Jackpot Rising is slowly emerging from years of development, and if things go according to plan (oh, and they are), they’ll be the first to leverage a massive opportunity in the gaming industry.
William Webb watched the whirlwind of legal activity in the mid 2000’s as the online gaming industry was the focus of heavy handed regulation. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) “prohibits gambling businesses from knowingly accepting payments in connection with the participation of another person in a bet or wager that involves the use of the Internet and that is unlawful under any federal or state law.”
Entering an industry with this as your primary guideline seems like a death wish to most. But Webb wasn’t deterred. In fact, Jackpot Rising has since accumulated two patents in the space, and has a third “allowed.” Not only was he undeterred, his team has figured out how to bring structure to the chaos. He says they’re “heavy on the red tape/legislation side of the business” and that international patents are next on the horizon.
There are two types of games in their space: games of skill (a game that has an element of chance, but skill plays a greater role in determining the outcome), and games of chance (a game whose outcome is strongly influenced by some randomizing device). Navigating that division is fundamental to the success of the company. The technology stack JackpotRising has developed can work with either.
So what do they do exactly? Jackpot Rising allows you to play mobile games for the ultimate incentive – Real Money. No points, coins, or other cute currency. It’s money, and it’s legal.
Getting to this point has been a journey, having dealt directly with Apple legal and government regulators, to come up with a legal and protectable business. That comfort helped guide Jackpot Rising to a recent $3 million raise (led by an undisclosed local investment firm).
Where is home? Deep Ellum for the company, and a duplex in University Park for Webb. He’s the father of two, which had its own role to play in the development of the company.
According to Webb, they spent significant time and energy looking into the uber-competitive Design District market, ultimately landing on Deep Ellum instead. Its walkability, and the clear growth patterns in the neighborhood tipped the deal. There are great co-working spaces, walkable eats, and plenty of patio space to soak in the hot Texas summers.
As 2017 approaches, Jackpot Rising is looking to plant roots firmly in the DFW startup community. The new space will be available for events in the gaming industry, and they hope to attract game developers to the space. With companies like Groove Jones and ReelFX just down the street, it makes sense.
A lot has changed for the Tech Wildcatters class of 2015 alum. They’ve moved from prototype to product. They’ve gone deep with regulators, raised a good chunk of change, and have built Webb’s dream. They’ve launched internally with partners and have seen the software inspected with the fine toothed comb. The next major milestone is opening to the public, and that will happen early next year.
[Updated at 2:41 PM to include further detail on the product]