• 18th September 2018

    Matchbook launches first Cash Out slot in partnership with Cash Out pioneer, Colossus Bets

    Matchbook announces the arrival of their new Cash Out slot, Fortunes of Arabia. Built in partnership with Colossus Bets, the pioneer of Cash Out, Fortunes of Arabia enables players to decide if they want to ‘Gamble’ or ‘Cash Out’ as they progress towards the big jackpot.

    Unlike traditional slots, Fortunes of Arabia includes Colossus’ patented Cash Out technology, which allows players to bank profits in fractions after each reel resolves, instead of facing the ‘all or nothing’ scenario that most slots present. It is the second Cash Out slot to be co-created by Colossus following on from the success of the Colossus Fracpot, which achieved phenomenal engagement figures with 91% of players who were offered a cash-out accepting the offer in part or full.

    Danielle Wiseman, Brand Manager of Matchbook said: “Matchbook is committed to delivering the latest innovation in gaming to its customers, and we’re very pleased to offer the latest innovation from Colossus - their new Cash Out slot, Fortunes of Arabia.”

    Charlotte Farr, Head of Business Development of Colossus Bets said: We are excited to extend our relationship with Matchbook with the addition of Cash Out content to their casino offering. Our technology has long been established as an engaging mechanism in sports betting, but we welcome the opportunity to showcase its relevance and power in new product verticals.”

  • 13th July 2018

    Making the most of a colossal opportunity

    In the first in a series of articles on some of the less obvious companies looking to benefit from the US Supreme Court repeal of PASPA, we talk to Colossus Bets chief operating officer David O’Reilly about the beauty of pools betting.

    Colossus Bets has just closed its first US deal. Today, the pools betting specialist will announce a deal with emerging gaming company Pivit to develop and distribute NFL Fantasy pools.

    It is not the show-stopping “look at me” deal that the likes of SBTech or Paddy Power Betfair announced in the immediate aftermath of the PASPA ruling. Initially, Pivit will offer fantasy-style choice of MVP (most valuable player) in a number of games. Colossus will add the big jackpots and cash-out technology, which it has patented in the US.

    In time, O’Reilly envisages a US sports betting product with points margins pools over a number of legs. “We have people coming to us and asking us to build that type of product with our cash-out patent,” says O’Reilly.

    Start-ups rarely patent their technology. In most jurisdictions (Europe, for example), you cannot patent software. However, the founding shareholders thought they had something special and took a long-term view and invested a considerable amount of money with the US Patent and Trademark Office around cash-out technology.

    “The whole concept of the Colossus multi-leg bet was that the games would be staggered, always giving people the opportunity to take cash off the table at any time,” explains O’Reilly.

    Colossus chief executive and founder Bernard Marantelli pioneered the concept of cash-out well before it became the must-have accessory of every tier one betting operator in the market.

    Marantelli came up with the idea when betting on Super Six horse races. If he had won five-in-a-row he would often find himself hedging his bet with Betfair. He realised that most people do not have a big Betfair balance and are left with an all or nothing situation, where they could end up with nothing despite having done so well with the first five races.

    “He realised fairly early on that you need to give people the opportunity to take control and allow them to take some or all of their money off the table,” says O’Reilly. “Now we know that cash-out has been a huge success in Europe and cash-out will be part of the product in the US. People like it. It’s easy, it’s simple, it works.”

    “The concept is to make a EuroMillions for sport,” says O’Reilly.

    This writer first encountered the company when Mantarelli was presenting his company to potential investors at a Dragon’s Den-style panel at the EIG conference in Barcelona in 2012. If progress has been relatively slow in the intervening years, Mantarelli and O’Reilly can draw comfort that it is the only one of its EIG peers to have made any progress whatsoever.

    “Our expertise is around small stakes, maybe six legs, with a big prize and cash-out after each leg,” explains O’Reilly. “There is nothing obviously clever or different that we can bring to win and place. We have very strong risk modelling, mathematical expertise to understand that you can offer a guaranteed million dollars or two or three or four on this structure of bet. Cash-out is an essential component and works perfectly on a leg-by-leg basis.”

    It is an area that nobody has exploited to date.

    “There are so many sportsbook suppliers and they are all basically supplying the same thing,” contends O’Reilly. “There is not much innovation you can do around win and place pools. It is not on our to-do list. You are seriously stepping on too many toes if you do win and place pools. That is a very well established industry. Generally, we are going to totes and saying we can bring something different. We can modernise and innovate. We can handle the risk and we can grow your multi-leg pool handle.”

    Colossus Bets went live with a B2C product in late-2013, before embarking on the long slow construction of the B2B network, which is the company’s main focus. The B2C site continues to operate but more as a proof-of-concept showcase than as a serious profit-making operation.

