The adoption of most sports within online gambling systems means travelling paths long since forged. Owing to the relatability of existing frameworks, creating new entries for the arrival of a traditional sport is usually a simple pursuit. ESports games buck this trend, with their digital nature creating the potential for unprecedented involvement and unique interconnectivity.
While these aspects of eSports are often fundamentally misunderstood or underestimated, a closer examination reveals how deep these relationships could run and how beneficial for the greater betting industry they could be. From bringing in newcomers to adopting new approaches in viewing, there is a lot of mapped and untapped potential in eSports for the iGaming world to cover.
One of the most immediately visible ways in which eSports aids the online betting industry comes from the vast inbuilt audience. According to an article at venturebeat.com, around 2.4 billion people played video games in 2019 alone. At the top of this spectrum are titles likes League of Legends and CS: GO, two popular eSports titles which boast around 115 million and 24 million monthly players respectively.
The Ease of Integration
These numbers are important not just for how they illustrate engagement potential, but also in how eSports engagement relates to digital forms of viewing and gambling. For traditional sports like football or tennis, there is a strong reliance on more established methods of viewing. Most often, punters are relegated to watch only a limited selection of physical sports matches on television or digitally, if they have access.
Esports is very different in this regard, allowing practically every game and tournament, even in minor leagues, to be viewed worldwide over the internet, usually for free. Such a level of integration and mass adoption is not something that can be matched by traditional means, giving eSports a comparative leg-up on physical sports.
Many sports bettors find enormous appeal through cheering through each step of the game and, given the better access which eSports games offer, this provides enthusiasts not just with a way to enjoy their sport of choice but with several opportunities to engage with different brands. Both for eSports fans newly introduced to betting via online infrastructure and established bettors looking for something new, these digital choices are opening doors.
Such advantages don’t only apply to live games either, as the ability to watch replays is another area aided significantly by the digital nature of eSports. For an example of this, readers could look at the Overwatch League Replay Viewer available at playoverwatch.com. This program gives punters the ability to download completed matches and watch them at every possible angle, as they wish. With additions like slow motion, overlays, and other tools, serious gamblers who wish to more closely examine players and teams’ performance are gifted a rare opportunity.
The final advantage for online betting which bears mentioning is the ease of fitting eSports games legally within existing gambling websites and systems. As Legalbetting.com explores, legal online sports betting has been a widely accepted component of the industry for years. In the United States, for example, this kicked off in 2018 and, since this point, considerable work has gone into ensuring all aspects are safe for both the bettors and the bookies.
Rather than requiring expensive and difficult to implement new laws, eSports have slotted into already developed sports betting services. Given just how important and strict the rules around legal online betting are, eSports games have begun their mainstream gambling life with advantages that many other sports took years to find.
As a spectator sport, eSports have accomplished astonishing success in the last two decades. From tournaments held in basements to finding showings on major international channels like ESPN, the world is now taking notice. As an industry with such a strong emphasis on sports and the digital both, online betting services are in a unique position to leverage eSports’ explosive growth. With both online casinos and eSports still far from reaching a plateau of popularity, this relationship is going to be one to watch.
Azerion Announces Proposed Changes to its Supervisory Board
Since the start of 2022, Azerion has seen a period of significant transformation and growth including its listing on Euronext Amsterdam, the completed sale of the Youda card games portfolio and the recently announced placement of EUR 165 million of senior secured floating rate bonds.
Following their successful stewardship throughout this period, Azerion now announced the decision of Peter Tordoir (Chairman) and Derk Haank to step down from Azerion’s Supervisory Board. Both decisions to step down are expected to take effect as from the date of an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) to be convened as soon as is reasonably practicable to appoint the proposed new Supervisory Board members described below.
As Azerion prepares for the next stage of its growth plan and the business continues to scale into becoming one of Europe’s largest digital advertising and entertainment media platforms, Azerion welcomed Zafer Karataş and Wim de Pundert as proposed new Supervisory Board members. Further details relating to both proposed Supervisory Board members and the arrangements for the EGM are expected to be published shortly. A new Chairperson will be appointed by the Supervisory Board in due course.
Umut Akpinar, CEO of Azerion, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Peter Tordoir and Derk Haank for their invaluable contribution to the success of Azerion and, in particular, during its initial phase as a listed company. We will be pleased to welcome Zafer Karataş and Wim de Pundert as new Supervisory Board members bringing additional commercial, industry and capital markets experience to the Board.”
Background on Proposed New Supervisory Board Members
Zafer Karataş brings extensive experience in Business Management, M&A, Reorganizations and Financial Audit. He is currently Chairman of the Board of technology company MeritGrup and a Supervisory board member of DVA Bilisim and Most Teknoloji.
Wim de Pundert has been active as an investor and entrepreneur since the early 1990s, including through the use of buy and build and market consolidation strategies. De Pundert founded HTP Investments, a shareholder of Azerion, together with Klaas Meertens. He is also a member of the supervisory board of Knaus Tabbert AG, a European manufacturer of caravans and mobile homes listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.
Entain Provides Update on Current Trading and FY23 Guidance
Entain plc has provided an update on current trading and FY 2023 guidance, as well as plans to update shareholders on the progress of ongoing actions to accelerate operational performance and drive shareholder value.
