Welcome to another edition of The Social Media Player Profile. This week we are detailing things in a little bit of a different light. While we normally take time to shine a light on a specific person, this week we are taking a look at one of the most innovative companies to ever come to Las Vegas and the two guys who run it. The company, of course, is Prop Swap. The two guys are Ian Epstein and Luke Pergande. Luckily for me, their website, www.propswap.com detailed a great place to start to give you a jump start on what Prop Swap is.
In short, Prop Swap is a place where you can buy and sell tickets including futures, straight bets, and parlays. All tickets must be from a Las Vegas sports book (sorry guys, no bookies here-legitimate operation)-but for example if you have any future you now have another outlet to hedge your bets. For example, if you have a Baker Mayfield for Heisman ticket at +1000 but is now available for -2000, Prop Swap will sell that ticket for you to another buyer before your bet cashes. If you have a straight bet at halftime and it looks like a winner, you can sell that ticket in game-for a guaranteed profit.
If you have a three-team parlay, and two sides have already come home and the last leg isn’t until later in the day or the next night-have no fear, Prop Swap can sell that ticket for you-you guessed it-at a guaranteed profit. Most other questions can be found in their frequently asked questions. So, let’s get into it.
1. So as I’m sure is now second nature to you guys in every interview you guys have done, Can you give a background on exactly what Prop Swap is and what the company aims to do, how you guys come up with the concept because this idea wasn’t introduced into the U.S betting market until Prop Swap came along. Lastly, how has Prop Swap has grown into the success it is today?
PropSwap is a secondary market for sports betting tickets. Our goal is to provide liquidity to owners of betting tickets, in a market that has had zero liquidity for the last 50 years of its existence. If you got a team at 100/odds, and now their odds are 10/1, you should be able to sell that for a massive profit. We provide that opportunity. We came us with the idea when I was visiting Las Vegas on Labor Day 2013. I bet the Saints at 50/1 odds. Then, the Saints won 7 games in a row.
The odds dropped to 15/1. And I called Ian who worked for CG Tech at the time and asked where I could sell this ticket. He said nowhere, so we thought that was a major gap in the market. We’ve been able to gain Buyers (vs. Sellers) quite easily because most of the time Buyers are getting great deals (better odds than the market). But the Sellers have been a tougher nut to crack. I’m on the phone every day trying to convince someone to sell their tickets (recently the University of Miami, Wisconsin, Ohio State owners have been the worst example of Money left on the table). Across those 3 teams, we could’ve paid those owners $100,000 (Buyers would’ve paid us $111K, taking 10% for PropSwap) easily. But they took the gamble (not selling) and Lost big.
2. Now that readers know a little bit about the past and present of Prop Swap, can you speak a little bit towards the process of how someone can go about selling any ticket that they have, And with that, is the seller selling the ticket directly to Prop Swap or are you simply acting on the seller’s behalf and taking offers for them?
On September 1st, we made it possible for anyone in the world to list a Nevada ticket with us. All you need is a valid credit card (to use as collateral should the Seller not deliver the Ticket). Before this change, you needed to give us the ticket first, before we posted it for Sale. Once it’s officially listed on our website, Buyers can submit Bids to me and I submit them to the Seller. The Bidding is a manual process, and probably will be for a while. It’s worked pretty well so far. However, if a ticket is listed for $500 on the website, and a Buyer agrees to $500, the deal is done. All tickets on our website are listed for a “Buy it Now” price.
3. Any customer who is in search of value can constantly browse your catalogue of tickets you have for sale on the Prop Swap website, but is there a higher demand for futures, half-finished parlays, or straight bets? And can you speak a little bit towards the process of buying a ticket from Prop Swap?
So most of our Tickets we see moving are Futures bets. This is because the Seller has the longest time horizon until the Event is decided. Straight bets are decided within 3 hours of the bet originating, many times. So even though Straight Bets can be sold on our site, Sellers haven’t exactly figured that out yet. We’re working on that market. We also think half-finished Parlays will be huge for us. People are much less emotionally tied to Parlays. They just wanna get paid. So they’ll take lower Prices, just to lock in some profit.
Buying is easy. Load up a credit card (it needs to have a billing address in one of our 5 approved states – NV, MA, PA, CT, and NJ). If the ticket wins, you’ll receive it in the mail 5-7 business days after the Event is determined. If it loses, we still collect the Ticket from the Seller, but the Buyer will not receive it. That’s basically to save on shipping costs, and because we haven’t seen Buyers have a strong desire to take possession of a Losing Ticket.
4. One of the most important steps for you both and your company is that it is now legal for customers to buy tickets from you from other states outside of Nevada. Can you speak to the process in which you went through fighting for tickets to be able to be bought from outside Nevada, What states are buyers now allowed to buy from, and how that process works? Also, is nationwide expansion something that is possibly on the horizon for Prop Swap?
See answer above. Yes, expanding to more States is definitely on the horizon. Where Ian and I both hail from, is our next State. Look for that announcement early next year. Hint, Hint.
To get those states comfortable with the idea, we literally flew to each of the state’s capitals this summer, and met face-to-face with regulators and government officials, and explained our business to them. Once they asked questions and now were introduced to the idea, we decide to move forward.
5. If someone is in Las Vegas on a vacation or a brief stay and buys a futures ticket but doesn’t exactly know what to do with it for the next few months if it accumulates value, what are some options sellers can do with Prop Swap if they are now outside of Nevada.
Go to our website, and click “Sell”! haha. Look, if you can double your money on a Futures ticket, do it. If your team goes from 100/1 to 50/1, list it for Sale. You’d turn $500 into $1,000 (sans our commission). Don’t be that Falcons owner who left $75,000 on the Table by thinking his team was going to defeat Tom Brady. I want to put as much money into sports bettors’ hands as possible.
6. With nationwide legalization efforts in full swing, what do you think would be the impact on Prop Swap if the dream of nationwide legalized sports betting actually happened?
We’re the secondary market for sports bets in America. If the primary market grows, our potential market size goes up with it! I’ll probably need to move to Atlantic City for a few years, but so be it. I like New York, haha.
7. With this being a social media series, I’m very interested in how Prop Swap uses social media. Obviously, the website is the main hub for all tickets and to buy or sell, but what has the impact of social media been to Prop Swap in getting the word out there, buying/selling, and using social media in conjunction with Prop Swap. You guys have also recently started your own podcast titled The Prop Swap Podcast. What is the aim of the podcast and your goals with it moving forward?
So Ian is our Twitter guy. He puts out great content on a daily basis and gets people excited about what we’re doing (and also sometimes Angry haha, it’s Twitter, comes with the territory.) Whenever we can post a sale, and half our Followers are applauding the sale, while the other half is criticizing the Sale, that means we’re doing a good job as a marketplace.
The podcast (also Ian’s idea) has been actually getting some really good reviews. I think it’s 50% “how to start a company in sports betting” and 50% interesting secondary Sales that no one else can talk about. And that’s why people like it. The goals are to have fun, talk about cool Sales that happened, provide info on what the secondary market looks like each week.
8. Finally, if any of our readers or listeners are in Las Vegas on vacation or business, where can they find you to buy/sell tickets, say hello, or talk about business opportunities?
We work out of The Golden Nugget on Sundays, so feel free to stop in there. Otherwise, certainly drop us a line at [email protected] and we’re happy to meet up with our customers at their favorite sportsbook.