Startup launches global secondary market for sports betting

Global Business

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states can offer sports betting. As more people gamble, one startup believes they’ve found a way to help bettors make more strategic decisions. CGTN’s Mark Niu reports.

In 2013 Luke Pergande bet on the New Orleans Saints to win the Super bowl at 50-1 odds. After the team won seven games in a row, those odds changed to 15-1 – leading him to ask his betting industry friend Ian, whether he could sell his ticket to someone else for a profit.

The answer was no, which started the friends on a path to create PropSwap – the eBay for sports betting.

“We are the only secondary market for sports bets in the world,” said PropSwap Co-founder Luke Pergande. “There’s nowhere to sell your bet to someone else.”

On PropSwap all kinds of live sports betting tickets are up for auction or purchase.

Only seven U.S. states allowing sports betting, but selling a bet isn’t the same as placing a bet—which is why PropSwap said their business is legal in all 50 states.

“When they give you that piece of paper, that’s your property, no different from a baseball card or a concert ticket,” PropSwap Co-founder Ian Epstein said. “It is your right to do whatever you want with that ticket. We are literally selling physical pieces of paper. There are no new wagers created on PropSwap.”

PropSwap’s recent survey found that after learning about their marketplace, 56 percent of respondents would make more bets and 71 percent more longshot bets. PropSwap compares it to buying season tickets for a sports team. You are more likely to buy them as long as you know you are allowed to sell them if you can’t go.

Todd Wishnev makes five to six sports bets a day.

“Just like there’s secondary markets in stocks and bonds, these kind of things—Bitcoin, or whatever,” said Wishnev. “Similar situation once gambling becomes very prevalent more and more people get involved in it, it makes sense that there would be a secondary market.”

Gill Alexander, a host on the Vegas Stats and Information network said PropSwap deserves credit for thinking outside the box.

“A very solid niche market that offers something that the casual betters find really appealing. Like oh, here’s this constant market that if I’m holding this ticket particularly on a futures play that I can actually do something with it while it’s going on,” said Alexander. “They do need to garner that trust. Need to create a trustworthy brand.”

Trust requires sellers to mail the tickets to PropSwap, which then verifies them directly at the sports book locations.

Ian and Luke often personally advise sellers on the selling process and have an online tool that calculates market value.

“I’m hoping that people will start to look at these tickets as that’s grocery money. That’s money to put away for a rainy day fund. Stop thinking of it as gambling and start thinking of it as investing. Invest in that 100-1 longshot so that when it goes down to 20-1, you’ll sell it and make 5X on your money,” said Epstein.

As a precaution, Epstein said they’ve reached out to every state they’re operating in to let them know what they’re doing.

PropSwap said business has grown by multiples from last year—with customers selling tickets, ranging from as little as 20 dollars to nearly 60-thousand dollars.