    In the early days, explains O’Reilly, the company would sign up anyone who wanted to be a partner. Slowly, it has become more selective and has gradually improved the quality of its partners.

    The team expects a little bit more of partners in terms of a minimum commitment to generating business and the payment of integration costs. In the early days it would have built a micro-site and installed it for free. It will still do that for larger partners but to ensure some level of commitment from smaller operators, it will often ask them to pay the integration costs.

    The breakthrough deal came in mid-2014 with O’Reilly’s former employer Betfair, which remains Colossus Bets’ most notable deal to date. Since then it has signed up Betclic in France, Betway Africa and Finnish operator Paf. In total, it has distributed more than £100m in prizes and has gone live with over fifty partners. Most recently, it launched Jackpot Betswith Mr Green.

    O’Reilly has high hopes for the Nordic market. Firstly, the population is relatively affluent and importantly there is a tradition of pool betting, which means that customers understand the product more readily.

    Beyond Europe, Colossus has product live with Nigeria’s NairaBet and Merrybet, as well as Betway’s South Africa operation, which is Colossus Bets’ largest African partner. In Asia Colossus pools are available on the likes of 12bet, Dafabet and Fun88, through the ONEworks platform. If this far-flung network suggests a laissez-faire attitude to regulation, trained lawyer O’Reilly would beg to differ.

    “We have kept the business clean. We want to provide a global product with clear boundaries,” says O’Reilly.

    That means no bets taken from the US, Israel, Hong Kong, Turkey or any other jurisdiction universally considered to be a no-go zone. The UK is the biggest market and then Scandinavia. There is one co-mingled, centralised pool for the entire world, which allows operators to advertise big jackpots. This is the Colossus USP, although there are a few localised frustrations in countries such as Spain and Italy, which have ring-fenced pools.

    “If you look at the direction of travel from a regulatory perspective, we’re in a very good position,” says O’Reilly.

    He looks at jurisdictions like the UK, which has just hammered bookmakers by announcing a reduction in stakes on fixed odds betting terminals and now might increase tax on gaming products online. Most concerns about problem gambling surround casino gaming products. Most anti-money laundering breaches have concerned slots players stealing money to fund compulsive gambling.

    “They all rely on heavy bonusing, which is being clamped down on,” says O’Reilly. “Sweden is talking about banning bonuses altogether.”

    “There are so many challenges around the traditional model. If you could pick a product that is less likely to come a cropper from a regulatory perspective it probably looks like Colossus Bets. It is spend small, win big, simple, clean and not reliant on a farm of affiliates.”

    Colossus did have an affiliate programme but turned it off to limit its exposure to actors beyond its control. A year ago, it launched its syndicates feature, which attempts to bring a viral social media angle to pools betting. Players crowdfund tickets into Colossus pools, You can create a ticket yourself and invite others to join your syndicate or join a syndicate that has already been formed.

    “It effectively makes marketeers out of your customers.”

    O’Reilly argues that it is a cleaner way of marketing than the affiliate model, in which affiliates are taking a cut of your losses. By contrast, syndicate captains are only interested in winning.

    American promise

    The US represents a huge opportunity for Colossus Bets. The organisation has a good relationship with Betfair, which has been an early mover post-PASPA, with its acquisition of FanDuel and a deal to provide online, mobile and retail sports betting at racetracks in New Jersey and New York.

    In addition to the Betfair Pools product, Colossus has worked with US subsidiary TVG on risk management. Outside Nevada and Delaware, and apart from the lottery, parimutuel betting on horse racing is the only legal gambling product in most states.

    “The incumbents in horse racing are in a great position and we have some very strong relations with them already. We are trying to do some stuff around cash-out in leg-by-leg in horseracing,” continues O’Reilly. “We have had people approach us out of the blue asking to use our technology and risk management and wanting to look at our patents.”

    Filed patents do not necessarily translate to cash in the bank. Competitors might challenge them in court, which can be a costly and time-consuming exercise. IGT’s patent portfolio has been an essential building block for its business empire but it has also fought court cases that have lasted years.

    However, it provides some leverage. Companies might be more inclined to do a deal than go to war over patents.

    “It opens doors and gives you some strategic opportunities,” says O’Reilly. “It’s early days for us in the US but we are looking at it closely.”

    The other opportunity might lie with lotteries. O’Reilly looks to the Chinese Sports Lottery or the Spanish Quiniela as pools products that US lotteries might like to follow.

    “There is a massive crossover between picking six numbers and picking the results of six games of football,” says O’Reilly.

    Breaking through

    If Colossus Bets has massive crossover potential, it remains potential at the moment. However, the company is close to break even. O’Reilly says the company will not take shortcuts and will not squeeze money out of people to compromise longer term opportunities.

