PlayUp U.S. CEO Laila Mintas joins Yahoo Finance to discuss the growth of sports gambling in New Jersey and her company's new sports lounge inside the Prudential Center.
- All right. If you were to go about 20 miles in that direction just behind the camera that I'm on-- yeah, OK, 20 miles behind the camera-- you'd hit the Prudential Center in New Jersey. And that's not only home of the New Jersey Devils, but also a new sports betting lounge, 1,200 square feet from PlayUp. It's the PlayUp sports lounge. And we bring into the stream the CEO of PlayUp US, Laila Mintas, to talk about where we are headed, because I think it's in New Jersey they've already exceeded with legal sports betting, it's over a billion dollars. So congratulations on the new offering. And where do you take it next?
LAILA MINTAS: Yeah, thanks for having us. We are very excited about New Jersey having $1 billion US in hand the last month. It's incredible, outperforming Nevada, the former leading market in the US. And New Jersey becomes the most mature market, now with many of the [INAUDIBLE] happening online, which is awesome for an online brand like PlayUp. So we couldn't be more excited. And obviously, having partnered up with the New Jersey Devils, I think if you're partnering up with the Devils, nothing can go wrong anymore.
- Talk to us about the interest that you're seeing in sports gambling so far this year. How does it compare to prior years?
LAILA MINTAS: So since the beginning, [INAUDIBLE] three and a half years ago, approximately, and since then, you have seen many, many states in the US legalizing sports betting. So as of today, we're having around 32 states that have actually legalized sports betting in the US. New Jersey is leading by far. We see many more states legalizing every day. Right now, around 55% of the adult population in the US has access to legalized sports betting.
So overall, the market is expected to become somewhere between $40 to $60 billion. And if you compare that to the most mature markets overseas, for example the UK, they have a market value of around 3 billion, even a bit less than that. So there's no doubt that the US will become the most-- the biggest and largest legal sports betting market in the world.
- How popular is this among women? We traditionally kind of think of stereotypes, but those are being blown out of the water.
LAILA MINTAS: Yeah. So overall, you see most of the betters being male, unfortunately. Being one of the few female CEOs that run sportsbook in the US, one of-- one part of my vision personally, but also for the company, is to attract more females to actually bet with us. And we have actually launched a product that is called PlayUp Slots Plus, where we have over 95% of our audience being females. And it's more like a slot-style casino game. And now, we're working on transitioning or converting those female users over to do sports betting with us.
- And what are you doing to do that?
LAILA MINTAS: Yeah, we have to find ways and think outside the box. As you can see, probably based on my experience, at least 80% of the betters are male. And I think females are just not find it appealing. If you look into the app and you see just numbers there, the visualization I think is very important. We want to engage with our fans.
So I think having a more gamification interface, instead of like just displaying the odds and numbers, would be very attractive to many females. So we're working on some projects there. It's not live yet. We just launched in New Jersey with our sportsbook, and we are launching [INAUDIBLE] casino very soon, as well. But in the long-term vision of PlayUp, we want to attract more females. And we have some ideas on how we can make that work, but it's too early to share that.