So far, bookmakers didn’t pay too much attention to eSports. But that’s about to change. At least, as long as audience and coverage grow. Indeed, some casino operators already took notice as an example, LeoVegas AB (LV) marks its entry into the realm of eSports. In brief, the Swedish operator gains control over Pixel.bet. The €1.5m deal between LV’s investment entity, LeoVenture and the Pixel Holding Group Ltd sees LV get 51% of the group’s shares.
A sight on the future
The Stockholm-listed firm already run popular gambling sites in sports betting and casino that include brands such as RoyalPanda, SlotBoss, Bingos.co.uk, and 21.co.uk. The operator’s latest move demonstrates its sight is set on the future.
The Scandinavian group is in the middle of an investment rush, it seems. This February, it spent £65m to buy Intellectual Property and Software Ltd. This acquisition was also a part of its new diversification plan. Away from the mobile casino-focus model, that is. The deal included, what is by now, LV’s most prominent sports betting brand. In fact, BetUK.com official relaunch happened just a month ago.
A unique insight
“eSports is a fast-growing area. It engages millions of viewers and players every month,” said Gustaf Hagman. And surely, LV’s CEO is not far from the truth. The segment is on a constant rise with tournament attendance, media coverage and sponsorships push gambling operator to take notice. Analysts expect wagers on eSports will reach $6.6b this year. But that number should, in fact, double by the end of the decade.
LV’s move is a strategic one. “The deal gives us a unique insight into a new and fast-growing segment,” Hagman confirmed.
Pixel.bet CEO Eirik Kristiansen praised LV as a unique partner. “They share our passion for eSports, ” he said. Sweden and some other Scandinavian markets will be the initial focus of the new project.