CarJitsu (Jiu-Jitsu in cars) approved for betting in New Jersey
CarJitsu (Jiu-Jitsu in cars) approved for betting in New Jersey

CarJitsu is exactly what it sounds like: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in a car. In practice, it resembles a less titillating version of the bizarrely erotic David Cronenberg film crash (not to be confused with the Oscar-winning ensemble piece of the same name).

“It almost looked like we were watching a crime,” said the commentator of a fight between Q Davidson and Ray Felton after the latter gave up while being choked by a seatbelt. “This is what murder looks like, friends.”

Felton certainly lived to see it, and the sport – part of the Pro League Network’s eclectic collection of sporting curiosities – is now eligible for betting in New Jersey.

“New Jersey has had the most time to develop its regulatory regime,” said PLN co-founder Mike Salvaris. “It’s a very well-developed process in terms of what they’re looking at and how they’re looking at it. As for other states, we’re certainly going to push it as far as we can. Some are more cautious than others, some may take a little longer to get there. They want to see it in the market for a while.”

Just as they have done with some of their other sports – such as Mini golf And Slap fight — Salvaris and his co-founder Bill Yucatonis are happy to wait until CarJitsu is approved in a few more states before the operators PLN normally works withDraftKings And bet365to name just two) are starting to accept bets on the claustrophobic martial art.

“It is not interesting for any of our current partners until we arouse the interest of a large number of states,” Salvaris said.

Products specifically for betting

In addition to New Jersey, PLN has received approval for betting on some of its sports in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Oregon, Pennsylvania, TennesseeAnd Wyoming.

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Regarding turnover, Salvaris said: “It has lived up to our expectations. It has grown by mid-double digits on every event. For us, it’s just about getting that frequency. We are working on establishing a much more frequent series of events. The feedback from (sports) bookmakers is that the turnover is great, but it is bringing people into the book at times they otherwise wouldn’t be there.”

“We’ve been in the industry for over a decade and it’s more about gaps in general,” Yucatonis added when asked if PLN took inspiration from the success of table tennis betting in Colorado during the pandemic. “Table tennis has played a role, but we’re not just focused on the passive product and volume, but on a very dedicated, intentionally designed product for betting.”

Here, Salvaris said that PLN “was inspired more by horse racing than table tennis, just in terms of the availability of the product and the different times of the day at which it is offered.”

However, Salvaris felt that PLN’s sports brands – which now include Ultimate Tire Wrestling – were “much more accessible to casual fans” because they did not require a horse racing fan to have extensive knowledge of past performances, speed figures and the like.

“I think there’s an interesting macro trend about what it means to be a sport,” Salvaris said. “Ultimately, it’s really about storytelling. Changing media consumption, short attention spans and speed of production are creating new opportunities to tell stories. It doesn’t have to be a six-month season with a definitive end.”

By Seren