Like many other gaming companies, 2021 was a very good year for PrizePicks.
In a statement Thursday, the single-player daily fantasy sports operator announced it added more than 300,000 new players in 2021. While the privately held company did not disclose revenue, the company said it grew its handle nearly 10-fold while operating “at near break-even” levels and “effectively” controlling costs.
PrizePicks did report, though, that players won more than $130 million last year. In all, the Georgia-based operator accepted more than 8 million entries, with selections coming from more than 40 different markets, including the major professional and college sports, the Summer Olympics, and esports.
In an interview with Casino.org at last month’s SBC Summit North America, PrizePicks CEO Adam Wexler said that the company posted record numbers in the fall of 2020, as the major sports leagues returned from COVID-forced suspensions.
“I think the pent-up demand is still there, and it’s not going away,” he said.
PrizePicks Focuses on Non-Sports Betting States
PrizePicks is currently available to play in 29 states, including such large states as California, Florida, North Carolina, Texas, and Georgia – five of the 10 most-populated states in the country. Of those states in particular, only North Carolina currently has sports betting, but that’s limited to retail-only at tribal casinos. Florida has legalized sports betting statewide, but that’s been put on hold because of a successful lawsuit challenging an amended gaming compact between the Seminole Tribe and state officials. That court case is being appealed.
Wexler described those states as “core markets” for the company, which considers itself as “currently the closest legal alternative to legal mobile sports betting” in most of the US, according to its statements
We are very focused on those in particular, and then, it doesn’t hurt that much of the South is on the same page as those,” Wexler told Casino.org. “That’s where we’re from, and that’s where we know as well as anybody.”
The states where the daily fantasy game is available represent more than two-thirds of the country’s adult population. That’s an important metric for Wexler. He pointed out while sports betting is now either live or soon will be in 33 states, seven sports betting states rank among the country’s 10 smallest in terms of population.
New Investment, New Executives Added
As 2021 wound down, PrizePicks closed out another round of funding that landed current pro athletes Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons and John Collins of the Atlanta Hawks. Also among the investors in the round were former FanDuel executive Adam Kaplan and Bet.Works founder Quinton Singleton.
Singleton said in a statement last month that Wexler and PrizePicks are “relentless” in pursuing new products and innovations.
“It’s nothing short of impressive to see the incredible growth and trajectory of PrizePicks,” Singleton said.
In addition to bringing on new investments, the company added to its executive staff as well. On Thursday, PrizePicks announced Chris Stango joined as its new vice president of product, moving to the company after serving in a similar role at Barstool Sports before it partnered with Penn National Gaming.
Other new hires include Josh Slaff as vice president of compliance and fraud, and Josh Kirschner as vice president of legal and government affairs.
Slaff worked previously at Morgan Stanley as a vice president of its global financial crimes group, and will be charged with protecting the company and its players. Kirschner was previously a lawyer at Morris, Manning, & Martin, an Atlanta-based law firm, where he focused on gaming and cannabis businesses. At PrizePicks, Kirschner will be the company’s primary in-house attorney and focus on expansion into new states.
“Infusing our organization with top talent, both from within our industry and also in adjacent business lines, is a top priority for an emerging operator,” PrizePicks CEO Adam Wexler said. “Our needs are changing every day as our business and our industry becomes larger and more complex. We’ll lean on all three of these individuals to tackle new challenges and opportunities.”
Single-Player Fantasy Explained
Single-player daily fantasy has some similarities to parlay wagers at sportsbooks. To play single-player daily fantasy sports at PrizePicks, a player must select between two and five athletes. Each athlete will have an assigned total for a specific category – such as points for a basketball player. For each athlete selected, the player must decide whether the assigned total will be over or under what the athlete finishes with in the game.
Besides making their athlete selections, the PrizePicks player must decide if they want to play a “Power Play,” which means they must get all selections correct, or a “Flex Play,” which offers a reduced payout, but still pays if the player misses a selection.
While sports betting parlay payouts are determined by the odds of each selection, the payouts at PrizePicks are determined by the number of athletes selected. For example, a four-pick “Power Play” pays out at 10 times the entry fee. A five-pick Flex Play also pays out at 10 times if perfect. But if a player misses on one of the five selections, they get double the entry fee. Also, unlike parlay bets, daily fantasy does not pay back the entry fee for winning entries.
There are also other rules, such as players cannot make all their selections from members of the same team.
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