‘Its an investment opportunity’ – Oddin.gg CEO Vlastimil Venclik on US esports prospects

The growth of esports as a betting vertical has clearly not gone unnoticed, but Oddin.gg CEO Vlastimil Venclik believes that the opportunities posed by the sector have not yet been fully grasped by some.

Whilst attending the SBC Summit North America last month, Venclik sat down with SBC Media to discuss Oddin.gg’s business, particularly its esims, but also provide some insights into esports betting trends and prospects.

He began: “I think that COVID showed us that there is space for a different type of product, because there were no leagues – no Bundesliga, no Premier League, nothing – and a lot of bookmakers started to use esims.

“We saw a drop in demand for esims after COVID, because everybody wanted to do everything. I think there is still a place for a product like this one, especially here in the US where the market is in its early stages and it’s very complicated for bookmakers to work with regulators around esports.”

Esims can be a good introduction to a ‘best of both worlds’ of esports betting and traditional sports wagering, the CEO asserted, whilst also having additional potential due to being a 24/7 vertical.

However, he did warn that despite the rewards of the sector, esports audiences can be very demanding. To effectively operate an esportsbook, operators need to ‘participate in the ecosystem’, he said.

This involves being “part of the streamers, sponsor them and work with them, part of the teams and tournaments, and need to be seen, and it will bring rewards.”

“It’s a long-term investment, and we see that globally there are not many bookmakers with an esports strategy and esports branding, and we are happy to help with this. In the US there is a huge opportunity for bookmakers to push esports and be in the number one in US esports betting.”

On the topic of investments, Venclik outlined his belief that esims and esports have strong potential in Latin America. This is the key reason behind Oddin.gg’s decision to open a new trading hub in the Peruvian capital Lima, as it seeks diversification in terms of both time zones and people.

Latin America may be viewed by some as a fragmented market, the CEO observed, with various jurisdictions, markets and regulators, but esports is ‘huge’ in countries such as Brazil and Argentina. 

He explained: “Peru, and especially Lima, has a huge population of very skilled people, they are very esports friendly, they understand esports and play a lot of Dota. It was our first choice to go to Peru, open the app and be part of the local community.”

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