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PropSwap: the eBay for sports bettors

by David Purdum, Chalk

It was around 10 a.m. PT the morning of Super Bowl LI in Las Vegas, and a young patron was milling around the Caesars Palace sportsbook, letting other bettors know exactly what he was holding: a handful of futures tickets on the Atlanta Falcons, potentially worth $200,000.

In his mid-20s and from California, the bettor wasn’t a Falcons fan, but he was emotionally attached to the team through his betting slips. At several different points during the 2016 regular season, he had made the trip from San Diego to Nevada to put money on the Falcons to win Super Bowl LI. In total, he had around $10,000 at risk. He had visions of putting any winnings toward a new house for his parents.

Two young Las Vegas entrepreneurs, Ian Epstein and Luke Pergande, were also at Caesars Palace that morning. They run PropSwap, an online secondary market for sports bets, where customers can buy or sell live wagers before an event takes place — like, for example, a bunch of futures bets on the Falcons to win the Super Bowl.

PropSwap launched in Nevada in 2015. It’s a small, unregulated startup. Both Pergande and Epstein still dabble in occasional side gigs while also looking ahead toward a future that may include expanded legal sports betting in the U.S. For now, though, it continues to be a learning experience for the 28-year-old founders and almost a case study on the thinking of American sports bettors, who have big wagers on the line.

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