BUSINESS

eSports betting operator Unikrn eyes Vegas with LEET deal

TAGs: eSports, Leet, unikrn

leet-unikrn-esports-bettingeSports online betting operator Unikrn has bolstered its land-based presence by acquiring casino eSports tournament facilitator LEET.

On Wednesday, Unikrn CEO Rahul Sood announced that his company and LEET had come to terms on a deal that will see the two members of the fledgling Nevada eSports Alliance join forces. Terms of the transaction weren’t disclosed, but the deal will dramatically boost the Seattle-based Unikrn’s profile at Las Vegas brick-and-mortar casinos.

Unikrn has built a name for itself offering real-money online eSports betting in the UK and Australia (and free-play betting in less progressive jurisdictions), while Leet provides land-based venues with all the tools they require to conduct in-house eSports tournaments on their premises.

Leet began organizing eSports tournaments from a dedicated lounge at MGM Resorts’ Downtown Grand Casino in Las Vegas over a year ago. The Downtown Grand was also where William Hill US became the first US sportsbook to legally take wagers on an eSports event last November.

Unikrn’s Sood said building a Las Vegas presence was “incredibly important” to his company and thus the the formation of Unikrn Vegas via the acquisition of LEET “just made sense.” Sood said he expects LEET to help “accelerate our business as the world’s best bookmaker for eSports.”

LEET co-founder/CEO Kingsley Edwards said his company’s casino events business had enjoyed healthy growth in 2016 and the “complimentary suite of eSports products, community reach and talented team” of LEET and Unikrn is well positioned to provide land-based casinos in Vegas and beyond with “a modern strategy to engage young adults.” Edwards and LEET co-founder Carson Knuth will reportedly be staying on post-acquisition.

LEET, whose slogan is “Kill your friends and take their money,” also has a long history of offering Bitcoin-based online eSports tournaments, both on its own and in partnership with other startups. The company also provides a Leet Bingo interactive product for eSports spectators as well as in-room gaming rentals for casino guests.

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