Microbetting — betting on minor parts such as whether a particular pitch will be the ball or the strike — is proliferating in baseball.

Simplebet CEO Chris Bevilacqua told Yahoo Finance:

Bevilacqua’s company offers microbetting marketplaces for sportsbooks such as DraftKings (DKNG), whose handles (total bets on the market) have tripled over the last year. The software helped him process $262 million in bets across the 2022 Major League Baseball season, with partners accounting for about 25% of his bets live on his platform.

The increase in gambling stats matches what MLB has seen in other parts of the business season. According to Playfly Sports, he saw a 5% increase in viewership on local sports networks. Playfly Sports serves as the national sales arm of a regional sports network representing all 29 American teams.

Criag Sloan, COO of Playfly Sports, a sports marketing and media company, described microbetting as the “holy grail” for creating interactive engagement with fans.

“Holy Grail has been trying to figure out what really creates engagement on an interactive level,” Sloan told Yahoo Finance. “Microbetting and in-play betting are where we believe they are on the next level.”

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 28: Philadelphia Phillies' David Robertson #30 takes on the Houston Astros in Game 1 of the 2022 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 28, 2022 in Houston, TX. Pitch 10 times against each other.  (Photo by Carmen Mandert/Getty Images)

Philadelphia Phillies’ David Robertson pitches in the 10th inning against the Houston Astros in Game 1 of the 2022 World Series. (Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Grow a “menu”

According to Johnny Avello, director of sportsbook operations at DraftKings, as mobile sports betting grows, more football bettors than ever before are moving to baseball betting. Part of that increase is due to the rich ‘menu’ sportsbooks can offer with technology like Simplebet.

“What we hang up every week is the Super Bowl props, and it happens once a year in Vegas, where we hang stuff like that every weekend at every game.” Over 35 years, Yahoo told Finance.

Baseball is the leader in microbetting at DraftKing, Avello says, with basketball just behind. He attributed this to the speed of baseball and the amount of betting inventory: at about 2,430 games a year, Bevilacqua estimates there are about 400,000 bats a year and he has 750,000 pitches.

“You’re talking about a multi-million market,” Bevilaqua said. “There is something for everyone out there, and we can do it in a timeframe where the user experience is still very good.”

Noah Garden, MLB’s chief revenue officer, said more gambling products and alternative streams are expected in the future.

“We need to do more,” Garden said, adding that gambling “was great. It does exactly what we thought. We need to innovate the way we do it and give that section of the fan more content and more data.”

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