Reddit Founder Ohanian Backs Social Media Sports Betting App
A new form of sports wagering could be coming to Tennessee and Virginia.
Wagr, a peer-to-peer social media sports betting app has pending license applications to launch in both states. The app is being led by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, who has been instrumental in the $4 million seed-funding round for Wagr, according to Bloomberg.
Founded in April 2020, Wagr allows fans to bet on sports with friends instead of placing their bets through a casino. The company hopes to target casual bettors by utilizing a social media platform that does not require extensive betting knowledge.
The Tennessee sports betting market is all-online and the state’s regulatory board recently said it was considering peer-to-peer wagering rules. It would be the first state with that type of wagering.
Wagr has also applied for a Virginia sports betting license, according to reports.
Ohanian’s firm Seven Seven Six is investing in the company, with the funding round also supported by Pear Ventures, Greycrof, Tinder co-founder Justin Matten, and former chairman and CEO of Saks, Brad Martin, Bloomberg reported.
“It’s about productizing what already goes down in everyone’s group chat, which is wagers between friends about sporting outcomes,” Ohanian told Bloomberg. “Right now, the way these get resolved is through a Cash App payment or a Venmo payment on Monday, and surely we can do better.”
Wagr Keeping it Simple
According to Mario Malave, Wagr’s founder and CEO, the app will launch with point-spread bets only before possibly expanding to moneyline or prop bets. Players will get to bet on either spread in a game with friends, family members or someone from their community who they are willing to wager with.
“Our app really strips down the betting experience to the bare essentials,” Malave told Bloomberg. “From a user’s perspective, all you have to do is pick a team, decide who you want to bet against, and select how much you want to wager. (Spread wagers) lend themselves very well to the peer-to-peer model because they’re 50/50.
Wagr is hoping players will take to a social media platform intertwined with sports betting. The app will post the odds, take payments and serve as an area where bettors can smack talk about their bets. Wagr will charge fees for its use, similar to the fees casinos traditionally take.
If a bettor is unable to find a friend or relative who wants to take a bet, the app has the ability to match a player with someone in their state who is also looking to take on a bet. The app plans to enforce a $500 limit for a single bet and permit players to set their own betting restrictions.
“Ultimately, it’s to create a healthier approach to gambling,” Ohanian said of the app. “It’s frankly the perfect time for a business like Wagr to come in and want to build something that really disrupts the way that sports betting has traditionally been done.”
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