Supplied sample screenshots from the RotoWire Picks & Props app. Supplied sample screenshots from the RotoWire Picks & Props app. (RotoWire.)

There’s been a lot of discussion lately about the rise in legal sports gambling, particularly including player prop betting. The daily fantasy sector, also focused on individual players’ performance, continues to draw attention as well. And it’s with that context that player information site RotoWire is launching a new standalone “Picks & Props” app. Around that, RotoWire co-founder Peter Schoenke spoke to AA via e-mail, saying they did this because of the massive traffic to the previous Picks & Props tool on their website.

“We’ve seen increasing demand for information for the fantasy Pick’em format and legal sports betting prop bets,” Schoenke said, “In fact, traffic for RotoWire’s ‘Picks & Props’ tool on its website has increased by 266 percent in the last nine months. Launching a stand-alone app is the next step in the evolution, providing our customers with a sleek access point.”

The app will include real-time and information from across sports, including betting lines and injury updates. It will also have projections and recommendations, which will be created by combining information from RotoWire’s own experts, recommendations from daily fantasy sites, sportsbook lines, and hit rates. Schoenke said it’s a continuation of RotoWire’s approach to provide not just their in-house information, but also information from other sources.

“RotoWire’s philosophy has always been to give fantasy and betting players the information and tools they need to make the best decisions, not just our recommendation. While we have projections that we think are market-leading, we want to put them into the context of other factors so you can compare and contrast valuable data points.”

Schoenke said the standalone app here will make this information easier to access on phones, and will let RotoWire more directly connect to those looking to play these formats.

“We see an opportunity to more directly engage with our audience which is eager to immerse themselves in these offerings,” he said. “For example, the people playing the fantasy Pick’em format and legal sports betting prop bets are primarily using mobile devices, so we felt there is an opportunity to reach these users more directly with a dedicated app.”

The app will cost $22.99 a month or $142.92 per year ($11.91 per month), and subscriptions there will include the same level of access to RotoWire’s website. But the app will be an important focus for the company on this front; Schoenke said the growth of these games on mobile devices has been a big trend in the space, and that has RotoWire looking to engage with users there more.

“As the market and users of these kinds of games have increasingly shifted to mobile, creating a standalone app meets these users where they are and provides them with a seamless user experience. The market has increasingly shifted to mobile, so we want to be part of the same routine and devices to meet the consumer demand.”

As per the overall player prop market, Schoenke said he thinks the growing interest there is about the evolving U.S. betting market overall, but also about some differences in how Americans consume sports versus Europeans.

“My personal theory is that the U.S. market is more player-centric and focused on specifics,” he said. “Part of that is the popularity of fantasy sports before the full legalization of sports betting in the US with the repeal of PASPA. However, people in the U.S. gravitate to statistics (.300 hitter, 3,000 yard passer, etc.) much more than Europeans, for example. Player props are a way to capitalize on this knowledge and focus.”

While player props and daily fantasy are different segments from more standard betting on teams, Schoenke thinks those segments all can work together.

“I think they’re complimentary. I think it’s a similar evolution to how we’ve seen traditional fantasy sports respond with the addition of expanded legal sports betting. Many thought fantasy sports would decline since people had other options or only played fantasy because there was no available legal sports betting option. However, fantasy sports in all formats continues to grow even with the increasing options for legal sports betting.”

Some of the many recent gambling scandals have involved player props in particular. And those have come with questions of players potentially manipulating outcomes, as we saw with the Jontay Porter saga in the NBA. Schoenke said he thinks those incidents aren’t going to impact the growth of this market, though, and he credits the amount of sports gambling activity shifting to regulated and legal sportsbooks as one reason why some of these incidents have been discovered.

“First and foremost, instances like Jontay Porter, Ohtani’s interpreter Ippei Mizuhara, and Padres infielder Tucupita Marcano would likely go unnoticed and not be discovered if it wasn’t for legalized online gambling,” he said. “Legalization wields a spotlight to identify matters involving players, coaches, and their associates.”

“Sportsbooks, regulators, leagues, data providers, and integrity monitoring services all have adequate access to data in order to review and identify these bad actors. Their ability to identify suspicious behavior has improved dramatically through better tools and cooperation. Despite these recent incidents, which are few and far between considering the scale of professional and amateur sports, we remain bullish on the total addressable market continuing to grow within this segment of the industry.”

And Schoenke said the market growth so far has been great for RotoWire, and they’ll likely have more new products to announce soon.

“RotoWire is having an outstanding year thus far with the introduction of new tools and services for clients. Fantasy players and sports bettors love RotoWire’s leading player news and information, which is what will make the new Picks & Props app a compelling product. Be on the lookout for more unique Rotowire consumer products in the near future.”

The RotoWire Picks & Props app is now available on iOS and Android devices.

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.