Esports plays an increasingly important role in the gambling ecosystem. As a phenomenon on its own, esports is a billion-worth industry with tournaments that award seven-figure prizes. Endemic betting agencies such as Rivalry, Loot.Bet, Luckbox, and others focus on esports betting exclusively.
Even Clarion Gaming has revealed an increased focus on esports and its future as part of the entertainment and gambling industry, and the latest ICE London 2022 panel on esports saw Luckbox CEO Thomas Rosander call for some potentially favorable improvements in the industry. One of those is the creation of a unifying professional body. But this begs the question, can esports really be governed the same way soccer is? Rosander may have the answer.
Rag Tag Band of Esports and Competitions
He believes that esports should be unified under a single governing body that will preside over betting providers, publishers, and esports platforms. In part, this is already done by the Esports Integrity Commission or ESIC which has been a strong advocate for an industry free of manipulation and corruption.
ESIC has even handed down bans to dozens of esports players and coaches who have been suspected and found guilty of using various game exploits to gain an unfair advantage. Rosander though seems to think that another body may be equally helpful. He is confident that publishers too should be involved. The esports panel at ICE London 2022 was also attended by others who spoke about the potential difficulties in regulating the industry when it comes to ensuring age verifications.
KYC checks have been difficult in terms of whether an esports consumer is of the legal age to participate in a certain aspect of the industry, especially esports betting. Stakeholders admitted that this was a big challenge for esports organizations. A few years ago, in a conversation for GamblingNews, ESIC assured us that the majority of esports players were mostly young adults as opposed to teens.
Verifying Consumers in Esports Remains a Challenge
Rosander suggests that a governing body that involves publishers may help achieve just that. Nuvei lottery and esports head of gaming Warren Tristram acknowledged the need for better know your customer practices in order to better understand esports consumers, especially when they are engaging with some of the more risqué practices in the industry, such as betting. However, participants seemed to agree that esports has a bright future and that any challenges may be overcome.