Yahoo Sports Adds To List Of Offerings With Social Betting Platform Wagr

USA Legal Betting


  • Yahoo Sports has shown a commitment to growing its portfolio
  • Wagr partnered with Wager Wire, a company that let sixers buy and sell sports bets, last year
  • Yahoo Sports already has extensive news coverage, daily fantasy sports, a sportsbook, and more

Yahoo announced its acquisition of social sports betting platform Wagr Tuesday, giving it another arm to add to its Yahoo Sports portfolio.

Wagr, a mobile-first platform, focuses on removing the intricacies of traditional sports betting and making it easy and accessible for groups of friends. Users can still bet on games but can do so in a more casual context, similar to how they might slap a twenty-dollar bill on the table during a game.

The move is in line with Yahoo Sports’ plans to offer more fantasy and betting content to its users all over the country.

Breaking into a crowded market

Wagr was the first social sports betting app to receive its license in America. It started in Nashville, Tennessee just three years ago.

“The acquisition of Wagr is an exciting step in the development of the next generation of Yahoo Sports' gaming portfolio,” said Jim Lanzone, CEO of Yahoo. “Wagr stands out for their innovative emphasis on community and social engagement in sports gaming, which aligns perfectly with the Yahoo award-winning fantasy platform that has brought tens of millions of fans together around their love of sports for over 20 years.”

It’s no secret that sports betting has taken off ever since a 2018 court decision expanded its availability nationwide, pending legislative agreement at the state level. Many influential organizations and persons invested in Wagr to help get it off the ground and grow into a leading social bettor.

Despite the mass attention and interest, however, traditional legal sports betting has not been easy to break into. FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, and Caesars control so much of the market that there’s often little room left for the other players.

That situation is exactly why PointsBet announced last week that it was selling its U.S. operations.

Wagr is different from PointsBet and other operators because of the social focus. In a way, it has an entirely different target audience.

“While we know our fantasy leagues increase fan engagement and give people something to root for, the real value is in keeping friend groups together through competition and camaraderie around the sports they love,” said Jon Shaw, SVP of Yahoo Sports. “Acquiring Wagr creates an immediate opportunity for us to expand into new group formats that can take engagement and friendly competition to the next level.”

The future of Yahoo Sports

Wagr will be fully integrated into Yahoo Sports now that the acquisition has been finalized. The terms of the deal were not made public.

The social betting aspect is not being brought in as a mere standalone asset—Yahoo plans to use it as a platform to build off of and expand, per Mario Malavé, Wagr’s co-founder and chief executive officer.

“The unique combination of Yahoo’s scale and engagement creates opportunities for virtuous product loops between sports media and gaming,” said Malavé.

Wagr unified with Wager Wire, a platform where users can buy and sell sports bets, last December.

Yahoo Sports previously had a robust news section, a full-fledged sportsbook, online casino games, and daily fantasy sports, combining up-to-the-minute information and gaming into a mecca for sports fans and gamblers.

Even though the sports betting market, as previously mentioned, is tough to break into, it is much easier with a top-notch product. That is exactly what Yahoo Sports is assembling with the help of Wagr and other assets.

Just over two months ago, Yahoo announced a 20% layoff (roughly 1,600 people) from its ad tech business. Lanzone said that was not a reflection of tough economic times but an attempt to reset an unprofitable unit within the company.

Yahoo Sports launched in December 1997. It launched its first mobile fantasy football app in 2008 and has been innovating ever since.

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself in his up-to-the-minute reporting on the latest events in the industry. A member of Virginia Tech’s 2021 graduating class, he has quickly put together an impressive portfolio since moving to the professional world full-time. Grant’s favorite sports to cover are basketball and both types of football (American and soccer), and he is pushing written, audio, and video content. He has been employed by companies as highly regarded as Forbes and continues on a great trajectory in the industry. When he’s not on the clock, you can find Grant at the gym, looking for adventures, or hanging out with his family.