Unikrn Adds Chris Grove to Board of Advisors
We’ve been quiet for a while as we continue to build Unikrn Sportsbook, Raffles, and News. We’re also working on opening an office in Sydney - things are really crazy. In the midst of this there have been a number of discussions about bringing the Unikrn experience to land based Casinos. So we have been pondering this:
What does the casino of the future look like?
Everyone knows that Las Vegas is the Mecca of entertainment. We know that the number of visitors to sin city continues to grow, in fact last year there were more visitors to Las Vegas than ever before. This year there will be even more than last year, yet the gambling industry is not really growing!
Let’s take slot machines, typically one of the most profitable businesses for any casino. No matter how hard the slot companies try, slot machines are simply not fun for young people. I visit Vegas on a regular basis and I often spend time in the casinos to see how traffic is moving. Next time you go, check out the slots, you’ll see newly themed machines covered with images of Britney Spears, Pitbull, and other celebrities. Obviously this is an attempt to stop younger people in their tracks as they cut through the casino to get to the nightclub.
I asked some younger people to sit down and try the slots so I could ask questions and observe. The results were hilarious, let’s just say it was very clear that young people don’t find those machines intuitive at all. In fact, if you look around you’ll see a mix of 50-150 year olds playing the slots, not even Britney can change this.
Some might even say such implementations are a last ditch attempt for Casino operators to save an important part of their business. If you put a group of entrepreneurs in a room and ask them how to “save” that business I’m sure the execs would be in for a shock. The answers are likely right in front of them, they just don’t know it yet.
So what is Unikrn doing about it?
There is a ton of activity happening, in the span of a few months we’ve been approached by every major casino operator in the world. Karl and I finally decided to bite the bullet to build a program for casinos that will integrate esports in an authentic, entertaining, and differentiated way. There’s simply no company like Unikrn in this space, and whatever we do, we want it to be special.
So we decided to bring on someone special to help us in this effort. Industry players will know Chris Grove. He has had a front-row seat to the online gambling industry for over a decade. Chris and I have met on a number of occasions and we continue to cross paths at various casino gaming events. Chris is also the writer behind the Eilers Report. There are few people as knowledgeable or passionate as Chris is about this space, and I’ve always known that I wanted to bring him on board with Unikrn in some capacity.
Welcome Chris Grove to Unikrn’s Board of Advisors
I’d like to welcome Chris to our board of advisors as our Casino Integration Expert. I’ve included a few words from Chris below:
“I’ve never seen a vertical grow as quickly - and as organically - as esports gambling.
But it's obvious to me that traditional betting operators are having a difficult time digesting gaming culture and connecting with that demand. At the same time, almost all of the betting sites that have grown naturally out of the esports community are rough drafts of a product at best. More worryingly, these sites lack transparency, accountability, and basic protections to prevent fraud or underage play.
The ideal operator for the esports gambling vertical, then, is one that blends the best of the traditional wagering world with a deep, native appreciation of video gaming culture.
This operator will be able to offer feature-rich, esports betting products with meaningful consumer protections that also reflect the unique preferences of gamers. This operator can tap into the substantial overlap between gaming and gambling while also ensuring that minors and others who shouldn't be gambling on esports aren't. This operator will be capable of translating gambling to gaming, and gaming to gambling, a skill currently in short supply.
I believe Unikrn is on the path to becoming that kind of operator. And that's why I've accepted an offer to join the company's Advisory Board in a role focused on Casino Integration."
About Chris Grove
Chris Grove is a Partner at Narus Advisors and Senior Consultant at Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, Grove also oversees trade publications focused on the regulated online poker, esports, and daily fantasy sports industries. Grove has been cited as an expert voice on various online gaming subjects by lawmakers, regulators, and in media outlets such as: Bloomberg, CNBC, ESPN, Frontline, MSNBC, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post.
Unikrn is a world-leading gaming, esports and entertainment company co-founded by Rahul Sood, who, up until recently, was the General Manager of Microsoft Ventures. Sood resigned from Microsoft to create Unikrn. A serial entrepreneur, Sood spent 18 years in multiple startups. He founded gaming computer creator VoodooPC, which was acquired by Hewlett-Packard in 2006. Unikrn has built partnerships with Hewlett-Packard, Logitech, Razer, Tabcorp, and is continuing to forge strategic relationships in the gaming, esports and entertainment space. Since November of 2014 Unikrn has raised $10,000,000 from an international group of investors.