With over 118 million people a year betting on the outcome of games, there is no denying the fact that
there is a huge appetite for gambling in America. People gamble in many ways from daily fantasy sites
and legal sports gambling in Las Vegas to illegal sports betting sites and bookies.
All of the above mentioned avenues can be monitored. However, there is one avenue of gambling that is
still unregulated, can’t be monitored and is arguably the oldest form of gambling: wagering between
friends and family. It is almost natural to find people betting a few dollars on whether the Bulls will
cover spread against the Heat or whether the Packers will be defeated by the Bears. No money is
exchanged online, both parties decide how much to bet and the losing party pays up without fuss when
the gig is up.
A new Chicago based app, called Bait, however wants to change all that and make it easy for close
buddies to be able to bet amongst themselves in a more streamlined manner. Gambling is tracked and
the winner gets money credited into their Venmo account.
Bait wants to give sports fans a place to gamble on games without having to submit details to online
gambling sites to play against unknown people and also ensures gamblers don’t have to keep going back
to daily fantasy where only the top 1% of players stands a chance.
The app is expected to have the same impact as mobile bingo apps like those that can be found here
bingoonmobile.co.uk , which allow players from all parts of the globe to enjoy a game of bingo in any
way they deem fit. Bingo players can compete against strangers, compete against friends or simply
compete against the algorithm.
Bait doesn’t have plans of taking sole bets and there is little evidence that they will do so due to the
legal hurdles they will have to navigate.
The Bait app circumvents the illegal sports gambling tag in a few ways. Firstly, losers are not mandated
to pay up. Funds are not automatically deducted from accounts and there is no financial penalty for not
sticking to the agreement. Users are only rated so notorious defaulters may be ignored by other players.
Additionally, the app doesn’t make money by taking a percentage of the money exchanged. They intend
to make money through sponsored ads alone. It remains to be seen how they intend to draw users away
from big names like Draft Kings and Fan Duel.
There is no risk in using the app as users do not risk any money and the player is always in control of