Is This The Sportsbook Of The Future?
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When baseball managers are looking to change things up, they go to the bullpen. Paul Martino believes that his Bullpen Capital will change sports betting for the better.
Martino is the Doylestown, Pa.-based founder of Bullpen Capital. He knows a thing or two about the best sports betting sites in the USA and is no stranger to recognizing a sports betting success story in its infancy.
“That company we invested in when it was worth $8 million is now worth $25 billion,” Martino told CBSN Philadelphia.
That company Martino is referencing would be FanDuel. He was their first U.S.-based investor. Originally launched as a daily fantasy sports site, since the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that opened up legalization of sports betting to all 50 of the United States, FanDuel has become a major player in the U.S. sports betting industry.
“This was the easiest investment I will ever make in my life,” Martino told PlayPennsylvania.com. “I looked at his (FanDuel founder Nigel Eccles’) numbers, and his business was on fire. I haven’t had a deal that easy since then. It was the easiest deal I ever had to say yes to.”
Since launching in Pennsylvania, FanDuel has handled over $1.1 billion in bets and generated in excess of $50 million in revenue.
This time around, Martino is betting on a sports betting idea that is being backed by his own company’s capital and which he believes will be a game changer in the industry. It’s a sportsbook he envisions for Philadelphia’s Center City that will be known simply as Bankroll.
“How could we build a really tech-infused, high-end sports bar on steroids that you would want to take Instagram pictures of?” Martino asked rhetorically. “That’s the concept of Bankroll.”
Combining Old School With New Age
Today, sports betting is moving in a completely different direction from the old days of sitting around in a retail brick and mortar site and making wagers at betting windows. Online sports betting became a reality in the mid-1990s and hasn’t stopped growing. Mobile apps supplied by sports betting sites enable bettors to take the sportsbook with them wherever they go and place wagers whenever they desire.
Why then, would people theoretically want to take a step backwards in time and return to the atmosphere and environment of a physical sports betting house? Martino believes he’s devised a formula that combines the best of both worlds and will put the social aspect back into sports betting.
“Ultimately, Bankroll is not going to be taking money on site,” Martino explained. “You are going to be betting on your phone or with kiosks or with iPads.”
Martino insists that Bankroll will be the epitome of what’s next for sports betting innovation, calling it the sports betting parlor of the future.
Philadelphia-based sports media executive Marc Rayfield, one of Martino’s partners, describes it on his LinkedIn profile as “Apple meets the sportsbook.” Based on the specifications of the design, Bankroll will also be the largest bar/restaurant in the city.
Other partners include gaming entrepreneur Rich Belsky and Manu Gambhir, formerly the Chief Digital Officer at OTG Management. That’s the company which created the technology for the kiosks and tablets at airports around North America enabling people to order food digitally and have it delivered directly to their table.
Similar technology will be designed to engage patrons at Bankroll. All transactions will be done via the company’s app. Players will be able to access the latest odds and place wagers through partner sportsbooks, order food and beverages, access audio of games being shown on the big screens inside the sportsbook and even change the channel if they want to watch a different game.
They will utilize machine learning to gain an individual profile of each customer and enable them to service their needs more accurately.
Investors are of the belief that revenue generated via sponsorships and affiliate fees will be able to sustain the operation. The group is seeking to garner $8 million in funding for the ambitious plan. An online sportsbook partnership must also be obtained.
Martino optimistically believes that Bankroll will be operational in time for the 2021 NFL season. “Our hope is that we are up and running for the Super Bowl 2022,” Martino said.