New Player In U.S. Sports Gambling Industry Seeks To Win Big By Cutting The Vig

Sam Rattner and Scott Butera, cheif executives of the sports gambling startup Vigtory.ComVigtorySports

As Americans got ready Saturday for the first full Sunday slate of NFL games, along with the U.S. Open finals and more of the NBA playoffs, a startup company out of Chicago was continuing preparations to enter the $150 billion legalized U.S. Sports gambling industry with a new pitch: Play with us, and we will charge you less than the competition.

Vigtory plans to be up and running later during the NFL season, trying to break into a burgeoning sports gambling marketplace with an appeal to folks who are high-volume bettors: We will not take a huge cut of your money.

The industry term for the cut of money that the house takes is known as the “vig,” and it usually runs around 10 percent. So in order to win $100 on a wager, you must put up $110 — the extra $10 going to the house.

And with gamblers who wager in the thousands and thousands each year, all of that vig money adds up, which is why many professional gamblers still use offshore sportsbooks despite it being illegal to do so in the United States.

Vigtory will offer a wagering platform that has a 50 to 75 percent lower “vig,” said Sam Rattner, the company’s chief executive officer, who is based out of Chicago.

“We’re not necessarily looking to knock DraftKings or Fan Duel, two companies that use Daily Fantasy Sports to pull people into sports gambling, or TheScore or Barstool sports. Our site will integrate live streaming, ticketing and other facets of the sports industry and integrate them into one platform”

What the new sports betting app Vigtory will look like on a mobile device.BetVigtory.Com

Vigtory appears to be going after the high rollers who casinos love to have as guests and who many online sportsbooks will try to limit if they notice a pattern of success. Some of those types are bettors are known as “fish” — if they lose a lot — and as “sharps” if they win a lot.

“Just because somebody bets big does not mean he is a shark,” Rattner said.

VigtorySports will debut in New Jersey and Indiana and is seeking a license in three other states by the end of the calendar year. Sports betting is legal and fully operational in 18 states, plus Washington, D.C. Another four states — Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Washington — have passed bills legalizing it this year, but are not yet operational.

New Jersey recently reported that nearly $7.7 billion has been legally wagered on sports since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned PASPA, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act which limited sports wagering to Nevada. Those gambled funds have produced $69.6 million in revenue for the state of New Jersey.

WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 04: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaks to members of the media in … [+] front of the U.S. Supreme Court December 4, 2017 in Washington, DC. The Supreme Court was scheduled to hear Christie vs. NCAA on whether states can legalize sports betting. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)Getty Images

Other states are seeing increases in sports gambling revenue during the coronavirus pandemic, in part because money that people used to spend on commuting to work or eating at restaurants ceased being spent when many businesses switched to remote work-from-home arrangements to try to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Sports gambling is not the only industry that has benefited from the pandemic, as witnessed by the rise in Amazon.Com stock over the course of this year, rising from nearly $1,900 per share to its Friday closing price of $3,116.

DraftKings went public in January at $10.68 per share and closed Friday at $41.46, a testament to the value that investors see in the sports gambling industry. The folks who are opening Vigtory Sports are being assembled from different corners of the gambling industry because they see a need for high-stakes gamblers to have a place to play where a reduced vig will reduce their need to be successful more than 60 percent of the time in order to be profitable.

“Astute bettors win more than 50 percent of the time, but when someone is betting often, that vig adds up,” Rattner said. “So for us it seems reasonable to cut the juice.”

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