Approaches to esports gambling discussed at Betting on Esports

The final panel on day one of Betting on Esports 2017 saw a selection of gambling companies discuss how they each approached the esports market. 

esports bookies panel; betting on esports
(From left to right; Suraj Gosai, Rahul Sood, Sanjit Atwal, Kasper Nemeth and Michael Doyle)

The topic of the panel, sponsored by Esports Maniacs, was “Live alone or die together? The esports bookies’ panel”, and featured the likes of Suraj Gosai of Blinkpool, Kasper Nemeth from Danske Spil, Michael Doyle of PVP.me and Rahul Sood from Unikrn. The discussion was overseen by Sanjit Atwal from Squawka and Dark Site.

“We see esports has a much younger median age compared to the average MLB consumer, which is 51, and the average PGA consumer, 64”

The panel started proceedings looking at the differences esports has to traditional sports betting. “Working with Tabcorp they bring in the traditional sport experience to us” started Sood, “We see esports has a much younger median age compared to the average MLB consumer, which is 51, and the average PGA consumer, 64. Every day one MLB or PGA punter dies and two esports ones are born”. With the panel agreeing on the age differences, attention was drawn to how to engage this younger audience.

“You need to build with the community, show them you’re here to grow with them”

With the panel moving between community and growing ‘the right way’, Doyle summed the discussion up best: “A lot of companies come in wanting to make a quick buck. The esports audience can see that a mile off and will avoid it. You need to build with the community, show them you’re here to grow with them. Unikrn and Betway have done this well through their content. The consumers always want more”.

Following on from the ‘quick buck’ conversations, Nemeth chimed in with his own experience: “We’re not making a lot of money yet. This is a long term venture, operating in a very difficult market. We need to be in esports for the future, this is the fastest growing section in the company as the turnover doubles, triples every year”.

Gosai then led with Blinkpool’s approach and its difficulties: “We’ve been working with the UK Gambling Commission closely in order to get our license, as it’s a different format to most other bookmakers. We have to explain in detail to them because we’re first to the market.” He later explained how their model was different: “After listening to those coming from a traditional background and losing money, we felt it was better to develop a way for people to bet against each other, rather than the house.”

“We’re not making a lot of money yet. This is a long term venture, operating in a very difficult market”

Inevitably, with Rahul Sood on the panel, cryptocurrency was going to come up. He kicked off talking about the origins of their Unikoin token: “Because of regulations, we designed the Unikoin to grow our community and to test new features. But the user base kept growing around the token, and they wanted us to add value to it so we developed Unikoin Gold to expand our market.”

With the panel all but wrapped up, Atwal asked the panellists for their predictions on the esports betting market’s growth over the next five years. With predictions ranging from double to 10x larger, and Sood stating “crazy shit is oncoming”, the panelists weren’t too sure on a direction apart from onwards and upwards.

The final panels on Betting on Esports featured topics on esports’ integrity, the use of data and the potential opportunity in Las Vegas. We’ll have those covered on Esports Insider in the coming days.