Esports Could Be the Next Big Online Betting Trend
NEW YORK, Jan. 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- As major sports leagues, such as the NBA, transition into their 2021 seasons, there's much speculation about a potential waning interest. While the major traditional sports cultures took a hit, 2020 was a year of explosive growth for the esports market (professional video gaming)—and now 2021 is projected to be even better. For both traditional sports and esports, changing regulations and growing interest have increased the value of each of their online betting markets, with esports betting projected to have been worth $17.2 billion in 2020. While there has been plenty of attention given to the casinos handling the influx of sports betting, the market is waking up to the potential brought from several companies tied to esports and esports betting, including Bragg Gaming Group (TSXV:BRAG) (OTCQX:BRGGF), Esports Entertainment Group (NASDAQ:GMBL), Luckbox (TSXV:LUCK), Flutter Entertainment (OTCPK:PDYPF), and FansUnite Entertainment Inc. (CSE:FANS) (OTCQB:FUNFF).
Kicking off 2021, Bragg Gaming Group (TSXV:BRAG) (OTCQX:BRGGF) announced the launch of RGS services for sports betting and casino operator Betway via their market-leading ORYX Hub platform.
The partnership holds esports significance, as back in 2015 Betway became the first major UK bookmaker to take bets on the booming new trend. Today, the group provides sports betting, casino, and esports betting to players across a variety of regulated online markets, while holding licenses in several jurisdictions, including Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
"We're delighted to see our partnership with Betway go live and our titles are going to offer a new dimension of content to their players," said Matevz Mazij, Managing Director of ORYX Gaming. "Our RGS content has already been proven strong in Germany and beyond, and this partnership will further strengthen the reach and reputation for both our companies."
As per the deal, Betway will also be able to use ORYX's player engagement tools and data services available via ORYX Hub. These player engagement tools include free spins, tournaments, and leaderboards.
"Seeing the array of premium content from ORYX become available to our customers is the result of hard work and close collaboration," said Paul Adkins, Marketing and Operations Director at Betway. "It's great news for everyone involved and we're sure that it's the start of a relationship that will be a huge success."
Overall, the last 12 months represented a year of positive momentum for Bragg Gaming Group, including the reporting in Q3 2020 of an exceptional revenue growth of 72%.
The momentum has given the company the impetus to graduate to the bigger board, the Toronto Stock Exchange.
"Bragg is well on its way to becoming a global leader in the online gaming space," said Paul Godfrey, Board Member at Bragg Gaming. "The listing on the TSX will generate increased awareness among institutional and global investors and will put the Company squarely in the sights of major industry analysts. As the global online gaming industry continues to expand at an exponential rate, investors are looking for companies with the technologies and expertise to lead the way, and Bragg is a prime example."
In an effort to build a synergetic gaming ecosystem through its recent acquisitions, Esports Entertainment Group (NASDAQ:GMBL) is capitalizing on the surge in popularity of esports, especially seen through 2020—including the acquisition of the Esports Gaming League (EGL), which is a tournament platform for online gamers.
"Despite the abundance of eyeballs, esports still lags significantly behind traditional sports in terms of monetization per viewer," said Jeff Cohen, VP of Strategy and Investor Relations at Esports Entertainment Group. "This creates a really exciting opportunity for companies like ours in the space over the next several years."
Esports wagering is what the company describes as the second of its three pillar business strategy. This pillar is built through both its Vie.gg esports wagering platform, and LANduel, which is a player-vs-player video game wagering platform.
Quentin Martin, Chief Executive Officer of Luckbox (TSXV:LUCK) has outlined his intentions in 2021 to bolster his company's esports wagering platform, following a very successful 2020 where the company registered a 500% increase in year-over-year growth.
"2020 was a great year for Luckbox," said Martin to SBC. "Esports and particularly esports betting is one of the few industries that benefited from the lockdown, especially early in the year when almost all traditional sport was halted."
The company recently appointed former 888 executive Ran Kaspi as its new Chief Financial Officer. Luckbox recently raised new working capital of +$3.8 million, earmarked to expand the company's tech capacity and human resources.
Flutter Entertainment (OTC:PDYPF) made a big splash earlier in December, when it struck a $4.2 billion deal to secure 95% control of most of FanDuel, to get a foothold in the explosive US sports-betting market. However, the transition hasn't been entirely smooth, as FanDuel suffered widespread outages on the last day of the NFL regular season.
Formerly known as Paddy Power, Flutter Entertainment through FanDuel has a 43% market share in a handful of US states, and is projecting revenues to be approximately 50% higher than that of next biggest online sports wagering competitor DraftKings. Together, FanDuel and DraftKings represent approximately 63% of the US online traditional sports betting market.
Competition in the field is expanding, as FansUnite Entertainment Inc. (CSE:FANS) (OTC:FUNFF) recently entered a partnership with Vancouver-based OneComply to enter additional North American legalized gaming jurisdictions—OneComply are compliance and licensing solution specialists.
"We are pleased to be partnering with OneComply as we look to tackle the North American gaming market," said Scott Burton, CEO of FansUnite. "As a licensed betting and iGaming company, we understand how difficult and nuanced the licensing process can be. With the help of OneComply, we will be able to streamline the process to enter new North American markets and showcase our suite of gaming solutions to a broader audience."
FansUnite was the result of an amalgamation of Askott Entertainment to create one of Canada's leading online gaming companies—in order to focus on sports betting, esports wagering, and casino games.
As esports betting continues to grow, companies like Bragg Gaming are seeing opportunities to enter a new market and get a leg up on the competition.
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