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Julie Moraine February 19, 2019 5 min read
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Interview with Luckbox CPO Boris Mihov – Understanding Esports Betting
We asked Luckbox Chief Product Officer Boris Mihov to help understand what esports betting is and what Luckbox’s specific purpose in the segment is. Read the interview in its entirety further down the page. First, some context.
So, What Is Luckbox?
Luckbox is an esports betting company developing an innovative, secure, and regulated way of placing wagers on the outcome of gaming contests. Operating in one of the rather more contentious markets of the industry, Luckbox is confident that it can help contribute to safer and fairer esports events, build a community, and even provide its own unique insight into the latest developments. The membership to the Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC) is a testimony to the company’s commitment to uphold these core tenets.
The platform hasn’t still launched its betting product, but it has done all the necessary preparations, including obtaining a gambling permit from Isle of man, one of the leading licensing authorities.
Meanwhile, Luckbox has been pushing its content strategy, doing an informative podcast series most commonly featuring Sujoy Roy and Paul “Redeye” Chaloner, a respected esports personality.
It’s Mr. Chaloner’s involvement and Mr. Roy’s candidness and way of addressing viewers that drew our attention to the project. And so, we had a conversation with Luckbox Chief Product Officer Boris Mihov trying to find out more about the company, its future intentions and immediate goals.
Q: Help us understand Luckbox a little better. Most people probably know what blockchain is by now, but could you highlight the inherent advantages of building Luckbox on this specific technology. Do you foresee any drawbacks?
Luckbox is not built on blockchain technology, per se, but will take advantage of it, specifically as a payment method with our token, LuckCash (LCK).
Q: You’ve picked Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, and League of Legends as your inaugural titles. If we’re correct, Luckbox will also offer esports betting with in-game skins and items. How does this work?
Valve (the company behind both CS:GO and Dota 2) spearheaded the shut-down of the largest skin-trading websites back in 2016. Could you explain to us how skin betting would work on Luckbox in light of these events?
We said some time ago that we will not be offering skins betting for this reason. It was our initial hope to do so and, someday it might be possible, but Valve’s current stance means it’s not possible for a licensed bookmaker to allow skins gambling. We can, however, include skins as part of our customer reward system, with giveaways and such.
Q: You recently joined the Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC) and appointed a new Head of Integrity. What are your own thoughts on esports integrity and do you have any concrete issues in mind that you think Luckbox can help solve when it comes to the honesty of esports contests?
Esports has had several high-profile cases of corruption but, thankfully, instances are becoming far less frequent as professionalism in the industry increases. We’re very proud to support ESIC and we see it as part of our role to help maintain integrity in the space. We can play our part in several ways – as well as being an advocate for esports betting done right, we can play practical role, for example, in flagging suspicious activity.
Q: Luckbox also runs a podcast with Sujoy Roy and Paul Chaloner. In the podcast, Sujoy and Paul discuss a variety of topics, from covering events to following developments in the industry, and inviting guests and industry experts. In light of the success of the format, do you see Luckbox expanding as a media in the future?
Yes, the podcast is just part of our offering. Producing content is an increasingly important part of the marketing mix. We have video and audio podcasts, films, a great esports news hub and vibrant communities on Discord, Facebook and Twitter. To reach our audience, we have to be talking to them on these channels with authentic and genuinely engaging content and this will only grow as Luckbox does.
Q: Do you have any specific types of betting that you would want to introduce in the future that will add value to the user experience, though we understand this question may be premature. As a reference, we have Unikrn’s UMode in mind.
It’s our aim to offer the most comprehensive esports betting service to fans, both in terms of depth and breadth – on the most markets in a given game and across the widest number of games. That will take time, though.
Q: Does Luckbox intend to boost awareness about responsible gambling. Gamers may be unfamiliar with the common issues that go hand-in-hand with gambling, for example. How is Luckbox going to contribute to a risk-free environment for the end-user?
Yes, we are committed to supporting responsible gambling and will follow the regulatory recommendations to ensure the highest levels of player safety and security, including giving players the option to self-exclude.
Q: Most esports fans are young. Some are not even of the legal gambling age. Will Luckbox need to adhere to the same rules that traditional sportsbooks do, i.e. running checks on users to verify that they are of the legal gaming age and can in fact afford to spend money on an in-game bet.
Very much so. We are a fully licensed gambling company and will complete KYC checks on our players. Not only is this a regulatory requirement, but, as we have said in the past, something we believe needs to happen to help clean up esports betting.
With 4 years experience as an analyst, Julie—or ‘Jewels’, as we aptly refer to her in the office—is nothing short of a marvel-worthy in her attention to the forex and cryptocurrency space as she quickly became the first pick to co-pilot education to the masses with Mike.
Insider February 19, 2019
Insider February 19, 2019