PrizePicks, ZenSports make moves


ZenSports to expand into Colorado, PrizePicks adds big names from poker as investors.

Two up-and-coming gaming companies made news Thursday, as next-gen sports betting operator ZenSports said it is expanding into Colorado, while daily fantasy sports platform PrizePicks closed an equity funding round that included prominent names from high-stakes poker.

ZenSports is a mobile sports-betting app that offers both a traditional sports book and a peer-to-peer sports-betting marketplace. Bettors located in any legal market in the world can create and accept sports bets with each other, without the need for a bookmaker.

ZenSports already was preparing to launch in Nevada, and via a new, 15-year deal it signed with Boulter Developments LLC, it will become the exclusive online sports betting skin partner of a new casino to be opened by Steve Boulter in Colorado later this year.

Boulter Developments said it will open a casino in Central City. Once the casino has been approved for a master license, ZenSports will apply for its sports betting operator and internet sports-betting license via the Colorado Division of Gaming.

ZenSports co-founder and CEO Mark Thomas said the company is on track to obtain its Nevada non-restricted gaming license in the next six months and is looking forward to being licensed in Colorado.

“We could not have a better partner than Steve Boulter, who has been a pillar in the Colorado casino gaming community for 30 years,” Thomas said in a statement. “We are excited to open up a new casino location in Central City later in 2021, and we are thrilled to be partnering with ZenSports on the sports betting side.”

Elsewhere, PrizePicks said the founding team from Poker Central and PokerGo are among the newest investors in PrizePicks, which already included Phil Hellmuth (pictured), Jack McLelland, Jeff Gross, and Brian Balsbaugh, founder of Poker Royalty, the first management agency for poker players.

PrizePicks said the funds will be used to increase staffing and grow the executive team, and for platform innovation, which will include several patents.

“We are positioned strategically for 2021 and beyond,” PrizePicks CEO Adam Wexler said. “This gives us a lot of flexibility for the future should we choose to expand our brand beyond DFS as FanDuel and DraftKings have. The alignment with the poker industry and these stellar investors will benefit both sides in both the short term and the long term should we move into areas such as sports betting and icasino.”

Atlanta-based PrizePicks said it is the third-largest daily fantasy sports platform in terms of monthly revenue.

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