FanDuel was licensed and approved by the Wyoming Pari-Mutuel Commission in November, but the launch was held off until earlier this month for various reasons.
One factor was ensuring the product was “ready to meet the needs of the people of Wyoming” in terms of sportsbook offerings, in addition to developing a marketing strategy for the market. It was also pivotal to pair the launch with a significant sporting event, such as the NCAA Tournament.
Hennessy refers to the start of football season and beginning of March Madness as “2A and 2B” in terms of sports gambling significance, behind only the Super Bowl. However, he adds that the four-day stretch of the Big Dance that includes the rounds of 64 and 32 has roughly doubled the betting activity of the Super Bowl.
Wyoming-specific information was not available on the first day of the round of 64, which took place last Thursday. Colgate vs. Wisconsin (Friday), Memphis vs. Gonzaga (Saturday) and TCU vs. Arizona (Sunday) were the most-bet on games in the state for the next three days.
“Usually one of the main keys for any type of state launch is to do it at the right time,” Hennessy said. “Right before March Madness, there’s no better time besides basically the start of football season.”
While Wyoming is a unique market, featuring zero professional teams and the lowest population in the country, FanDuel maintained a similar strategy for its local launch as it did for January’s much larger-scale one in New York.
Wyoming’s laws tailored to mobile-only sports betting play a large part in this.
“There really wasn’t anything we did differently in Wyoming that we didn’t do with New York, New Jersey or Illinois,” Hennessy said. “The best part about a mobile sportsbook is you have wide open spaces, and you (don’t have to) travel to a casino or retail sportsbook. That’s the beauty of mobile betting, and I’m glad Wyoming stepped up to the plate and made it available to people.”
Although the college basketball season has only a couple weeks remaining, the company is optimistic about its opportunity for growth in the immediate future.
Due to the volume of regular-season games and lengthy playoff format, NBA basketball is the most-bet on sport on FanDuel. The NBA Finals are scheduled to run through mid-June, with hopes that baseball will help fill the void for the remaining 1 1/2 months until the start of football season.
There are also promotions available on the app for both new customers and returning ones. This includes $150 in credit as a sign-up bonus for users who deposit a minimum of $10 and wager at least $5 on college basketball, as well as an ongoing “give $50, get $50” referral program.
Hennessy says FanDuel prides itself on making its product “easily accessible, intuitive and easy to navigate,” while striving to provide the best odds in the country. There is also an emphasis on responsible gaming, as well as making the sports betting experience an entertaining one for its customers.
“We have these great responsible gaming tools that are easy to access, and all you have to do is click the ‘R’ on the app right when you sign in,” Hennessy said. “There are these great tools we recommend everyone use. You can set time limits, and you can set limits on how much you bet and deposit.
“Our big thing is we want sports betting to be fun, so $20 is just as important to us (as a larger wager). That’s what we look for. We look for people looking to bet $20 on the game.”
Source: The Gazette Josh Criswell covers the University of Wyoming for WyoSports. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 307-755-3325. Follow him on Twitter at @criswell_sports.