Betting agencies have been stepping up their efforts to stand out from the crowd and expand into new and exciting segments of the industry. Some have tried bolstering their responsible gaming initiatives whereas others have explored the curious and promising market of electronic sports. The latest deal is between an established bookmaker and an organization that plays video games for a living!
Betway Inks Partnership with Invictus Gaming
Betway have been one of the most pronounced supporters of innovation. Their website is translated into multiple languages, the company generates millions in revenue and it supports fair play. To cast itself as a more seductive placefor youths, though, Betway has tied up a partnership with Dota 2 team’s Invictus Gaming, which fans refer to as simply IG.
IG are presently one of the teams to compete at the Dota 2 International, a video gaming competition of significant breadth. It’s estimated that The International 2018 is also the largest single prize-money event in history, which makes it quite understandable why Betway would seek to make sure its logo is displayed or in the very least, its name is floated openly.
However, such partnerships – while strategic and useful, may not bear the fruit, Betway expects them to. As IG continue to compete in the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Valve, the game’s creators, may have a thing or two to say about the readiness with which teams adopt betting agencies as sponsors.
Valve Warns Teams against Betting Agency Partnerships
Valve has been in hot water in the past over gambling allegations. In 2016, it had to fight a lawsuit which alleged that the company had been facilitating underage gambling. Even though that was not the case, irate parents of adolescent gamers who had lost thousands of dollars’ worth of in-game weapons and skins were quite happy to state otherwise.
As a result, Valve has since been adopting a rather more stringent stance on any activities that even hint at gambling. The present predicament is also challenging. On the one hand, Valve are uneasy to tell their top-teams to either break the partnerships or leave, on the other they know that betting agencies will have access to people who are not yet of the legal age to gamble.
Partnerships Continue to be Struck
Meanwhile, IG have joined OpTic Gaming, VKGame, and Virtus.pro as a team that has signed up a partnership with a betting company. Betway may need to tread carefully though.
If Valve rule out betting agencies as sponsors to The International teams that doesn’t mean that the partnerships need to be severed. But given a choice to play in the largest Dota 2 event or carry the logo of a sponsor, most team will probably opt for the former.
With this in mind, gambling is indeed an issue and Betway could perhaps demonstrate some involvement by trying to signal readiness to fight underage gambling. Still, Valve is in a particular difficult position as previous cases against the company could be brought with new force.
Trouble may be stirring even if business is booming.