ESIC Not Sure about Unikrn’s Skill-Based Gambling

Unikrn's logo against a background of an eSports arena.

Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC) commissioner Ian Smith thinks that it’s well beyond the remit of the ESIC to be monitoring the entire industry, as ESIC lacks the resources. However, Unikrn, a bookmaker, is pushing ahead with all sorts of new changes.

Unikrn and Skill-Based Betting

Shortly after Unikrn has obtained its license from the Isle of Man, the bookmaker is already introducing new features to the world of esports betting, notably – skill-based wagers. In simple words, skill-based wagering is betting on one’s self, and the idea sounds both fantastic and quite profitable if you are running the business.

However, according to Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC) commissioner Ian Smith, things look a bit different. ESIC is charged with establishing integrity well across the industry and that most commonly has to do with catching cheaters and looking into match-fixing complaints.

In a recent interview, Mr. Smith said that it’s indeed quite difficult to ever pinpoint whether a person had been under-performing in order to obtain a certain result out of a game. However, it’s still within ESIC’s remit to establish this.

One possible problem that may now arise from the new form of gaming activity is the fact that when every single player is allowed to bet on themselves, this means you will have thousands of wagers to track and verify, which is a feat that’s way too daunting, ESIC and Mr. Smith estimate.

The betting on tournament play is evolving slowly and nobody’s making much money out of it. Everybody’s interested, obviously … but offering interesting and good markets is very, very difficult at this stage. – Iam Smith

However, Rahul Sood, Unikrn’s CEO, believes that his platform has been developed with all due sophistication as to avoid falling prey to simplistic cheating models. Unikrn uses a system known as Connekt to identify cheaters by cramming data from previous game and gauging whether that person has been performing well and at what level.

We have thousands of players playing thousands of matches which we use to understand the competitive ecosystem of a game and the players themselves. – Unikrn CEO Rahul Sood

Naturally, Unikrn wouldn’t allow just anyone to bet on themselves, as they will first need a vast data segment, which will come after users connect their profiles to Unikrn, or in he very least link to their game profiles.

Unikrn will take it from there by using the platform to calculate odds. However, Mr. Smith still believes that this is a risky move. According to him, the industry lacks the tools to monitor betting on a such a large scale and skill-based betting will occasion a spate of cheating scandals, which could possibly even undermine the prestige of prominent bookmakers.

However, Mr. Smith doesn’t rule out that esports betting is a major part of the offer and that it will take off. However, for the time being, it’s very difficult for esports bookmakers to be offering attractive bets, as the majority of these offers always turn out to generate a loss for the companies that offer them.

For instance, Mr. Smith is cognizant of the need for attractive bets that actually allow users to bet on tournament winners, but he also reckons that offering tempting bargains that benefit all parties may still be beyond the capabilities of bookmakers.

Mr. Sood on the other hand exudes the same confidence which has helped him develop Unikrn into arguably the premier venue for esports wagers.


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