On the latest episode of the Big Betting Balagan, the hosts spoke to three experienced leaders in the esports betting space. 

The esports sector has enjoyed considerable growth over the past 18 months and is drawing increasing interest from the sports betting sector. The BBB podcast’s hosts quizzed their guests on the best customer acquisition and retention strategies for operators looking to leverage the space.

Commenting on the initial development of esports betting, Stuart Tilly, Chief Legal Officer at Esports Entertainment, observed that fans of traditional sports betting markets were more receptive to sports-themed titles, such as FIFA and Madden.

“The customers basically at the time were traditional punters, and I think there was a natural affinity to the sports related titles immediately, because it was very similar to virtual games that we’ve always had in the industry,” he explained.

“I mean the explosions, we’re talking 1000s of percent per year, based on a very small starting number, we saw a big uptake in FIFA in Madden, less so on CS:GO and League of legends, because I think the education on those games is just too high threshold for you traditional bettor to really grasp.

“We’ve seen the numbers fall back since traditional markets have come back online, but the base level has increased. The challenge now is how do we continue to engage those that experimented – which is effectively what they’re doing, they probably would never bet on those markets ordinarily – how do we continue to engage them?”

One of the main issues with regards to this, he argued, is that esports audiences have little experience of traditional sports betting markets, such as horse racing, and have to be offered a ‘different gaming experience’. 

The ‘golden goose’, he detailed, is to attract esports enthusiasts into the betting and gaming industry, rather than attracting traditional bettors over to esports.

Alejandro Kowalski, Sales Director, Mobadoo, agreed with this statement, saying that the sector’s primary focus is on drawing esports fans to betting, and not vice versa.

“We are not looking for the traditional bettor to come to eSports, initially,” he detailed. “Our main focus is to attract the esports fans and to provide to them all the content that may be attractive to them and make them stay there. 

“Right now when we talk about esports in the gaming industry, we’re only talking about the traditional types of betting – who is going to win, who is going to score first in the match etc

“What we are talking about is to create more betting content, and we have content that esporters that we like to bet on. That’s the point. and what we have is a line of business focused to bring traditional bettors into esports, starting with Counter Strike for example.”

Lastly, Mark Cole, Co-Founder of Dragoni, shared his outlook with regards to demographics in esports, adding that operators should focus their marketing on different age groups depending on the product involved.

He explained: “We found that with CS:GO, the age bracket of viewers tends to be a bit older, so a lot of them have crossovers like football – they enjoy football and they tend to be a bit of an older demographic. 

“League of Legends is a bit more of a new demographic, so they’ve got a different mindset.  Most of our basis has been on CS:GO, which would be those factors that have had experience and enjoy watching football and things like that, so therefore you know they’re a bit more accustomed to gambling. 

“We’ve still got uses in league of Legends, but we’re still trying to work out how to go to market with them and how to approach him, because there is a lot of connotation behind traps in terms of gaming, which we’ll get to later like cheating and things like that so there’s a lot of barriers to crossover.”

Source – Big Betting Balagan YouTube Channel

Big Betting Balagan: Esports betting operators must focus on fans not traditional bettors