How FansUnite is positioned for play in Europe, North America - and esports betting
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated an evolution in gambling that has been underway for the last few years.
While casinos, horse tracks, and betting on sports remain a multi-billion-dollar business, there has been a noticeable shift online and into new fields, like esports. Although in-person gaming has modernized, with a move towards electronic transactions both for convenience and to combat fraud and money laundering, the pandemic ultimately shut down many of these in-person venues.
In 2020, Vancouver-based gaming industry veteran, Scott Burton, was in the process of taking his company, Askott Entertainment, public when the first health restrictions came into effect in March.
Focused on creating the underlying technology platforms supporting a modern gambling experience online and in-person, the pandemic disrupted the company’s plans – temporarily.
Burton soon connected with old friend Darius Eghdami, who had just taken his gaming company, FansUnite Entertainment (CSE: FANS | OTCQB: FUNFF), public. FansUnite is an online gambling company focused on casino gaming and sports in underserved markets and was already attracting international interest from investors and operators
The two men put their heads together, and in June 2020, announced that FansUnite would acquire Askott to create one of Canada’s largest gaming companies. With reach into both the business-to-business sphere with a white-labelled technology platform available for licensing with other brands and their own direct-to-consumer offering allowing players to come onto their sites to place bets on various games/matches, the merger created a fully integrated iGaming company with international presence.
As a combined force, FansUnite has been expanding by gaining licenses to operate in Europe; forays into the U.S., Scotland, and Brazil; launching their own games; and partnering with established companies in the field.
“We’re aiming to be a full gaming platform,” Burton says. “COVID brought us together.”
Burton is CEO of the new entity, while Eghdami is President. Both accountants by training, they share a focus on the underlying business and technology of gaming – and meeting the rules to prevent abuse.
A growing interest in online gaming
With COVID driving more interest in online gaming while in-person options are restricted, FansUnite is launching its own online casino games. They are partnering with existing online gaming brands and are moving into under-served markets, while also tapping into esports and virtual gaming.
They are also rolling out new offerings such as virtual horse races and virtual sports games to fill a void left by the restrictions. Players unable to sit at casino poker tables are moving towards online poker and other card tables with a live dealer, who can be anywhere in the world. The result is a more interactive experience.
FansUnite also recently announced a partnership with The Ear Platform, a company with approximately 6,000 online casino games, and licensing in Europe through Malta. This deal will give the company’s Askott Games division access to more than 120 online gaming sites they are integrated with to seamlessly incorporate their games with a single API.
Many of these trends were already happening before the pandemic, and like many things, will likely stay in place afterward as people have come to like the digital options.
To tack onto FansUnite’s accolades, the company partnered with GameCo to create the first esports sportsbook in the U.S. with the Sky Ute Casino in Colorado. A move like this gains the company significant exposure in the U.S. esports betting market, allowing them to garner that sought after first-mover advantage.
Validating the company’s technology, a partnership into the real money esports sportsbook space in the U.S. represents a major step forward in their roadmap and opens the first of many doors into a quickly growing market.