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Member Article

Why traditional betting platforms must shift their attention to esports

By Roman Syrotian, co-CEO of Parimatch tech.

Consumer interest in the esports sector has continued to grow rapidly over the past few years. So much so, the sector - which was once seen as a ‘sub-sector’ of sport - has now overtaken many sports, in terms of contributions to the global economy and viewership. Its growing popularity has proven time and again, its worth within the industry.

Now, as popularity escalates further, the importance of esports within the betting industry is becoming even more apparent too.

With the changes to the UK Gambling Act 2005 currently underway, there is a potential the betting landscape within the country is due to change significantly. If the expected restrictions are enforced, strict bans could be placed on sponsorship relationships between traditional sports and betting platforms.

So, if betting companies are forced to steer away from traditional sports, where should they shift their attention to? With the huge popularity for esports, this would – and should – be their main focus.

The projected annual revenue for the esports sector supports this, as it is expected to hit $1.1bn this year with esports and games market researcher, Newzoo, predicting the overall audience will reach 577 million by 2024. With increased audiences come increased revenues, and Newzoo also projects that the industry will add another $800m to its balance sheet in 2022. While many sectors have struggled over the past year, esports is part of an ecosystem that has continued to thrive, proving that traditional betting platforms must work with the sector, if they are to make the most of its popularity.

In the UK, the sector’s annual Gross Value Added also now exceeds £60m in eight towns and cities including Edinburgh and Slough. Tencent – the seventh largest company worldwide – reports 60% of its revenue coming from esports and gaming, and Microsoft – which stands as the second largest company worldwide – earns 33% of its revenue from gaming.

This massive demand for esports, and the culture surrounding it, has been built up over decades and is unlikely to subside anytime soon – providing betting platforms a strong opportunity to plug the gap they may develop if traditional sport sponsorship is removed. More people than ever before are interacting with the field on the peripheries through watching and betting on games, making this once niche sport, the obvious option for any betting platform.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Parimatch Tech .

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