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The final day of SiGMA Europe 2023 featured a captivating panel discussion titled "Lessons for eSports from Sports Betting - Exploring the Perspective of a Regulated Market." Moderated by Ron Segev, founding partner of Segev, LLP, the panel delved into the challenges and opportunities that the esports industry faces, drawing parallels with the more established world of sports betting.

The panelists included Oliver Niner, Head of Sales at Pandascore, and Alexandre Martin, CEO of SKS365. The central theme of the conversation revolved around understanding what esports can glean from the world of traditional sports betting.

Segev initiated the discussion by addressing a common misperception regarding fairness and integrity issues in esports compared to traditional sports. Niner shared his experience, acknowledging the initial volatility in esports but asserting that it's no worse than historical uncertainties in sports like tennis or early football. He highlighted the changing landscape, with operators becoming more adept at understanding the esports ecosystem.

Martin, drawing from the experience of the sports betting industry, emphasized the importance of data exchange among operators to ensure integrity. He stressed the need for comprehensive analysis, including player behaviour and game patterns, to identify any anomalies. The conversation then shifted to addressing concerns from regulators about esports' integrity, with both panelists asserting that data could demonstrate that integrity issues in esports are no greater than in traditional sports.

The panel also tackled issues related to underage participation in esports betting. Martin underscored the responsibility of operators to control and monitor activities, especially in countries with strict regulations against promoting gambling to individuals under 18. The delicate balance between attracting a younger demographic, inherent in esports, and adhering to responsible gambling practices was discussed.

The discussion extended to the demographics of esports bettors. Martin highlighted that the primary esports player is typically younger, emphasizing the strong connection between playing the games, following professional players on platforms like Twitch, and eventually becoming a fan who bets on their favourite teams.

When asked about average player values, Martin pointed out that while the esports betting market is substantial, the average spending per player is smaller than in traditional sports betting. Niner added that caution is essential when onboarding new esports products, advising operators to work with trusted providers who understand the esports ecosystem.

In the final segment, the panelists explored the seasonality of esports. Niner noted variations across different esports titles, emphasizing the importance of planning and understanding event schedules for successful esports betting operations.

As the panel concluded, both Niner and Martin provided valuable advice for operators considering entering the esports betting market. Martin encouraged a dedicated vertical for esports, distinct from traditional sports, and emphasized the need for specialized personnel. Niner echoed the sentiment, urging operators to embrace esports fully and work with dedicated suppliers for innovative products.

In closing, Niner emphasized that esports can drive innovation for other verticals, challenging operators to see esports not as a fleeting trend but as a dynamic sector that demands attention and dedicated resources.

The SiGMA Europe 2023 panel provided a comprehensive exploration of the intersection between esports and sports betting, shedding light on the challenges and opportunities within this rapidly evolving industry.

Join us in Dubai between the 25 and 27 February 2024

The fourth edition of SiGMA Eurasia expo will once again be held at the InterContinental Dubai Festival City, providing invaluable opportunities for attendees to network with industry professionals, gain exposure to the latest tech and innovations in the sector, meet key decision makers, and gain insight into new markets. Find all the details .

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yACbdXjjqEk&t=9s

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