CREATING THE SPACE: HOW DYNAMIC ENVIRONMENTS HELP SPORTS BETTING THRIVE

February 12, 2020

With the authorization of sports betting in 17 states expected to grow, it’s time to start talking about the infrastructure required to support this complex, and increasingly popular, element of the fan experience. Leagues, teams, sportsbooks and venues are turning to strategies that combine the digital and the physical to prepare for a new era of gaming — and built space to support these transactions is key in capturing both the fan’s attention and revenue.

This approach is actually more simple than it sounds. As it currently stands, in-person betting often takes place outside the stadium in kiosks, pop-ups and casinos, but in order to bring fans into our space and encourage them to participate in sports betting, we need to create an environment that makes them want to stay


Giving the sportsbook a new look.

When we look at fan engagement in arena spaces, the first area of focus is the actual environment. Is what we’ve created a space that ticket-holders actually want to be in? Does our physical structure attract new participants? Is this space acting as a continuation of the branded experience?

Many sportsbooks have been long neglected and only represent the transaction that occurs: the experience stops at a kiosk and tables.

But rather than looking at gaming as only a transaction, we need frame it as a communal experience; an opportunity for fans to place their bet, share it with others and engage in the game. But in order to facilitate a space where this happens, thinking beyond the basics is key.

Our conversations should shift to monitors, WiFi, connectivity, exclusive bars and lounges, comfortable seating and sponsored activations. The energy that’s felt in a pre-game tailgate or fan-filled suite can be captured when we create spaces for those fans to be themselves – to love their game and make a bet on it. And when we engage the fan, we support the sportsbook. And a better sportsbook means greater revenue opportunity for venues and operations.


The impact of technology in a betting space.

In an era of instant information, apps and smart devices, the sports betting world will inevitably shift to a primarily mobile market. In New Jersey alone, “mobile sports betting has grown to represent over 80 percent the total betting handle that has reached as much as $500 million in a single month (1).”

Many argue that because of this development, it’s harder to keep individuals (specifically millennials) in betting spaces. They now have the ease of doing it from wherever they choose to sit: in a venue seat, at the bar or on their couch at home. How do we then compete against mobile devices? The answer is, you don’t. You welcome it.

While it’s true that smartphones can disrupt the traditional betting process, it also enhances the future of the industry. These devices can help educate audiences (like Gen Z and Millennials) who may be interested in betting, but unsure how to start. 

If we can identify ways to capture users’ attention with a mobile device, and then drive them to our space, we create an opportunity for unique experiences in our arena. And it doesn’t all have to change. However, it’s still important to keep traditional elements of the betting experience, like a teller. “A lot of people (in Las Vegas) don’t hesitate to go to the teller,” said Jay Kornegay, the President & General Manager at Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino’s SuperBook (2).  “They want to be educated and make sure they get the right thing. They’re not familiar with the betting process and they want to learn how it works.”

Ultimately, we can combine these traditional elements with a digital edge and an improved environment to create opportunities that attract new fans and revenue.


Finding the right partner.

Now that we’ve started the conversation on sports betting spaces, it’s time to talk about how to start the project. Dimensional Innovations comes to the table with a track record of success in building engaging environments that enhance fan experiences and generate revenue — and we’re now applying that expertise to the betting world.

Building an experience is full of complexities—from determining strategic direction to implementing cohesive design, designer user pathways and (finally) fabricating and installing your big idea. And all of that can amount to a massive headache if you’re having to work with multiple firms, consultants, contractors, engineers and designers to pull off the project, all while keeping each individual party focused on the right objectives. This is why we’ve built our process and team in a way that allows us to successfully execute the branding, design, tech integration, fabrication and installation on all projects from start to finish. 

Curious about how it works? Wondering if it’s magic?

We can tell you that it’s not, but it has taken years of trial and error to develop. And we’re never done adapting and changing that process to account for new advances in technology or experience strategy. To dive in a little deeper, speak with one of our consultants or learn more about our capabilities, please reach out to Natalie Sharp via email at nsharp@dimin.com.