    “We have taken the long term strategy because the shareholders are willing to support the business in the belief that there is a big prize if you can build a successful network-based business.”

    The biggest challenge thus far has been integration. Colossus Bets will build a micro-site like it has for Betfair Pools and the operator just needs to connect to give Colossus access to the player wallet.

    “In a consolidating industry, everyone is working on integration, whether it is Paddy Power and Betfair or GVC and Ladbrokes Coral. Consolidation means the ability to do any innovation or new products is significantly restrained.”

    The biggest single problem to getting the product live with more operators is the technical resource needed to make it happen. There has been no pushback on revenue share, which it sets at 50-50. And while there have been some fears on cannibalisation, O’Reilly says this is limited.

    “It is a liquidity game and there comes a time when there is a tipping point and you’re away and gone.”

    He looks at the success of Whatsapp as an example of a liquidity product that reached its tipping point quickly. The only similar network products in the gambling sphere are Betfair and PokerStars, according to O’Reilly. Betfair reached its tipping point relatively quickly in the days before SkyBet and bet365 and before Ladbrokes and William Hill got their online operations in order. Both Betfair and PokerStars have in effect become “natural monopolies”.

    “Betfair is the Exchange and PokerStars is the place to play poker, ” he says. “You’re trying to replicate something along those lines. To get there you need patience and deep pockets and you need to keep signing up better partners. I don’t really know when we’ll get there but I will know we’re there when we get there. You also need a bit of luck and good timing.”

    The US Supreme Court might have added that soupcon of good luck.

  • 13th July 2018

    iGB Most Influential Women 2018 - Paula Cara Farcas (CTO, Colossus Bets)

    Farcas became chief technology officer at Colossus six months ago, having joined the supplier as a developer in October 2015. Just 24, she has had a stratospheric rise through the ranks since graduating in 2015 with a computer science degree from Babes, -Bolyai University in Romania. Little over a year after joining Colossus, Farcas took the helm at Colossus Racing, and as the leader of partner integration grew Colossus’ network from five to more than 40 partners globally. She also led the development of Colossus’ cash-out product for Canadian racetrack Woodbine. Having worked through several obstacles relating to legacy technology on the operator’s side Farcas launched North America’s first ever cash-out product last year. Her latest challenge is steering her 20-strong tech team through the delivery of Colossus Racing’s new pools product in collaboration with BritBet and a consortium of 55 British racecourses this summer. Farcas says the most rewarding part of her job is seeing new products succeed in a highly competitive market. “I’m also equally proud of the numerous, albeit less visible, instances when we’ve worked around legacy technologies to deliver modernised outcomes for our partners,” she adds. “I now have an increased appreciation of how big a challenge it is to make an impact in this industry, and innovation coupled with adaptability is key.” Over the next few months Farcas will be focused on delivering the pools product, travelling widely to meet new racing partners and cementing relationships with existing clients. She advises other women aspiring to success in igaming to “look beyond the gender imbalance and just take the challenge”. Farcas points to the “conscious drive” by business to bring in more female leaders in the industry, adding “the rewards can be high for those who dare”.

  • 12th July 2018

    Colossus Bets joins forces with Pivit to launch NFL MVP Fantasy jackpots

    Colossus Bets, the award-winning pools betting operator, have announced a partnership with gaming company Pivit to develop and distribute NFL Fantasy pools. The new pools will leverage the popular MVP fantasy sports format and Colossus’ unique features, including lottery-size prize guarantees, Cash Out technology, on which Colossus has patent protection in the US, and crowdfunded Syndicate tickets. The deal will further expand Colossus’ portfolio beyond its original sports core, building on from an earlier announcement that the operator will also offer UK and Irish racing pools starting this summer.

    Colossus Bets’ COO, David O’Reilly said, “We are very pleased to partner with Pivit to develop and take to market our first fantasy jackpots. While liquidity in our football pools has gone from strength to strength, we have been actively working towards the diversification of our product to appeal to new audiences and geographies. This move has a clear US orientation but we are also seeing interest from other parts of our network.”

    Colossus Bets’ COO, David O’Reilly said, “We are very pleased to partner with Pivit to develop and take to market our first fantasy jackpots. While liquidity in our football pools has gone from strength to strength, we have been actively working towards the diversification of our product to appeal to new audiences and geographies. This move has a clear US orientation but we are also seeing interest from other parts of our network.”

    Free-to-play and play-for-fun versions will also be offered as part of the roll-out effort, which will begin in early Q3 with a US focus. Pivit have a significant digital footprint with a potential reach of 3 million customers and have put in place a multi-channel digital marketing plan to support the launch.

