As the game and data standards become more robust, it is becoming much safer for bookmakers to take bets on the esports market.
On a W2-sponsored panel titled ‘Esports – A Safer Bet?’ on day two of Betting on Sports Europe – Digital 2020, panellists discussed whether bookmakers are becoming more comfortable with taking bets on esports.
Paris Smith, CEO of Pinnacle, stated that the increase in quality of esports products makes it easier for her own company to provide ‘a stronger and more viable product’ to customers.
She said: “The quality of esports as a whole, through the data providers and the data we, as operators, are getting just makes it a lot easier for us to provide a stronger and more viable product to our customers.
“During the pandemic, it was all-hands-on-deck for esports. Some of our regular traders started to get more involved in esports and it really allowed us to get that product depth and breadth, as well as the overall quality.”
Considering esports from a data rights perspective, Smith noted that the way in which data providers are packaging data is ‘getting better and better all the time’, both in terms of quality and quantity.
Smith added: “A few years ago, people would say that ‘esports is just a fad’ or ‘esports isn’t going to last’, but clearly it’s here to stay. As it matures more, the quality of the product, the integrity, the quality of the tournaments, the tournament prize pools, the overall quality is constantly improving.”
Smith was joined on the panel by Luckbox CEO Quentin Martin, RTSmunity CEO Pavol Kransnovsky and panel moderator Pablo Monti, LMG’s Esports Manager.
Shifting discussions towards the ways in which the pandemic has impacted the sport, Martin highlighted the acceleration of growth of the esports betting markets as punters and bookmakers alike consider how much esports itself has grown in the last few years.
This, according to Martin, will make the esports betting product even safer and more accessible for customers in the future.
He continued: “We’re very blessed to be within an industry that went the right way during the pandemic. For us, we saw a 500% uplift in our turnover and the number of bets we were getting.
“I think the pandemic has accelerated esports a couple of years further into the future than it may have been otherwise, and it doesn’t look like it’s slowing down at all even with traditional sports coming back. Esports itself clearly isn’t slowing down.
“We’re seeing more publishers start to work with and share their data rights with the betting industry and that’s only going to help improve the quality of lines going forward and make the product more accessible for the end-user, the customer themselves.”
Kransnovsky added that if you have good data, then you can provide a reliable and safe esports betting product for your customers: “If you have good data, you definitely have a good advantage… it’s about the right approach, how to quantify this game, and that can be very tricky.
“It means the traditional approach, which is established for traditional sports, can’t be used on esports because esports is different.”