ZenSports, an operator offering a slightly different approach to sports betting, has filed for licensure in Tennessee.
The brand manages a traditional sportsbook as well as a peer-to-peer marketplace where players can create bets and take action from fellow users.
This model puts consumers first, establishing a rewarding sports betting environment.
However, the Tennessee Education Lottery still has to approve this new style of operator.
ZenSports prepares to enter the Tennessee market
CEO Mark Thomas describes the operator as a one-stop-shop for bettors:
“ZenSports offers all the same things that a traditional sportsbook would offer, plus plus plus plus. If you want to use it just like a traditional sports betting product, no problem – we’d love to have you. If you’d love to do other things and be a little bit more creative and more social, we can service you as well.”
ZenSports announced its application for a Tennessee operator license on Nov. 23.
After working non-stop the past 10 days (including all weekend) creating, printing, and organizing every document, our Tennessee sports betting license application for @zensports is now done! 💪🎉 FedEx shipment going out in the morning. Time for a nap! 😊 pic.twitter.com/uY4SfIxfUb
— Mark Thomas (@entrepreneurSF) November 23, 2020
Thomas is optimistic about the licensing timeline:
“It sounds like it’s going to be about a three month process, so hopefully around the end of February we can get that approval and get going.”
As of now, there are four sportsbooks operating in the Volunteer State:
- Action 24/7
Conditional licenses for WynnBet, William Hill and BetAmerica are expected to be approved by the end of December.
Tennessee Education Lottery CEO Rebecca Hargrove recently revealed that three additional operators have begun the application process – one of those being ZenSports.
This increase in sportsbooks isn’t a hindrance to Thomas:
“While there’s more demand from operators entering the state, there’s more than enough consumer betting demand to go around. There’s room for all of us to be successful.”
What is ZenSports?
ZenSports has been operating internationally as a peer-to-peer sports betting marketplace since March 2019.
Now, it is quickly introducing itself to US markets, intent on becoming one of the nation’s largest gaming operators.
ZenSports has applied for a sports betting license in Nevada, Virginia and Tennessee, and is also considering expansion into Colorado.
The company recently announced an agreement with Strategic Gaming Management, giving it the opportunity to acquire Big Wheel Casino in Lovelock, Nevada.
Additionally, a potential sportsbook within Baldini’s Casino in Sparks, Nevada is in discussion.
In September, the company received a valuation of $8 million and raised roughly $1.5 million in seed funding.
Apps are already available for both iOS and Android, though the betting marketplace is currently only operational outside the US.
Daily fantasy sports contests from the brand, on the other hand, are available in all areas where DFS is permitted.
Peer-to-peer sports betting marketplace
In the peer-to-peer marketplace, players can create their own bets, odds, and terms by sourcing data from sport leagues worldwide.
Fellow users can accept these bets, share them, and invite friends to wager alongside them.
Users can also create daily fantasy sports contests with individual odds and terms.
Any occurring bet disputes are then settled by the marketplace, although less than 0.1% of total accepted bets are contested.
Whereas traditional sportsbooks impose a vig on top of odds, the peer-to-peer platform charges players a nominal marketplace fee.
This type of decentralized platform eliminates the need for a central bookmaker and invigorates the social dynamic of sports betting.
The perks of being Zen
ZenSports takes the technology-focused mobile product and combines it with next generation features like a peer-to-peer marketplace and cryptocurrency integration.
In addition to traditional funding methods, ZenSports incorporates cryptocurrency for funding an account and placing bets. Depositing via this method allows for minimal transfer times, almost non-existent transfer fees and nearly-instant settlements.
ZenSports utilizes its own form of cryptocurrency called SPORTS. Along with allowing players to wager, these tokens are redeemable for bonuses, discounts, cash back rewards and other perks.
Readers should note that regulated sportsbooks in the US do not currently accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment.
The company also has good loyalty and rewards programs.
ZenSports goes beyond the standard free bet and deposit bonuses with other incentives.
Customers can earn bonus tokens through contests and promotions, by sharing posts on social media, and for referring friends and family members.
The more a player bets, the higher the rewards are.
It really does pay to be Zen.
Playing by the rules and enjoying it
Tennessee is an especially unique sports betting market in that the state requires a mandatory 10% hold from sportsbooks.
ZenSports intends to operate within state guidelines while still giving consumers as much possible choice and freedom.
To do so, the sportsbook will come up with creative ways to incorporate the hold requirement. For example, it could offset traditional lines and odds by securing a higher take on parlay bets.
Similarly, if its peer-to-peer platform is approved, it can adjust marketing fees to adhere to regulations.
This innovative approach could lend ZenSports the edge needed for capitalizing on player engagement.
We will have to wait and see if its unique platform is approved by the TEL.