    Pivit’s acting Marketing and Business Development Officer, Robert S. Miller, commented, “This is an exciting development, which allows us to add to our suite of existing sweepstakes products, by adding a popular fantasy concept and big sports jackpots, which are highly engaging to a US customer. Having strong distribution from day 1 adds to the excitement and we expect many players to be excited to engage in this product, given the large potential prize pools.”

  • 29th May 2018

    Colossus Bets Appoints Influence Digital

    Influence Digital have been appointed by Colossus Bets, the multi award-winning pools betting operator, to ramp up their B2C social and digital strategy for the platform during the Summer of 2018.

    Influence Digital will use social-first content to educate existing and potential new Colossus customers on crowd-betting and their lotto-sized sports Jackpots, through a tailored content strategy and paid media approach.

    This exciting appointment will see Influence Digital work closely with Colossus Bets to build audiences and brand awareness during the 2018 World Cup, and create momentum for the Premier League and sporting events moving forward.

    “We are very pleased to be working with Colossus Bets and support them in introducing crowd-betting to sports fans, and being part of the social football conversation. The World Cup generates more social media interactions than any other sporting event globally, so it’s perfect timing. We look forward to helping develop their social strategy and educate sporting communities on how to get involved by, watching together, betting together and ultimately winning together.” - Gareth Currie, Co-CEO of Influence Digital.

    Edward Byrne, Head of Growth at Colossus said, “We’re really excited to be collaborating with Influence Digital. Their enthusiasm, impressive concepts and experience makes them the number one digital agency to support the growth of our exciting social-first consumer business.”

  • April 2018

    Gambling Insider World Cup 2018

    1. In your opinion where will we see the biggest growth area in betting at this year’s world cup?

    Previously, World Cups have been all about new customer acquisition but over time the industry has realised that big tournament CPAs tend to outstrip customer LTVs. This is especially true with summer tournaments that are followed by a 6-week ‘content gap’ until the new football season begins and thus the retention opportunity is diminished. I therefore think that this year will be more about servicing existing players than finding new ones. That being said, recruitment via prize competitions such as the Super 6 or Sun Six will continue to be used as a low cost and hence justifiable acquisition channel. Bet365 have introduced Bet Builder in line with other ‘request a bet’ features and I think we will see more features like this which rely on quantitative modelling and fulfil bespoke customer demand. 

    These pools will all be provided with the standard Colossus features: significant minimum guaranteed prize pools; leg-by-leg Cash Out and crowdfunded Syndicate tickets. We have spent a lot of time working on the design and presentation of the pools and we think they will provide a properly modernised experience for players.

    2. How is your company preparing for the world cup?

    This is an exciting time for us. On the one hand, we have a mad scramble to get several new partners live with our pools in time for the World Cup, while making sure that our tote network can funnel in the bets from all partners across 5 continents with zero buffering or down time. On the other hand, this summer we are also launching our racing product as the exclusive pools supplier for a consortium of 54 British racetracks. So we definitely have our hands full.

    3. In your opinion will there be a greater demand for bespoke betting (request a bet) services during this world cup?

    I think there will be growing use of this bet type. Whether it is because it is pushed on the player as a high margin / low risk product or because it is pulled by the players themselves remains to be seen. As such, it is debatable how sustainable the trend is but it certainly seems like a USP on which several operators are focusing – led by SkyBet who were quickly copied…until the ‘next big thing’ emerges.

    4. With a major sporting event like the World Cup there is always the potential for fraudulent betting, does your business plan to deploy additional resources in this area to combat any resultant surge?

    We focus on pools betting, which is by construct a low risk / low frequency product, so we avoid most of the fraud issues that are prevalent in a broader sports betting (or more so, in a casino context) where the rate of win/loss can be frequent and fast. Even so, we work with a number of industry partners to keep crime and fraud out of gambling. Our integrations with these partners and their own in-house controls are scalable and have been designed to meet periods of high demand without the need to deploy additional resources. We also make a consistent effort to keep abreast of industry and product developments and will of course continue to adopt new technologies and maintain best practice.

    5. Will AI play a bigger role in your operations during the tournament? If not why not?

    AI is starting to invade the betting world, especially with some players trying to use AI to model prices and bet ‘professionally’. But AI is probably more valuable for now to a bettor than an operator and as such, it is unlikely to be applied to operators’ risk pricing for some time. It is also likely to be treated sceptically by risk managers in traditional betting firms. On the other hand, AI may be used in the non-pricing parts of the business like enhancing CRM and predicting problem gambling or fraud, which would be useful and beneficial for everyone involved.

    6. What specific events or promotions are you running in the months leading up to the tournament and during it?

    The great thing about a tournament like the World Cup is that it allows us to essentially have the liquidity of a Saturday schedule every day. This, in combination with a much expanded Colossus partner network, means that we can offer over £50m of prizes for this tournament alone. So our focus is slick UX, fail-safe systems and new major partners before the opening match kicks off. In addition, we will be providing risk services to other operators who want large jackpot products and content to leverage for acquisition during the tournament.

