‘A Platform Where Winners Are Welcome’: Novig Eager To Launch Sports Betting Exchange

Written By Phil West on 01/26/2024 - Last Updated on January 29, 2024
Photo of stock exchange tracker with Novig logo on a story about the sports betting company possibly launching in Colorado.

If Novig is able to get approval from Colorado regulators – which could happen within the next few months – the New York-based sports betting startup will be able to offer Colorado sports fans a completely different kind of betting experience.

While the just-launched Novig platform offers some great advantages to bettors in its current online sportsbook format, company founder Jacob Fortinsky is excited about what’s possible should the app relaunch as a true sports betting exchange.

Novig’s exchange system does not charge a fee to casual bettors

With 19 sportsbooks, the Colorado online sports betting industry is thriving. If approved, Novig’s exchange betting system would be the first of its kind in the Centennial State.

Novig’s motto, “Play the market, don’t pay the house,” explains its commission-free sports betting model. According to its website,

“Our exchange model gives bettors the power to set their own odds or take the best price on the market. There’s no room for rigged lines or vigs here.”

Fortinsky said Novig does not collect fees from casual bettors.

“The idea is, down the line, we won’t be trading at all. It’ll be entirely peer to peer … you and a buddy each put up $100, winner gets $200. We don’t take a cut from that. We only charge people who are making tens of thousands of dollars, people who are the professional betters, institutional traders, sort of the hedge funds on the platform rather than the casual betters.”

Even today, in its approved format made available two weeks ago in Colorado, Novig embraces sharps, which Fortinsky believes is a contrast from traditional sports betting apps.

“You’re getting a very familiar sports betting experience [compared] to any of the large operators … except that our prices will consistently be better. So, it doesn’t take a genius to understand why using our app’s better for you. It’s just putting more money back in your in your pocket.

“If you’re profitable as a bettor, you won’t ever get limited or banned, which is something that happens fairly frequently with sharp bettors. And that’s actually where this idea came about, because I had lots of friends who are getting kicked off of sportsbooks just for making money or getting limited to 50 cents a bet or $10 a bet. So that was really sort of the idea that inspired the creation of Novig: Building a platform where winners are welcome.”

Novig is partnering with Full House Resorts in Colorado

Fortinsky said Novig chose Colorado specifically to introduce its exchange system.

“I think Colorado is a state that has always welcomed innovation. Users that we talked to in Colorado were eager to test different apps, see where there’s the most value … I think they tend to be a little sharper, more sophisticated than the average better nationally.”

He notes that while Novig wants to compete with the likes of DraftKings Colorado, Fanduel Colorado and BetMGM Colorado, it believes bettors who are “somewhat price sensitive” will be among the initial customers. This past weekend, Novig hosted four NFL playoff watch parties at Denver sports bars to raise its profile among football fans who might be more casual bettors.

Fortinsky notes that Novig has an opportunity to launch its exchange system in Colorado thanks to a partnership with Full House Resorts and its new Chamonix Casino Hotel.

Fortinsky said there are other states on Novig’s radar, but its focus right now is entirely on Colorado.

Prophet Exchange is currently operating a sports betting exchange in New Jersey. It touts itself as “the first US sports betting exchange.”

Novig considering unique betting system for March Madness

While it’s focused on big-ticket sports like the NFL, NBA and college football, Novig is branching out into soccer and tennis in the coming months. The company is eyeing betting on European soccer leagues and major tennis tournaments across the world.

Fortinsky said Novig also has plans for March Madness, one of the highest-profile sports betting events of the year. The company promises “a very modern fresh approach to just traditional bracket strategies.” It ran an exercise with about 1,000 users, giving them “$10,000 of Monopoly money to trade with over four days.” Payouts went to the top 50 finishers.

Fortinsky thinks the exchange betting system allows for money to be made by both bettors and Novig.

“We’re trying to do that in a way that really prioritizes our customers’ needs and not penalize people for winning.”

Photo by Shutterstock / Illustration by PlayColorado
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Phil West

Phil West is an Austin-based writer and editor who has been published in a wide range of publications throughout his career, including the Los Angeles Times, Seattle Times, MLSSoccer.com, The Striker, and The Daily Dot. He's currently writing about Austin FC (and more generally, about MLS and world soccer) at Verde All Day, an independent Substack-hosted and subscriber-supported site. He's also a Senior Lecturer in The Writing Program at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

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