‘Gamble On’ 204 Highlights: This Time, The Sportsbook Is Sweating More Than The Bettor

Podcast features Mattress Mack, Jake Paul, PredictIt, and BetMakers’ Dallas Baker
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Over the course of more than four years and 200 episodes, Gamble On has established itself as the leading gaming industry podcast, delivering news and analysis as well as interviews with the most influential names in gambling every week.

Episode 204, posted Aug. 11, 2022, features an interview with BetMakers Head of International Operations Dallas Baker, focusing primarily on the arrival of fixed-odds horse betting in the U.S. and what it means for the racing industry. Gamble On asked Baker whether fixed odds represents a threat to the traditional parimutel model.

“We actually don’t see fixed odds cannibalizing it,” Baker said. “We see fixed odds bringing a whole heap of new people into the game.”

Listen to “204: Mattress Mack skews Iowa rev, Jake Paul launches Betr, fixed odds with BetMakers’ Dallas Baker” on Spreaker.

Baker’s money quotes

Fixed odds provide a variety of potential benefits to racetracks, but the most straightforward upside is for gamblers, who will have an opportunity to get a better price than the parimutuel system would give them.

“Horses that are going off at even money on the Tote have been 2/1 in fixed odds,” Baker said. “So you’re talking about doubling the money in people’s investment. That really is the bottom line and the crux of it, is that you’re putting more money back into the pocket of the people who are gambling on horse racing.”

Baker on which track in which state will be next to offer fixed odds, after Monmouth Park in New Jersey recently became the first in the U.S: “It’ll come down to — who runs second is whatever day we flick the switch and whoever’s racing on that day.”

Baker on how future fixed-odds use will divide between retail and mobile: “The online space is where it’s gonna be. I mean, what we’re doing at Monmouth, the handle eventually, once all the sportsbook makers go online, will be very minimal comparatively on track. The online space is what it’s all about. I think 85 percent of the bets in Australia are made on a mobile phone. And, obviously, the sports betting customer is using their mobile phone almost exclusively to make bets.”

Gamble rambles

  • Podcast hosts Eric Raskin and John Brennan analyzed the unprecedented July sports betting revenue numbers in Iowa that were skewed by Betfred and Unibet taking million-dollar World Series futures bets from hedge-meister Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale — which may cost each sportsbook $5 million in November. “Here we have a situation,” Raskin said, “where the sportsbook might be sweating the bet more than the bettor! Whether or not the [Houston] Astros win the World Series is of little consequence to Mattress Mack financially, but it’s of at least some consequence to these two minor sportsbooks.”
  • Social media star Jake Paul is getting into sports betting with his upcoming Betr app, and there are natural comparisons to be made between Betr and Barstool Sportsbook. “Barstool, I understood better, I was more familiar with it,” Brennan said. “I knew Barstool was going to have a good chance [of success]. I’m not sure about this one at all.” And not shy about showing his age, Brennan noted of Paul’s 20 million followers in Instagram, “I’ve never been on [Instagram], but that sounds like a lot.”
  • Political election exchange wagering site PredictIt, which has been legally operating in America since 2014 under a “no-action” letter from the Commodity Futures Trading Division, has to shut down by Feb. 15, 2023, in the wake of the CFTC withdrawing that no-action letter. “What I haven’t seen anywhere is a clear explanation of what changed in the CFTC’s attitude toward PredictIt,” Raskin said. “Going to go conspiracy brain here just a little bit and wonder whether other forms of legal election betting are in the works and that this is all political — no pun intended — just political maneuvering to clear the way for sportsbooks to offer this stuff down the road. I’m not sure I buy that, I’m just throwing the conspiracy theory out there. But there must be some reason that this was all OK until last week.”
  • Closing thoughts: Brennan wrapped up the podcast by detailing the decision he faces on whether or not to gamble on the potential return he can get by reselling his Bruce Springsteen tickets. Will he “hodl”? Stay tuned …

Photo: Kim Klement/USA TODAY

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