    7. Who do you think will win the World Cup this year?

    I don’t really have an opinion. The secret is out that I am not a football fan…but I guess the romantic in me would like to see Argentina and Messi lift the trophy.

  • April 2018

    EGR Racing Feature

    1. What significant products are you launching in 2018? (i.e. your racing product)

    The bets which we have ready to deliver fit into three categories. First, we will offer a daily multi-leg win bet which will be based around picking the winner of every race on the day’s feature card. On a Saturday we may move it to a cross-card bet to take in the terrestrial TV races. Second, on each card every day we will offer a multi-leg place bet requiring players to pick a horse to be placed in the first six races on the card. Third, we’ll offer a number of correct order ‘fecta’ bets, requiring players to pick the first 4 or 5 in order in a select number of races. The Pick 5 correct order bet will regularly provide a £1m+ guarantee and will be offered on a feature Saturday race to begin with, before being extended to midweek Festivals and then potentially offered on a daily basis. These pools will all be provided with the standard Colossus features: significant minimum guaranteed prize pools; leg-by-leg Cash Out and crowdfunded Syndicate tickets. We have spent a lot of time working on the design and presentation of the pools and we think they will provide a properly modernised experience for players.

    These pools will all be provided with the standard Colossus features: significant minimum guaranteed prize pools; leg-by-leg Cash Out and crowdfunded Syndicate tickets. We have spent a lot of time working on the design and presentation of the pools and we think they will provide a properly modernised experience for players.

    2. What are the advantages of partnering with britbet?

    The most obvious advantage is that britbet is owned by a consortium of nearly all of the UK’s racetracks. That means the tracks will have a direct stake in the success of the pools we are offering. The tracks bring with them a large portion of the sport’s marketing and media assets and with attendances at UK racetracks in the region of 5 million annually, this will provide exposure for our pools to a captive and targeted audience.

    Working with britbet also means that each of us has one less competitor from July. We had intended to launch racing pools on the Colossus network in any event but once we started talking to britbet the synergies in joining forces became clear. Our combined package is also a more compelling proposition for prospective B2B partners than would be a standalone offering from either Colossus or britbet.

    Finally, being associated with a consortium which comprises what is effectively the British racing industry is beneficial to Colossus from a reputational point of view as we grow our network of international B2B partners.

    3. How will this (and any other) product bring innovation to the racing industry?

    Pool betting on racing globally is largely afforded monopoly protection. The justification for this is that it provides a key source of funding for the sport, but one consequence is that innovation is generally secondary to maintaining monopoly status. The on-course pools betting experience today is largely the same as it was before the arrival of the internet and all the disruption and innovation that technology has brought to every other form of betting.

    In simple terms pool betting, which is so heavily associated with racing, has fallen behind and in its current guise it will soon become of historical interest only. All of this provides us with an opening to innovate and modernise. I believe life-changing guaranteed prizes with the engagement provided by Cash Out and Syndicates will make racing pools relevant to punters who have become accustomed to high quality fixed odds and exchange betting products.

    I also expect that the racetracks will take the opportunity which comes with a new pool betting operation to upgrade not only the on-course pools betting experience, but also the presentation and communication of the experience.

    4. Where is the racing side of the betting industry going? Do you have any specific examples in how your approach and product offering has changed over the past few years?

    It is clear that horse racing is a key product for any operator seeking to win or retain market share in the UK. Every UK-facing operator invests in a portfolio of sponsorship within the sport as well as absorbing Levy, data and picture costs that do not apply to taking bets on other sports. So racing as a product remains core.

    I think free-to-play racing competitions will become an increasingly popular way for operators to acquire and retain customers. Colossus is increasingly being asked by our operator partners to provide free-to-play access points to our pools and I expect this to be especially popular for racing given that the sport provides such a variety of year round content. Skybet has led the way here with their Super6 football game and have recently taken on sponsorship of the ITV7 racing competition, but to be blunt I think the format of both of these games is tired and will not work for operators seeking to replicate what Skybet has done.

    In terms of how the Colossus product has evolved I think the introduction of Colossus Syndicates last year has been our most important innovation since our launch. Given the expert nature of horseracing analysis I expect this feature to be more compelling on racing than it is (for example) on football. I foresee experts and well-respected pundits establishing a following as Syndicate Captains and our Captains’ Leaderboard will maximise transparency and give players a clear form guide as to which Syndicate Captains are worth following.

