Betty CEO: Company hyperfocused on Ontario market

February 12, 2024 10:47 AM
Photo: Betty
  • Mark Keast, CDC Gaming Reports
February 12, 2024 10:47 AM
  • Mark Keast, CDC Gaming Reports
  • Ontario

It’s full steam ahead in Ontario for Betty, according to the company’s CEO.

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A platform built in-house, a focus on the underserved female online-casino player, and foregoing sports betting are the three pillars that underpin their business, said Justin Park.

Betty announced in January that it has raised $5 million to further expand user acquisition. The funding was led by CEAS Investments, an early-stage venture fund run by a single-family office in Delray Beach, Florida. Also participating in the round are Powerhouse Capital, HappyHour, and Courtside Ventures. Betty had previously raised $7 million.

The company’s products went live in Ontario February 2023. Park says he had no idea the online casino would dominate the regulated market in Ontario the way it has so far. According to fiscal-year 2023-2024 third-quarter market-performance data released by iGaming Ontario in January, casino games – slots, live and computer-based table games, and peer-to-peer bingo – generated nearly $13.7 billion (79 percent) of total wagers and $471 million (71 percent) of gaming revenue.

“Now that we have the actual numbers, and they’re definitely big,” he said, “we’re focusing on Ontario. We’re not looking to expand outside Ontario for the foreseeable future. Outside of OLG (Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation of Ontario), the market is fragmented, with a lot of folks not focused on the [Ontario] market. That’s our view. There are a lot of multi-jurisdictional operators.”

Therein lies an opportunity, Park said, especially for a female-focused product. Park, who’s based in New York, added the company is expanding its Toronto-based staffing, currently at around five, and he’s currently looking for office space in the city’s downtown core.

Growth strategy for 2024 will be focused on user acquisition and building out Betty’s inhouse platform.

“We want to be true to Ontario and localize the brand,” he said. The breakdown between female and male players on their platform is a “moving target.” They still have male players. The number of female players has been growing. He can’t share the breakdown yet, but will in the coming months.

Betty will be refreshing the brand in 2024. So far, they’ve been focused on the product experience. For example, the primary caregiver at home, the wife and/on mom, is looking for bite-sized entertainment, that she can do in small spurts. So Betty’s deposits are low, Park said. In addition, keeping that market in mind, another priority will be the brand experience, how the platform looks visually, making Betty more female-friendly. “We’re looking to do something more female friendly while not forgetting male markets, because men are still an important demographic.”

Then they’ll push the brand through more “visually driven” marketing, such as television, in 2024.

What will be the differentiator for Betty in the Ontario market?

“Our brand-new platform built on real-time data will be a big part of it,” Park said. “It’s been built only for the Ontario market; it’s custom for the market. I don’t think another operator can say that. That means from a regulatory compliance perspective. Additionally, we look at onboarding. What are the most popular games in Ontario? Because this is the only market we’re in.”