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US sports bettors could soon have a new out, as New York-based Boom Sports announced plans to launch its consumer-facing sportsbook.
Boom this week announced a market-access deal with Penn National, covering sports betting and online casino skins for five states.
Boom will receive:
The operator also could gain access to further states if it can agree terms with PNG. Of this initial group, only Mississippi has legal sports betting, with New Mexico offering tribal-based options.
Boom CEO Stephen Murphy said the company had deliberately chosen “second-wave” states where it would have time to develop its product before going live.
It also wants to be one of the first apps to hit these markets rather than “the 20th app in New Jersey.”
Boom is perhaps best known for its B2C app Boom Fantasy but has pivoted toward sports B2B products in recent years.
The firm said the new sportsbook was a way to showcase and fine-tune its B2B products, rather than another pivot back to B2C.
“We view this as our test-bed and a way to show consumers our gameplay,” Murphy said. “Ultimately the sports betting technology and casino games we develop, we will showcase them in these states and sell them to partners in other states.”
The company could use its own brand for the sportsbook, or a partner’s brand. Murphy said Boom was in discussions with media companies, a large consumer brand, and a European casino operator among others.
Boom previously worked with the XFL and NBC on free-to-play predictor products. It also built the NASCAR Finish Line product that launched in February on behalf of NASCAR and Penn.
That game offers players a $5,000 jackpot if they can predict the top two finishers in a given race and the highest finishers across six groups of drivers.
In fact, the development of Finish Line constituted part of Boom’s payment for the skins. In lieu of upfront payment, Boom will also develop a Barstool Sports-branded free-to-play product, and real money games for Penn. Barstool and PNG entered a long-term agreement earlier this year.
The list of states Boom secured access for suggests it is thinking long-term.
In fact, Mississippi is the only state of the five currently with legal commercial sports betting. The state is also limited to retail, with lawmakers not showing much appetite for online expansion this year.
In the meantime, Boom has some developing to do.
“We are going to change how fans bet on sports,” Murphy said. “We’re going to win on technology and user experience.”
“Frankly I’ve been disappointed in the lack of innovation in the US so far. Gambling is fun but the gambling apps are dismal. It’s just 90’s web browser pages plastered onto your phone. We’re going to give sports bettors something they’ve never seen before. “
Murphy said the product would be so differentiated from competitors it would be additive to the overall market and bring new customers to betting.
The company is still deciding which parts of the overall tech stack it wants to own, but its new partner might provide a template. Penn is building its own Barstool Sportsbook front-end, but will rely on Kambi for the odds and certain back-end technology.
Shaking up an industry is easier said than done, but Boom won’t be short of ambition.