  • 5th October 2017

    Official FIA WRC Sports Betting Partner OneBet and Pools Betting Pioneer Colossus Bets Announce Launch of WRC Pools

    OneBet has announced the launch of WRC pools betting in the UK in collaboration with Colossus Bets. Although a newcomer to the sports betting space, OneBet is seeking to establish itself as the world’s premier motor sport betting house, powered by its credentials as the official sports betting partner of the FIA World Rally Championship.

    Morten Østberg, CEO of OneBet and father of WRC driver Mads Østberg, said: “OneBet was started by a group of motor sport fans and professionals with the aim to bring even more excitement in the motor sport experience. Launching in the UK, the world ‘capital’ of motor sport is a big milestone. This will be a great adventure for both us and UK motor sports fans.”

    The WRC product portfolio kicks off with pools on the Spanish round of the WRC, headlined by a pool requiring players to pick the top 7 of the overall rally with a minimum jackpot guarantee of £25,000, which according to Mr. Østberg “should spice things up a bit”. These are complemented by Colossus’ broader sports pools portfolio and life-changing football jackpots, while more products are already in the pipeline (see for the full current offering).

    Colossus Bets’ CEO, Bernard Marantelli, commented, “It has been an exciting challenge to collaborate with OneBet to create the world’s first pools on motor sport. We think the end product will appeal to both WRC fans and sports bettors and look forward to running pools across the WRC series.”

    There is still some work to do before UK fans get to experience OneBet’s complete sports book but the company is targeting a full release in the UK in the first quarter of 2018.

  • 17th August 2017

    British Racecourses and Colossus Bets Announce Partnership to Transform Pool Betting on British Racing

    British racecourses and Colossus Bets have today announced a significant partnership that will enhance the future pool betting offering on British Racing.

    This arrangement between the Project Steering Board, currently representing 54 racecourses and Colossus Bets will ensure that customers have access to an innovative ‘exotic’ bets portfolio, including cash out opportunities, access to the ‘Syndicates’ platform provided by Colossus Bets and six and seven figure minimum guaranteed prize pools.

    The team representing racecourses will now work with Colossus Bets to finalise the range of bets to be offered. The bets will be owned by British racecourses, but will be delivered using Colossus Bets’ technology.

    Nigel Roddis, Managing Director of the British Racecourses pool betting project , said, “This arrangement gives us access to the most advanced and flexible pool betting platform available, so I am delighted that we have been able to partner with Colossus Bets. Innovation is a key aim as we want to offer customers an improved service and ensure pool betting is at the heart of the bets available on racing. We think that the opportunities provided by this initiative will go a long way towards us achieving that goal.

    Roddis added “I am particularly excited by the possibilities provided by the Syndicates feature which will enable the crowdfunding of tickets into racing pools. Syndicates will allow punters to very publicly advertise their opinions and to encourage others to join in their bets. Syndicate tickets could be created by a recognised pundit, racing personality or just a regular punter. It will be exciting and fun and should provide our Racing TV channels with compelling content.”

    “I’m also convinced that pool betting and cash out opportunities are made for each other. Many of us can point to times when we have been 4 or 5 legs in only to have the final leg let us down. We will provide customers with an opportunity to decide whether to take that final leg risk or bank some profits early. It will add to the drama and provide outlets for discussion on social media and more traditional media channels.”

    David O’Reilly, COO of Colossus Bets said, “Pool betting on horseracing is a sleeping giant and we look forward to working with British Racing to bring cutting edge features and technology to racing punters, with life-changing prize pools.”

    More details on the product offering will be provided in due course. The bets will be available on-course, via a remote betting platform to be offered by the racecourse consortium and via third party betting operators including Colossus Bets and its existing network of partner operators.

  • May 2017

    Natural born gamblers: The reputation of gambling and how operators can take control

    Gambling is one of mankind’s most ancient pursuits. Zeus, Poseidon and Hades shared the sky, underworld and seas with the roll of the dice. From our prehistoric caves and great ancient civilisations to modern-day gambling meccas, we never ceased to roll that dice. But equally, for as long as gambling has been around, its reputation has fluctuated. A quick journey through the history of gambling in the New World illustrates the ups and downs. Native Americans attributed to gambling an important social function, often playing to predict harvests or cure tribal members. The new nation that was established in their territories mostly saw it as a scourge. After the Civil War, evangelical reform wiped out most of the lotteries. Massachusetts was the first state to ban gambling and many states followed, until in 1931, Nevada turned the tide. Today, Fantasy Sports are booming as ‘games of skill’ while US lawmakers are failing to reach a federal consensus on ‘real money’ gambling. Versions of this scenario are played out on the global scene and the end result is a world divided into regulated, unregulated and outright illegal territories. In the meantime, industry participants scramble to keep up with ever shifting regulatory lines.

