Earlier this week, Underdog Sportsbook was issued a temporary online sports betting license to begin offering sports betting in Colorado — the first sportsbook license for Underdog, which until now strictly was involved with fantasy sports... but had long wanted to jump into the legal sports betting foray.
"Receiving our first temporary license for sports betting in Colorado is a significant milestone for the Underdog family," said Jeremy Levine, Founder, Chairman and President of Underdog. "Our goal has always been to become an industry leader in the fantasy sports and sports betting space, and this important step brings us closer to fulfilling that goal."
Underdog joins a crowded state for sports betting, with 33 betting licenses and 26 unique operators already, and the most recent Colorado sports betting figures showed a nearly 37% increase year-over-year in handle from August 2021 to August 2022.
Sportsbook momentum built in the summer
Back in July, Underdog announced that they had raised series B funding totaling $35 million, which left one of the fastest-growing paid fantasy sports companies with an approximate valuation of $485 million.
"Building quality products and putting customers first is a winning recipe," said Levine back in the summer. "This funding round gives us the firepower to continue to build, and build we will."
The composition of the funding arrangement included funds and accounts managed by BlackRock and Acies Investments and was geared toward helping Underdog build innovative sports betting products, hire over 100 new employees, and to improve its daily fantasy product.
BlackRock and Acies joined a fairly star-studded pack of existing investors — including Mark Cuban, Kevin Durant, Odell Beckham Jr., The Chainsmokers, Nas, and Future.
When asked why Underdog presented such an exciting business model, Chris Grove from Acies Investments said that "while the typical sportsbook is spending over $500 to acquire a [new] customer, Underdog is bringing in new users for a fraction of that."
Boldly, Grove also attributed Underdog’s staggering success so far to the company’s focus on delivering amazing customer experiences that offer a "unique focus on product and experience [that] will reshape the industry."
Ohio next on the docket
Now that Underdog Sportsbook has successfully infiltrated the land of the Rockies, Broncos, and Avalanche, it seems that Ohio is next in the crosshairs for future expansion.
According to the Ohio Casino Control Commission's latest list of sports gaming applicants, the MLB's Cincinnati Reds are listed as having received conditional approval for a Type-A sports gaming proprietor license — with Underdog Sportsbook listed as the only mobile sportsbook partner (for now).
Underdog is not alone in targeting the Buckeye State as fertile ground for expansion, however, as the report listed no fewer than 27 operators who are currently being considered for licensing when Ohio goes live in early 2023.