When Massachusetts online sports betting launches in 2023, the state will have seven licensed operators offering mobile wagering. Among the hopeful operators are both well-known companies and relatively unknown newcomers.
Brooklyn-based Underdog Sports Wagering is among those vying for a license. Founded in March 2020, the company is a newcomer to the sports betting space and will be playing catch up to well-known players such as FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetMGM.
Underdog Sports Wagering
Underdog already provides fantasy sports tournaments via its mobile apps and website. Supported by 31 investors, Underdog has raised $45 million in funding over the past two years. Its roster of investors includes Mark Cuban, Kevin Durant, Nas, Steve Aoki, Zynga founder Mark Pincus, and several other high-profile athletes and entertainers.
In May, the company bolstered its executive ranks by adding a former FanDuel government affairs expert, Stacie Stern, as the vice president of government affairs and partnerships. The move will help Underdog navigate the sports betting regulatory waters as it makes moves to enter multiple states.
When she was hired, Stern called Underdog “the most exciting and innovative company in the space and has a great shot to be a market leader in the coming years.” The company brags that it is “the fastest growing paid fantasy sports company ever.”
States With Underdog Sports Wagering
So far, Underdog has been successful at getting a foot in the door in Ohio and Colorado. The company received conditional approval in Ohio to be the mobile sports betting partner of the Cincinnati Reds. Colorado approved a temporary sports betting license for Underdog on October 20.
In Massachusetts, the competition for an online sports betting license is 22 other companies. Among those competitors are two operators that already have casinos in the state, and thus, will have retail sports betting licenses before mobile wagering goes live. True to its name, Underdog will have an uphill battle as it faces steep competition to earn a license in the state. And even if the state does approve Underdog’s application, the company will have to fight to earn market share against the established names.
When Underdog received its most recent round of funding in July, the company’s president and chairman, Jeremy Levine, expressed confidence that his company will have no problem competing.
“Underdog’s success is driven by the company’s focus on building new, innovative games and delivering amazing customer experiences. As the company moves into licensed sports betting, I believe that the unique focus on product and experience will reshape the industry.”
Completed Massachusetts sports wagering operator licenses are due Nov. 21. The state estimates that retail sports betting will launch in late January or early February in time for making wagers on the Super Bowl. Online sports betting will commence later in the early 2023, possibly in March.