IN-DEPTH 13 October 2016
The importance of innovation
Sports-betting operators and providers need to do more to transform the industry, says Nicholas J. Frangos, President & Co-Founder of ArenaCube
By Gambling Insider
ArenaCube describes itself as being "truly innovative in the betting industry". What does it mean to be "innovative" and how does ArenaCube achieve this?
The word innovation can have many meanings. In all respects, they point to a kind of transformation, but they vary in the intensity of this change.
For me, any type is valuable, if it is relevant, and promotes positive change, be it a simple reorganisation, restyling, or a restructuring such as the innovations that followed the advent of the internet. These were most certainly innovations, and changed the landscape of the betting industry.
But for ArenaCube, innovation means metamorphosis. It means transformation in a highly creative, revolutionary, and yet simple way. It was always vital to keep the roots of betting uncorrupted, and to keep it simple, whilst bringing new and exciting ideas to the industry, and ArenaCube has done just this.
Explain what makes Arena Challenge unique in the betting industry.
Without going into the specifics of Arena Challenge, first of all we have turned the art and act of betting into a social game, merging the two mega-trends of online betting and social gaming.
In doing this we introduce a competitive and social element that is extremely alluring. From the perspective of the player, we also introduce new elements that transform his or her opportunities. Not only can a player win in scenarios where they would ordinarily have lost, but they can also win unprecedented amounts.
From a platform operator’s perspective, we eliminate the need for risk managers, odds makers and traders, as well as risk itself, whilst enhancing the rake.
You describe your product Arena Challenge as "the lightning bolt the gaming world has been waiting for". In your opinion does the gaming world need a radical overhaul? And is so, in which direction?
I would not say that the industry needs a radical overhaul. I certainly do not agree in innovation just for the sake of it, nor that one could argue that the industry needs to be overhauled, when it is attracting so much interest globally.
However, I do think that the industry needs to overhaul its image and the stigma that it currently attracts. There is a misperception that betting can be addictive or attract people of dubious character. Having worked in multiple industries, from the stock market to clean energy to shipping to fashion, technology, film and the food industry, my conclusion is that there is no greater addiction in betting that anywhere else, and that addiction and people of a dubious nature simply follow the money.
Our hope is that ArenaCube will help bring new people into the industry, seeing it as more of a social game, just as existing Arena Challenge players are.
What are the key indicators that any innovation is being made in a direction that will be well received by the market?
Well, I don’t think it is any more complicated than seeing the traction, the speed of growth and take-up of the idea, and the feedback you are getting.
Have you come across any innovative products in the past twelve months that have particularly impressed you?
I honestly wish that I could answer yes to that question. I have come across many people in the industry who have impressed me deeply, both for their integrity and work ethic, as well as their philosophy, but as yet I have not seen an innovation in the realm of fresh new transformative ideas. I have seen many things to do with speed, efficiency, logical creations that make the art of betting easier and perhaps more sophisticated, but nothing that I would say that is new and exciting.
In your opinion, what will be the biggest difference in the sports-betting market in three years’ time compared to today’s landscape?
Here I can only hope. I would like to think that the land-based sports betting market would undergo a transformation, bringing it into a more social space, where people can gather and interact. ArenaCube has a pipeline of innovations for the next three years at least, so apart from Arena Challenge, I believe that the sports-betting market will join us in transforming the industry into a new, more socially focused place, with competitions, tournaments, and gameplay in general; something that has enticed men and women since the beginning of time.
What is in the future for ArenaCube? Is the company expecting to make any major announcements on the horizon that you'd like to preview now? Do you have any major products in development?
We hope to always be a centre for innovation, attracting anybody with a vision or an idea that we could help make become a reality for them. And yes, we do have some major products in development, with a major announcement in the coming months.
Nicholas J. Frangos is the president and co-founder of ArenaCube, a sportsbook and sports-betting provider aiming to revolutionise the gaming industry