BlueBet Earnings: Pushing Forward With US Sports Betting Plans

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BlueBet intends to push on with its rollout of ClutchBet sportsbook in the US, despite other operators pausing or ending similar aspirations.

The company, a micro-cap listed in Australia, noted its continued dedication to the US sports betting market on its fiscal first quarter conference call Tuesday morning local time.

Those plans include two state launches over the next three months and continued conversations with potential B2B white-label partners.

Investors were pleased with the news, as the penny stock jumped 10.8% to 20.5 Australian cents on Tuesday. Volume was more than double its daily average at 178,278.

BlueBet Q1 numbers

This was the first full fiscal Q1 for BlueBet in the US, as it launched in Iowa at the end of August 2022.

ClutchBet reported $4.3 million in handle for the quarter on 28,705 wagers split between Iowa and Colorado. In-play betting accounted for 62% of that handle.

That led to nearly $130,000 in gross revenue but a loss of almost $64,000 in net win.

Its Australian business does much of the financial lifting for BlueBet. The company reported A$14.5 million in net win, up 7.4% from the prior year, on a 10.1% hold.

Hyperlocal marketing still the plan

CEO Bill Richmond confirmed the company would continue with its hyper-local marketing strategies instead of pouring cash into advertising wars.

Team sponsorships for teams in the United Soccer League, American Hockey League and a sponsorship of the home arena for Iowa Hawkeyes volleyball have led to little in terms of customers so far, though.

BlueBet reported active customers of 68,884, for both the US and Australia. But 66,526 of those customers are in Australia, leaving just 2,358 customers in the US.

BlueBet defines an active customer as one who has placed a cash bet in the trailing 12 months.

Louisiana next, Indiana to follow

BlueBet previously said a Louisiana launch was expected in October. When it became obvious that date would be missed, it led to questions about the future of ClutchBet in the US.

But the delayed Louisiana sports betting launch came down to the busy schedule of the regulators and not a change of plans from BlueBet, Richmond confirmed to an analyst.

“Yeah, unfortunately it’s with the regulator at this stage,” Richmond said. “We are absolutely ready to go. We have been waiting for a final kickoff, we have been approved by GLI, we’ve had a lot of our application approved, there is just one element to approve, but unfortunately these regulators are very busy.”

Richmond is confident in a November launch, he added, while Indiana should launch in January. All market access fees are paid, CFO Darren Holly said.

BlueBet close to a B2B deal?

BlueBet is in the US for more than just whatever slice of market share ClutchBet can break off. The team also wants to provide its platform to potential sportsbook operators and has had discussions over multiple quarters.

That seems to be the biggest difference between it and companies who chose to slow down or end their US sports betting investments like Churchill Downs, MaximBet, Fubo Sportsbook, Smarkets, and Wynn.

One important step in closing a deal, though, is showing off the platform, Holly said. Now that the platform is enhanced and BlueBet’s global platform is ready, the product is in “a good space now that we can accelerate those discussions going forward,” he added.

New features improve user experience

That new global platform led to a number of improvements in the ClutchBet app:

US customer still ‘fairly immature’

The US customer is acting like the Australian betting customer did in their early stages about two decades ago, Richmond said. That should change over time and lead to more opportunities in international sports.

“It is a fairly immature market from a customer point of view at this position,” Richmond said.” We certainly saw the same thing in Australia going back 15 or 20 years ago, when customers were really focused on Australian sports. In the US, that’s very much the case, they’re very focused on their sports.

“That’ll change as the market matures and customers get more comfortable betting on a wider array of sports. But at the moment it’s really important to maximize betting opportunities out of each of those sort of key US events.”