A new sports betting app hopes to make a splash in the cutthroat UK online betting industry by marrying bookmaking with Tinder-style yes-or-no functionality. This week witnesses the birth of Bookee, a new mobile-first sports betting company that hopes to “make betting personal and social” for casual bettors, primarily by removing all manner of decision making beyond agreeing or disagreeing. The app’s interface (viewable in the video below) streamlines the “old-fashioned” betting process by offering players a variety of betting categories, including some based on a specific sport, while other categories might feature only long-odds wagers, accumulators, half-time/full-time selections and the like.
Once a category is selected, the bettor is presented with a randomized ‘deck’ of small-stake bets. Over time, the app adapts to a player’s preferences and provides increasingly appropriate choices. There’s also a ‘Discover’ tab that allows bettors a little more freedom in investigating what betting options are available within each category. If the bettor finds the selected bet to be butt ugly, he or she swipes left and is presented with another choice. If the wager prompts a suitably voluminous rush of blood to a bettor’s loins, a swipe to the right will accept the bet, or, as the company’s tagline puts it: ‘Swipe. Bet. Done.’ (We guess ‘Wham. Bam. Gam(ble).’ was taken.)
The net effect is essentially ‘Tinder for betting,’ although unlike the dating app, swiping right doesn’t require Bookee to fancy you back (just having the money in your account will suffice). The company isn’t shy about the comparison, referencing Tinder in its marketing and celebrating Bookee’s capacity to deliver “instant gratification.” Bookee was co-founded by Adam Wilson and Adam Kalmanson, alumni of UK firms 888 Holdings and William Hill. Yet the pair of Adams appear to have been frustrated by their experience in what Kalmanson calls the “stuck in the past” betting industry.
The app is currently available only for Apple devices but an Android product is promised by “early 2017.” Bookee acts as a white label of UK Gambling Commission-licensed betting tech provider FSB Technology, which provides Bookee with its betting odds.