Online Betting Helps Support eSport's Burgeoning Reputation

Online Betting Helps Support eSport's Burgeoning Reputation

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, June 25, 2020 News Commentary

NEW YORK, June 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- While online entertainment is a very diverse market, some segments have become clear leaders in terms of growth potential. For example, eSports have become a widely popular phenomenon in recent years. Awareness about eSports is expanding rapidly thanks to technological advancements and higher income levels around the world. This segment also features gambling and betting features associated with it, thus resembling the online sports betting segment. Furthermore, an increasing number of events with large prize pools are expected to create opportunities for players and betters alike. And with the emergence of eSports, leagues have begun to develop. Now, league infrastructure is generating numerous opportunities for monetization. Numerous investments are being made to build well-equipped eSports arenas and provide various training facilities to players to improve their gaming skills. And, according to data published by Newzoo, global esports revenues will grow to USD 1.1 Billion in 2020, a year-over-year (YoY) growth of about 15.7%, up from USD 950.6 Million in 2019. FansUnite Entertainment Inc. (CSE: FANS), Allied Esports Entertainment Inc. (NASDAQ: AESE), Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI), HUYA Inc. (NASDAQ: HUYA), Esports Entertainment Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: GMBL)

Just like any segment in the online entertainment industry, the number of viewers and direct participants is crucial for success. "eSports' impressive audience and viewership growth is a direct result of an engaging viewership experience untethered to traditional media," says Peter Warman, CEO of Newzoo. "Plenty of leagues and tournaments now have huge audiences, so companies are positioning themselves to directly monetize these Esports Enthusiasts. While this began happening last year, the market is constantly expanding on its early learnings" As of 2019, the total eSports occasional viewership has reached over 450 Million and the number of eSports enthusiasts worldwide reached around 20 Million, which is a YoY growth of over 15%, according to Arizton Advisory & Intelligence.

FansUnite Entertainment Inc. (CSE: FANS) and Askott Entertainment Inc. announced earlier this week breaking news that the two companies, "have entered into a definitive amalgamation agreement (the "Agreement") to create one of Canada's leading online gaming companies, focused on sports betting, esports wagering and casino games. Under the terms of the Agreement, FansUnite will acquire all of the outstanding securities of Askott by way of a three-cornered amalgamation (the "Transaction") pursuant to which Askott and a newly incorporated subsidiary of FansUnite will amalgamate under the Business Corporations Act (British Columbia) and continue as one corporation.

Combined Company Highlights

According to a recent report by Grandview Research1, the global online gambling market size was valued at USD 53.7 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.5% from 2020 to 2027.

"As the online gambling market continues to grow, the amalgamation with Askott is a significant milestone and transforms us into one of Canada's premier iGaming companies," said Darius Eghdami, CEO of FansUnite Entertainment. "Combining with Askott provides us with a fully integrated gaming asset that offers multiple B2C platforms for users in a variety of betting offerings, B2B technology that can be licensed to all types of sportsbooks, and a seasoned team of executives that have led and grown multiple organizations on a global scale. This combination creates a leading online igaming company, and positions us strongly for significant growth with new offerings and market opportunities."

"We are recognized globally as a leader and pioneer in esports betting technology," said Scott Burton, CEO of Askott Entertainment. "As an early entrant in the sector we have already had a number of milestones, including, the launch of the first ever daily fantasy site dedicated to esports, the first esports betting site to receive an Isle of Man license gaming license in 2017 and more recently being shortlisted by EGR Magazine for the Esports Betting Supplier of the Year Award. This year, part of our growth strategy was to round out our offering with traditional sports and casinos to make us a complete iGaming solution. Merging with FansUnite accelerates our growth strategy and will bring us the scale and offerings to make our combined group the leading iGaming entity in the Canadian public markets."

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Allied Esports Entertainment Inc. (NASDAQ: AESE) announced back in May that its European division is adding to its original programming and production services from the state-of-the-art HyperX Esports Studio in Hamburg, Germany, as gamers and esports fans continue to play and consume content online. Germany now has more than 34.3 million gamers, equaling about 42 percent of the country's population. According to research firm Game, 18 million Germans have used gaming specifically to stay connected with friends and family during the pandemic. "The global health crisis has forced us to get even more creative with the way we engage our communities, and thanks to the quick response by our teams across the world, we have positioned the company for continued growth during this difficult time," said Jud Hannigan, CEO of Allied Esports. "Whether it be game publishers, sports and esports organizations or traditional sports athletes, Allied Esports has become a platform for all forms of content creators to continue to engage and grow their audiences in Europe and North America."

Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) in collaboration with Sony Mobile Communications Inc., announced back in April that the Call of Duty®: Mobile World Championship 2020 Tournament presented by Sony, which took place online on April 30th, provided eligible Call of Duty: Mobile players ranked veteran or higher in Multiplayer with the chance to compete to win exclusive Call of Duty: Mobile esports cosmetics and cash prizes. The tournament features more than USD 1 Million in total prizes, sponsored by Sony Mobile. "We are very excited to launch our highly-anticipated competitive tournament in Call of Duty: Mobile," said Chris Plummer, Vice President, Mobile at Activision. "As the next-evolution in our fan-favorite Ranked Play, this tournament format gives eligible Call of Duty: Mobile players a chance to compete with players from around the world for cash and prizes."

HUYA Inc. (NASDAQ: HUYA) game live streaming platform in China with a large and active game live streaming community. The Company cooperates with e-sports event organizers, as well as major game developers and publishers, and has developed e-sports live streaming as one of the most popular content genres on its platform. The open platform also functions as a marketplace for broadcasters and talent agencies to congregate and closely collaborate with HUYA. The Company also explains that the monetization opportunities for broadcasters and talent agencies are linked to their performance, which motivates them to supply high-quality content to our platform. We believe our role as an efficient and transparent marketplace fueled our continuous growth and success.

Esports Entertainment Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: GMBL) a licensed online gambling company with a focus on esports wagering and 18+ gaming, announced back in May that it has officially begun onboarding hundreds of affiliate marketing partners to its newly relaunched wagering platform. The affiliate partners include esports teams, influencers, streamers, leagues, and super affiliates from Asia, Europe, North America and South America. The Company believes its Affiliate Marketing program will play a significant role in its organic growth. "Our Affiliate partners are a very important part of our organic growth strategy in 2020 and beyond, so it has been a high priority of ours to provide the comfort and security they need to partner with us and drive their valuable global audiences to," said Grant Johnson, CEO of Esports Entertainment Group. "We believe that with the combination of our NASDAQ listing, capital raise and Malta license over the last 30 days we have a formidable competitive advantage to attract, support and grow with affiliate partners that we believe will lead to rapid organic growth for our newly relaunched esports wagering platform."

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