The increased availability of data has forever changed trading patterns in the sports betting industry. More than ever before sports bettors have access to the same information as traders do, with plenty of “tipster” and data crunching websites dedicated to making the sports better smarter. What this means for the bookies we have yet to determine, but its certainly appears to be good news for sports bettors and enthusiasts.
FansUnite is a site that has been created to take the financial risk out of betting and to make sports bettors sharper. FansUnite CEO and Co-Founder Darius Eghdami has provided a platform where users can place wagers with a free virtual currency, track and compare their results to thousands of other sports bettors who they can also collaborate with. It’s a “crowd sourcing of handicappers’ picks” with a social, community-type feel.
“When we initially created FansUnite, we specifically set out to not create another tipster website. We wanted to build a platform that gave sports bettors the tools and data to become more profitable. We believe that players have a higher chance of profitably when they are given the information they need to make the right decision”, Eghdami shared.
He continued, “Tipster sites are traditionally one way and one dimensional. Expert tipsters make their picks and explain it to the audience, while clients can decide whether they want to trust the tip or not. Tipster sites are service driven as you pay to access a piece of information”.
“FansUnite is a platform which allows members to not only make picks, but share their picks and collaborate with the community; we aren’t trying to push our picks on users. We are not creating a single source of picks, but rather, creating multiple sources of picks with a fully verified and transparent history”, he said.
What’s truly unique about FanUnite as a site to educate bettors is the nature of the data it provides to its users.
“We’ve also given our community tools to increase their own profitability. Our PickTracker is a powerful resource which will quickly identify areas that a given member is doing well and areas in which the same member is leaking profit. We have many members that specialize in a given league, and together, we can increase all of our profits”.
Such increased availability of data for sports bettors is bound to impact trading behaviors and Eghdami believes the ripple effect is in its infancy stage.
“I think traders are only beginning to become aware of the utility of the data that FansUnite offers. The importance of specialization is starting to be realized by the public betting conscience. The days of traders thinking they can be masters in every league they touch are fading and a collaborative approach is taking over. By providing our members with an increased availability of data we’re seeing them bet more often and be more profitable”, he said.
FansUnite is an American company based in Boulder, Colorado, an interesting location considering the legality (or lack-thereof) of sports betting in the country. When asked what he thinks the future will bring for the legality of sports betting in America, Eghdami remains optimistic.
“While sports betting has always been a legal and legitimate form of entertainment in much of the world, it is only recently that North America’s legal betting market has gained traction. I’d like to echo Adam Silver’s comments that whether you have a gentlemen’s bet, or a small $5 wager on a game, you are suddenly a lot more engaged, and isn’t that what all major sports are striving for?”
He continued, “Sports betting and daily fantasy drive interest and viewership, which is why we are getting a push from some of the major leagues to legalize and regulate sports betting. FanDuel and Draftkings have grown so popular in such a short time, through a loophole in gaming laws. With the momentum they’ve created, it doesn’t make sense not to legalize sports betting. The population has shown they want it, and North Americans are finding a way to bet whether it’s legal or not. So I believe it’s just a matter of time, and we are perfectly situated to take advantage of it when it does”.
Another area of enormous growth in the sports betting industry is eSports and FansUnite has already taken advantage of this blossoming sector.
“The rise of eSports has been pretty spectacular to watch over the last few years and will continue to exponentially grow. Talking to many of the sportsbooks, they re-iterate to us that it is their fastest growing sport. We continue to try and increase our presence in eSports due to the recent growth in not just bettors, but viewers and players as well. It’s a fun industry to be involved in, and we have some pretty amazing eSports bettors on FansUnite with esportsbettor and J_Yanez who at times I think know more than the oddsmakers!”
As a start-up company in the sports betting arena, FansUnite has done an outstanding job differentiating themselves from other companies competing in this space. They’ve been accepted into the Boulder-based BoomTown Accelerator Program and according to Eghdami, the team at Boomtown has helped FansUnite refine their vision and reimagine what the company can be.
His best piece of advice to other start-ups providing data in the sports betting space?
“Talk to as many of your potential customers as you can and take guessing out of the equation so you can make sure you are solving their pain points. For the majority of people in our space, sports betting is not only about profitability so make sure you find what keeps them engaged and excited. Whether it’s allowing them to broadcast their wins, positive feedback or some sense of accomplishment when they are profitable”.