There are folks running an operation out in Walnut Creek, Calif., that may or may not realize they’re sitting on a potential modern-day gold mine.
Right now, this business is selling a “comprehensive collection of self-care procedures and wellness topics” on a website that looks like it was designed when AOL was still sending compact discs to people’s homes once a day. When you try to order something, a warning message pops up, alerting the user their connection is not private.
Attempts to reach the owner of this business via email and telephone have been unsuccessful.
So what makes this outfit potentially worth so much money?
Andrew Miller can tell you.
Miller is basically the E.F. Hutton of the internet domain game. When Miller speaks, people listen.
Not only did he purchase and then nurture CreditCards.com and InsuranceQuotes.com from domain names to wildly profitable businesses, he’s also, at one time or another, owned Diamonds.com, Shop.com, Computer.com, Beer.com … the list goes on. From founder to CEO, investor to broker to adviser, he’s been involved in hundreds of millions of dollars in what he refers to as “generic category domain transactions.” He is simply one of the most renowned experts on category domain names — think single words or phrases that explain exactly what the website is — for over 20 years, and he’s also an entrepreneur in the sports and fantasy sports industry (oh, and a ranked daily fantasy sports player).
Gambling domains on the rise
And what Miller is seeing? An explosion in the cost of gambling-related internet domain names.
A sampling, from recent sale prices published on the reseller site BettingDomains.com: BettingTips.com, $150,000 back in May of 2020. BettingOdds.com, $487,687 in July of 2019.
And Miller thinks those would sell for even more today.
“Domain names have been an important asset class since the internet started,” Miller said. “It’s gone through cycles. First big one was the 1998-2000 domain name craze, then the internet bubble blew up. But from 2019 to present has solidified the domains as the most valuable and important long-term asset, even superseding crypto, or at worst alongside crypto. This is categorically, irrelevant of industry, and it’s because the adoption of category or exact match domains has gone from innovative smart entrepreneurial companies like Hotels.com that figured it out and spent $10 million for their domain in the early days, to almost multiple daily acquisitions of exact matching category domains by end users. Large corporations, private equity portfolio companies, venture portfolio companies.”
In short: Buying and selling domains has never been hotter. And while someone could probably scoop up GambleBetPokerDailyFantasySportsWager.com for a song, it doesn’t exactly have the same ring to it as, say, Casino.com, which was snapped up many moons ago for $5.5 million, one of the most expensive domain sales in history.
“There is only one exact match category dot com name,” Miller points out.
As more states legalize, domain prices will rise
And while it’s one thing to string a bunch of keywords together, having that exact match category name is … a gold mine. (We’ll get back to that “comprehensive collection of self-care procedures and wellness topics” company in a few … )
“So domains are booming, but let’s take that down to the next level,” Miller said. “We have an industry in sports betting that’s kind of like domains in the ’90s. Sports betting is an industry in the second inning, because what, 14% of the U.S. population can legally bet online right now? Maybe a little higher in recent weeks?”
(Actually, it’s now up to 27% after the addition of Virginia and Michigan.)
“That leaves [73%] that can’t,” Miller continued, “and we know what that number is going to look like in a year. In a year that number might be 50-60%. We can go from the second to fifth inning quickly. The gambling domains are following the asset class as a whole, but it’s accelerated because it’s in a new arena.”
Miller sees the current gold rush in gambling domains similar to the green rush a few years ago.
“The closest analogy is cannabis from two or three years ago,” he said. “It became legalized in a small portion of the nation and cannabis domain names became extremely important. Big difference though is cannabis is a commodity, it has to be grown, it’s complicated. Sports betting is opening up your phone and hitting a couple of buttons and bang-bang there’s your bet, and with that ease, exact category domains will become especially important.”
Miller isn’t just a watcher of the space — he’s actively involved, looking to move SportsFan.com to the highest bidder, and he’s also advising on the future sale of BetCast.com.
“There’s a lot of real estate in the world,” Miller noted. “You can buy homes in a lot of places, in good areas or bad areas. Prime real estate is the difference maker. There are not that many generic or exact match category domain names. They can add hundreds of millions of dollars to a business.”
Speaking of which …
That business out in Walnut Creek, the one selling that “comprehensive collection of self-care procedures and wellness topics,” that one this reporter couldn’t get anyone to respond to any phone calls or emails? Yeah, they’re incorporated as Parlay International.
Their website? Parlay.com.
“Unlimited,” was Miller’s answer when asked how much that domain might fetch on the open market.
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