    As a newcomer to the industry a couple of years ago, I became intrigued by the persistent controversy. Why has it not been settled after millennia of gambling activity? Why are various interest groups still seeking to suppress gambling? The answer is of course complex. There are several forces at work, ranging from the commercial that seek to maintain a convenient status quo to the political that seek to capitalise on public opinion and the religious that brand gambling as harmful and immoral. Starting with the latter, it seems to me that given how intertwined gambling is with our history, delivering a harsh judgment on it and applying generalising, damning labels equals a harsh judgment on human nature itself. And ultimately, as an industry, we would rather focus on objective arguments and real issues. Moving then on to the commercial forces, advocating against them equals advocating for competition. This argument hardly requires elaboration but suffice to say that competition delivers significant benefits to consumers and industries, most notably propelling innovation and ensuring fair pricing. As for the political forces, those are destined to be swayed by all others, more effect than cause

    There is one final set of voices that is worth addressing: consumer interest groups. To the extent that the public debate focusses on the protection of consumers and the prevention of issues such as gambling addiction and product misrepresentation, we cannot afford to ignore it or the rogue practices of the few will continue to hurt the reputation of our industry as a whole. Instead, our response should be both assertive and proactive. Assertive because we know that suppressing gambling activity is not the solution for these issues. History has taught us that when a product for which there is strong demand is ‘pushed’ underground, the most ruthless of suppliers step in to fill the market void and the most vulnerable of consumers are hurt the most (think Prohibition-era US). Proactive because we need to lead the way by acknowledging the issues, self-regulating, leveraging technology to detect problem gambling and collaborating with regulators to implement appropriate safety nets.

    Addressing the issues ‘head on’ is an essential step but not enough to establish a modern, mainstream industry with a positive reputation. We also need to recast our products and the operator-player relationship in the context of what fundamentally motivates us to gamble. We have now established that gambling has always been present in our societies. But what makes it so inherent to our nature? Many studies have been written on this topic and a range of reasons has been suggested - entertainment, escapism, endorphin rush to name a few. There can be no single answer that applies to all verticals and segments. Reflecting on the product closest to my heart, sports pools, as well as the global popularity of the broader sports gaming vertical, I have come to regard it as a medium - a medium for participating, socialising and taking a shot at changing your life. As human beings, we want to be more than mere spectators. Sports betting allows us to have a real stake into exciting sports events that would otherwise be less meaningful and more distant. We are also naturally inclined to share experiences with others. The rise of social gaming is testament to how big of a motivation this is. Finally, we always strive to attain a higher living standard. The allure of a chance to ‘win big’ for a disproportionately low stake, which is especially true of verticals like lotteries and sports pools, is easy to understand.

    Embracing the ethos of transparency and engaging players on these terms - as sports fans that seek to participate, socialise and change their lives - means we can not only establish a positive reputation but also redefine ourselves from ‘sports betting operators’ to ‘service providers’. We can create brands and design products that create lasting customer relationships based on these needs. At last, we can be proud to be natural born gamblers.


    Eva Karagianni-Goel, Chief of Staff, Colossus Bets

    Eva started her career in maritime shipping and holds an MBA from Chicago Booth. After 7 years as a commercial strategist in the information services industry, she was introduced to the exciting world of sports gaming. She is now responsible for Colossus’ global B2B partner network and a number of growth initiatives.

  • 14th February 2017

    Colossus Bets launches Syndicates betting product

    Colossus Bets announces the launch of ‘Colossus Syndicates’, a new product enabling players to propose a ticket into Colossus jackpots to be crowdfunded. Colossus Syndicates is now live on the firm’s B2C site with an enhanced version set to be rolled out to the Colossus B2B partner network in the coming weeks.

    Bernard Marantelli, CEO and founder of Colossus Bets said: “Colossus Syndicates will allow big or small players in different territories and different currencies to join forces on a ticket into our jackpot pools. Players can choose to be a Syndicate Captain and make the selections or defer to the expertise of another manager. The product embeds a number of social features in particular in relation to cash-out decisions. This product has attracted huge interest since going ‘soft’ live on our own site earlier this month with spend on doubling in the period. Colossus Syndicates takes pools to the forefront of betting innovation and our partner operators are eagerly awaiting its release across the Colossus network.”

  • 25th June 2016

    Colossus launch Wimbledon ‘Cash Out’ Pools

    Colossus Bets, home of the world’s biggest football and sports jackpots, today announced the launch of tennis pools with cash-out, served up in time for Wimbledon.

    Bernard Marantelli, founder and CEO of Colossus Bets said: “With 20 partners now live we thought it was time to extend our sports pools to tennis and in particular Wimbledon. In our head to head tennis pools, punters will need to decide if Djokovic will progress further than Murray in the tournament, or go with the draw if they think both players will be eliminated at the same stage.

