one year ago, BetSperts has already accumulated "tens of thousands" of users, CEO Reid Rooney said, who added that he expects the user base to be in the six-figures by the start of the 2020 football season. The startup recently raised $1.6 million in equity funding, according to an SEC filing. Rooney declined to name the startup's investors.

BetSperts' goal is to help people make more informed bets, and to create a second-screen experience for people watching sporting events.

"We are trying to help everyone become a better gambler," Rooney said. "Whatever level of detail you want, you're able to find that on our platform."

On BetSperts, players can't edit or change their betting history after their picks are recorded, which is something that sets the startup apart from its competitors, Rooney said.

BetSperts is free to join and use, but the startup offers a paid subscription option to bettors who want more advanced data. The startup is also eyeing other revenue streams, such as digital ads and partnerships with gambling operators who want to use Betsperts' platform to make their sites more social. BetSperts also operates an affiliate model where they get paid when a user signs up for a betting site through their platform.

Sports betting has long operated in the shadows, but a 2018 Supreme Court ruling, which allowed states to legalize sports gambling, has brought the industry into the mainstream. In June, Illinois became the 13th state in the U.S. to legalize sports gambling. Illinois will allow online and mobile betting, as well as brick-and-mortar sportsbooks. However, an exact date for the state's sports gambling rollout has not been set.