Post the summer, Online Net Gaming Revenue (NGR) has been mixed across the Group, but in aggregate, softer than anticipated. Q3 Online NGR growth is now expected to be up high single-digit percent, and down high single digit percent on a proforma basis. Key drivers include:
- Adverse sporting results impacting sports margins during September
- Group wide implementation of industry leading safer gambling measures and ongoing regulatory headwinds persisting longer than expected, particularly in the UK
- Slower growth than expected in Australia and Italy
- Good underlying Online growth (ex-regulatory impacts) as evidenced by further strong proforma growth in active customers across the quarter
- Strong performance from recent acquisitions, particularly SuperSport in Croatia
- Robust performance across Retail
BetMGM in the US continuing to perform well: on track to deliver positive EBITDA in the second half of 2023; FY2023 NGR at the upper end of $1.8-$2.0bn guidance; and the successful rollout of Single Account Single Wallet, as well as online sportsbook enhancements supporting strong start to the NFL season.
Entain now expect Group Online NGR for FY2023 to be up low double-digit percent with proforma NGR down low single digit percent. The company reiterate their expectations for FY2023 EBITDA to be in the range of £1.00bn-£1.05bn supported by robust operational controls.
Actions to Accelerate Operational Strategy and Performance
Over the last three years Entain has undergone a significant strategic transformation, improving the quality of earnings and aligning operations to ensure the Group is positioned as strongly as possible to deliver long term shareholder value.
Alongside the Q3 trading update on 2 November 2023, management will share more detail on how these actions are being implemented to accelerate performance and delivery, including:
- A comprehensive market review focusing on long-term sustainable organic growth
- The simplification of Group structures and operations to improve operational leverage and reduce costs
- A plan for the migration of acquired businesses on to the Group’s industry leading technology platform
- Optimising our capital allocation priorities
- Progress on delivery of the Group’s Online EBITDA margin target of 30%
Jette Nygaard-Andersen, CEO of Entain, said: “We continue to see good underlying growth in our online business and are reiterating our EBITDA guidance for the year despite softer than expected revenue growth in Q3 and the ongoing roll-out of industry-leading safer gambling measures. We continue to attract more customers than ever before to enjoy our products and services. BetMGM remains on track to deliver positive EBITDA in H2 and a full year NGR performance at the top end of our expectations, and we are particularly excited about the product improvements that we are rolling out over the NFL season.
“We have made significant changes to the Group over the last three years. Our focus now is on accelerating the actions we are taking to drive sustainable organic growth, expand our margins, capitalise on the US opportunity and deliver long-term returns for our shareholders. We remain confident in our ability to deliver on the vast opportunities ahead of us, and look forward to sharing more detail about the changes that we are making alongside our Q3 trading update in November.”
Holland Casino Identifies New Groningen Casino Site
Holland Casino has chosen Business Park Ter Borch as the new location for its Groningen casino. Holland Casino selected the location at the gateway to Groningen for its accessibility and construction opportunities. Business park Ter Borch, on the edge of the municipality of Tynaarlo, offers Holland Casino the best opportunities to build a casino that meets the company’s architectural and sustainability requirements. Moreover, the location at the gateway to Groningen is easily accessible for guests and there is ample parking.
CEO Petra de Ruiter said: “We are happy that the decision has now been made. If the Tynaarlo municipal council is as enthusiastic as the board of Holland Casino, we can enter the period of planning and construction. I’m looking forward to that and especially to the moment when the new Holland Casino Groningen is open. That is not only good news for our guests, but also for our employees.
“They will soon be able to optimally welcome guests from a new building and offer the hospitality that can be expected from us.”
Spatial planning councilor Jurryt Vellinga of the municipality of Tynaarlo said: “The location makes sense because of the good accessibility and the space that the business park offers. For us it is a sign that the municipality of Tynaarlo and the region are still popular for companies. This location offers employment opportunities and is a great boost for tourism in our municipality.”
Attention has also been paid to the former Holland Casino location on Gedempte Kattendiep in Groningen. The casino was destroyed in a fire in 2017, with Holland Casino operating a temporary facility since 2018.
“Holland Casino offers the municipality of Groningen every cooperation to ensure that something beautiful comes back to the city center. We are grateful to everyone involved for all the cooperation and support we have received in recent years. We are very grateful to Groningen and Tynaarlo for the efforts made to find a suitable location,” Ms. de Ruiter said.
The new branch of Holland Casino, Holland Casino Groningen, is expected to open in 2027.
Week 39/2023 slot games releases
FBMDS’ First Ever Crash Game, Champion Tales, is Out Worldwide
Hub88’s Mark Taffler Taking to the Ring to Support Oliver’s Wish Foundation at the SBC Charity Boxing Championship
Counter-Strike 2 launches on FACEIT with new $100,000 FACEIT Pro League (FPL) Proving Grounds
Playbook Engineering announces DragonBet partnership
LEC Introduces Sporting Financial Regulations
CT Interactive Signs Distribution Deal with iGaming Deck
OKTO Strengthens its Presence in Italy by Joining IDH
Esports Betting in Central & Eastern Europe: Oddin.gg Sponsors Hipther’s GamingTECH CEE
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IGT Enhances iLottery in Lithuania with Remote Game Server and Compelling eInstants
PRAGMATIC PLAY SCALES SWISS OPERATIONS WITH GAMRFIRST PARTNERSHIP
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