Pro League Network (PLN) is adding sports betting options to its catalog of unusual sporting events. With odds available at DraftKings Sportsbook and Betfred, fans can now wager on more niche sporting events like miniature golf. With the World Putting League Championship on Feb. 27-28, TheLines.com spoke to cofounders Bill Yucatonis and Mike Salvaris.
We discussed how PLN is bringing these niche odds to DraftKings, Betfred, and eventually other sportsbooks.
Why PLN Targets Niche Sporting Events
There are a few motivations behind Pro League Network’s fascination with alternative sporting events. For starters, the cofounders said they believe the sporting events they focus on have a natural betting flow to them.
“All the sports that we focus on, we believe are just inherently and instinctively bettable,” said Bill Yucatonis. “We figured out, or our thought anyways, is that if we could get them regulated for wagering, they sort of have this built-in DNA. Just by style … the feel of the sport, the buzzy nature to some extent, that it’s the perfect fit for a sportsbook.”
Timing is also a major factor behind these events. The increase in betting options allows for more betting throughout the year. The lulls of the summer when NBA season ends and NFL season is still weeks away can now be filled with these types of sporting events.
How These Sports Benefit From Being Available At Sportsbooks
A potential benefit to having events like mini golf be available to wager on is that it increases fan engagement in hopes of growing the leagues’ audiences. Sports bettors who typically would not pay attention to these smaller events could end up becoming fans of the sports as they wager throughout the year.
“We always talk about what is a rooting interest in a sport,” said Mike Salvaris. “You need to have a rooting interest right? And that could be a player, that could be a team from your hometown. But it can also be because you bet on the sport.”
Making these sporting events available at sportsbooks like DraftKings is one strategy to try to make them more popular. While they may never reach the highs of the major leagues, this could aid the niche sports in carving out their own lane.
“I think a bet is a driver of awareness and interest in a sport. No question about that”, continued Salvaris. “And our sports, in particular, we are selecting the sports we are working with, there needs to be some familiarity. Like mini golf, everyone has played mini golf before. So it’s an easy avenue.”
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World Putting League Details
The World Putting League will see bettors for the first time able to wager on professional mini golf. Things tee off on the week of February 28 and will be live-streamed through PLN across the U.S. and Canada. Fans can catch the broadcast on NBC Sports California, AT&T Sportsnets, beIN Sport, MASN, Stadium Sports and more.
“This a unique one, not just for us but for the sport,” said Yucatonis. “Pro putting has been around for call it a decade or two. There are sanctioning bodies and so forth, but it was never professionalized to the magnitude that we’re doing. And so, this is the first time that professional mini golf will be wagered on in the U.S. At a real course that has run the professional mini golf masters.”
This event is just the tip of the iceberg for what PLN is planning. The network is in constant talks with more sportsbooks looking to expand its reach to more bettors. Additionally, more sporting events like CarJitsu, SlapFight, World Strongman, and Major League Paintball are on the horizon at sportsbooks.
Bettors across the country will have more ways to play going forward.