hy did you decide to develop Fracpot? What was the eureka moment?
The eureka moment was really a decade in development, as being a punter of multi-leg jackpot bets I would often look to ‘hedge’ my position before the last race. In other words if I was nearing a big payout I would look to take some money off the table in case my final selection let me down. This made me believe that public would love to be able to cash-out some of a winning position (partial cash-out) and together with offering lottery-sized pools on sports, this sewed the seed for Colossus Bets.
In a sports betting context whilst Colossus remained the only operator globally to offer partial cash-out for almost 2 years from our launch in 2013, in the early part of 2015 over the space of a couple of months, each of Bet365, Betfair and Paddy Power launched their own partial cash-out features, cementing what we had pioneered, as a ‘must have’ sports betting feature.
Whilst creating and patenting Colossus sports pools it has become obvious to us that the partial cash-out technology we were seeking to patent, was of application to other gambling verticals including slots, keno and even lottery. The patents which were subsequently granted to us, first in the US and subsequently in other territories therefore cover partial cash-out across all gambling verticals. Given their huge popularity and the nature in which a game is resolved reel by reel, a cash-out slot seemed the obvious starting point and thus we commissioned CORE Gaming to build the Colossus Fracpot game.
"Whilst Fracpot continues to perform strongly the real highlight however is player engagement in the partial-cash-out feature"
You launched Fracpot on SkyVegas in Sept 2015. Can you share any key insights on how players are engaging with Fracpot?
It was Sky’s leading slot in September (launch month) and biggest grossing slot for Q4, so from a pure performance point of view it could not have launched more strongly. Besides the exceptional financials of the game, it had 100,000 unique players with Sky in its first month post go-live.
Whilst the game continues to perform strongly the real highlight however is player engagement in the partial-cash-out feature. Even for the lower level cash-out offers, for two ‘keys’ around 85% of all cash-out offers made are accepted at least ‘partially’ and most cash-outs made are for 50%+ of the offer amount. Additionally close to 97% of players receiving offers for 3 silver or 3 gold keys, representing an offer amount which is upwards of 50 times their entry cost, engaged the feature with 90% cashing-out 50% or more of their offer amount. Even we, who believe partial cash-out will invade all forms of betting and gaming, were stunned by these levels of player engagement.
How are millennials engaging with Fracpot -since generation Y has been a hot topic in this industry for quite some time?
Unfortunately we don’t yet have data in relation to the demographics of the player base, though we are working on it. What we do know is that on our colossusbets.com B2C sports pools site, millennials are extremely engaged by partial cash-out. Logically this makes sense given the feature is suited particularly well to mobile, with players banking profits on the go as matches in a pool are resolved.
"Now that Colossus Fracpot is out of Sky’s exclusive it is beginning to be rolled out globally, with confirmed distribution across Europe, in Canada and New Jersey"
Do you have plans to roll-out further versions of Fracpot slots?
A second partial cash-out slot, ‘Fracpot Warrior’, has been built by Colossus and CORE Gaming having been commissioned exclusively by William Hill and will go-live with William Hill Vegas in April/May 2016 before being rolled out to other operators in the summer. This is another example of an operator with first hand knowledge of the sportsbook impact of partial cash-out, seizing the opportunity to add the feature to a slot.
In addition to focusing on widespread distribution for Colossus Fracpot (and Fracpot Warrior), Colossus is currently commissioning a series of other cash-out ‘fracpot’ slots. Slot games, whether offering small prizes or life-changing jackpots, do not need to remain an ‘all or nothing’ experience for the player, with no decision and limited engagement. We are convinced that partial cash-out will soon invade the slots vertical and subsequently be extended to other gaming verticals.
Are you looking to expand distribution to North America and other international markets? Are you looking to expand distribution to Latin America?
Our lotto-sized sports betting pools, are already distributed in Australia, Asia, Eastern and Western Europe, Africa and our first Latin American partner will be live for Euro 2016.
Now that Colossus Fracpot is out of Sky’s exclusive it is beginning to be rolled out globally, with confirmed distribution across Europe, in Canada and New Jersey. With partial cash-out in sports betting going global, we believe the same will happen to online and land-based gaming verticals.
What further innovation can cash-out bring to the slots industry?
The flexibility provided by the feature also enables several unique features:
First, the base game can be offered at 100% return-to-player, with the profit for the operator generated purely from the margin charged on cash-outs. In other words, operator profit can be fully funded by ‘winners’ who cash-out during a positive sequence.
Second, based on the data we have now seen from Sky Vegas players, we are extremely confident that the game (and partial cash-out games more generally) provides the flexibility to offer enhanced headline prizes. The feature can allow all paylines to be collapsed into a single jackpot (which is 4-5-6 fold the size of traditional jackpots), with the player deciding whether he wants to exit the game for a lower prize via partial-cash-out. Thus the player will decide if he/she is a division 2 or 3 or 4 player, rather than the traditional single RNG.
Third, such is the propensity of players to take some or all of their profits off the table when in a winning position, that they are in effect providing a form of risk management for the operator. It is extremely unlikely that a player will resist a number of significant cash-out offers along the journey to the headline jackpot. A greater number of players are banking smaller profits, rather than be exposed to finishing a game with a zero return having held a winning position. To reiterate, the player will determine what prize level he plays for, not the RNG as is currently the case.