    At the end of each day's play, cash-out offers will be made to punters whose tickets are still live in the pool. With significant guaranteed minimum pool sizes, including a £50,000 Pick 15 and with cash-out offers to contemplate every evening, these tennis pools should be a massive hit with our partners in Asia, Africa, and especially Europe.”

  • 31st May 2016

    Betclic & Expekt go-live with Colossus Bets pools offering €70,000,000 of jackpots for Euro 2016

    Colossus Bets, home of the world’s biggest football and sports jackpots, today announced that its pools products including the flagship Pick 7 €10,000,000 Colossus, have gone live, on both web and mobile, with BETCLIC and its sister EXPEKT brand.

    Bernard Marantelli, CEO and founder of Colossus Bets said: “We are delighted to have added another top tier operator to our growing stable of live partners. The deal is a great fit for us as the Betclic and Expekt brands are extremely strong in parts of Europe where Colossus pools have not previously been available. Moreover through French players will for the first time be able to play for a €10,000,000 prize weekly and to bank profits on live bets through our patented partial cash-out feature.”

    Isabelle Andrès, CEO of Betclic said: “With more than €70,000,000 of guaranteed jackpots across the tournament we are very pleased to be launching with Colossus pools ahead of Euro 2016. Colossus will provide Betclic and Expekt players with life-changing prizes on an almost daily basis for the summer and beyond on football and other sports and we are particularly proud to offer it on an exclusive basis to our French players.”

  • 11th March 2016

    The $10,000,000 Colossus goes LIVE in Asia

    Adding to extensive distribution for their lotto-sized sports pools in Europe, Australia and most recently Africa, Colossus Bets today announced the launch of the first operator to go live offering ‘Colossus Football Lottery’ in Asia through its regional partner ONEWorks.

    Headlined by the weekly $10,000,000 Colossus, a further series of ONEworks’ licensees will go-live in the coming months, following this week’s release of a flagship licensee, with the world’s biggest sports jackpots for their Asian customer bases.

    Bernard Marantelli founder and CEO of Colossus Bets , said: On the back of prominent partners in Europe, Australia and Africa, adding the power base of ONEworks is an important milestone for Colossus Bets. ONEworks’ extensive list of Asian licensees will help drive growth into our pools and our momentum as a company.”

    “Life changing jackpots on top-tier football with leg-by-leg cash-out is quickly becoming an essential component for any operator seeking to provide its players with the full suite of gaming products. ONEworks is Asia’s leading provider of sportsbook software services and the addition of our football jackpots to their platform will help cement ONEworks’ position as a one stop shop.”

    While the ONEworks release in Asia has been in production for many months, this news follows a flurry of B2B activity that has seen Colossus Bets contract with eight new partners in the four weeks since ICE. Separately the firm is focusing on the arrival of three major new operators who are scheduled to be live with its pools in time for the Euro 2016 tournament where Colossus Bets will offer over $70,000,000 of guaranteed pools on that tournament alone.

    With rapidly increasing distribution across the globe, Colossus is edging towards its goal of offering a $40,000,000+ pool and becoming the EuroMillions for sports betting.

  • 20th January 2016

    Colossus Bets launches £1 Million free-to-play 6 leg predictor game

    Colossus Bets today announced the launch of its ‘FreePlay6’ the world’s biggest free-to-play predictor game, with a £1 million weekly jackpot prize. The correct score game follows a similar format to Sky’s popular ‘Super6’ game, but includes the firm’s partial cash-out feature, enabling Colossus players to take cash profits on ‘live’ free tickets throughout the weekend.

    The game, which requires players to pick the score in six of the weekend’s English Premier League fixtures, is available on the firm’s B2C site and is to be rolled out to the firm’s B2B partner sites over the next few weeks.  The B2B product will be built into the Colossus B2B partner consoles, allowing partners to offer free play tickets across Colossus Bets’ multi-sports pools, to different segments of their customers.

    Bernard Marantelli, founder and CEO of Colossus Bets said: “We have built a free-to-play game which puts all other predictor games to the sword in scale and functionality. FreePlay6 offers life-changing prizes and includes all the killer features of our real money pools: leg-by-leg real money cash-out; consolation prizes for 4 or 5 correct from 6; grouped scores to make winning easier; and transparent ticket tracking so players know where they stand as goals are scored and results are confirmed. We have also added a very slick social media option that rewards our clients for sharing – a win-win CRM tool.”

    “This game will also give our B2B partners an unparalleled tool to acquire, reactivate and retain customers. It provides a soft entry level for new customer acquisition, can be used to reactivate lapsed customers and it can be used to reward active customers. We think this product can become the industry’s biggest CRM tool.”