Learning how to harness betting on esports has been an enormous topic within the gambling industry in 2020, especially when we suffered from a lack of traditional sports due to COVID-19.
Marek Suchar, Head of Sales for Oddin.gg, a B2B esports odds feed and risk management provider, is certain the key to betting on esports is engagement.
Coming from a financial industry background, Suchar has been following esports for a decade and because one of the fastest ways to monetize esports is betting, he jumped on the opportunity to join Oddin and change the industry for the better.
“We are fully focused on engagement”, Suchar said.
“There are two key factors I would say are important within esports and in terms of engagement. One is that if you want to present your opinion as a bettor, you should be allowed to bet”, he said.
Suchar went on to explain that at present, during the course of an esports game, there are times when the markets are suspended or only a few lines are offered. As a result, an esports bettor may head to better platforms where they can present their opinion in terms of a bet at any time.
“This has implications on the volume and eventually on the profits of the bookmaker. So what you, as the bookmaker, want to actually allow your bettors to have as many live opportunities available as possible and as much time across the game as possible”, he said.
The second factor is that unlike traditional sports, esports are played 24/7, with content available to bet on 24/7.
“The day starts with Australian players, then Asian players, European players, U.S. players, so when it comes to Dota 2 Counter-Strike, the games are played all the time. This is not necessarily the case with soccer, with volleyball, where you have smaller tournaments, major tournaments and there are gaps in between”, Suchar pointed out.
“But esports is that specific sport in terms of the content being available all the time. We can tap into this, not only into the official professional tournaments, but we can basically anytime get any game- the meaningful one, preferably- and provide engagement and betting for it”, he said.
“We are coming to the market directly with this gap filler that we can create 24/7 betting starting with Counter-Strike betting stream where the bettors can come, enjoy the game and actually bet on it”, Suchar added.
When asked why bookmakers simply cannot treat esports as an “add-on” to their traditional sports betting offerings, Suchar elaborated on how the target customer is different.
“Any new bets that your bettors are doing on other sports, usually the age is 33 years and more. For soccer, for ice hockey, for volleyball. For esports we are speaking about roughly 25 years of age”, Suchar explained.
“There’s a huge gap in terms of how much more of a younger audience you are able to engage through esports and many times these bettors are actually not that much into the standard, the legacy sports, so you will not attract them through the old school sports, only through esports”, he said.
“So if you do not jump on the train, you might be actually missing out to attract this younger generation”, Suchar added.
Oddin is also involved with the land-based casino space, helping casinos monetize the esports tournaments they are hosting inside their properties.
“We are in multiple discussions with various casinos. The situation they are addressing right now is if you think about millennials, pretty much the game they have on their cell in their pocket can be much more engaging than the standard slot machines. So they are of course looking for a different kind of fun”, Suchar revealed.
As casinos around the world are struggling to find ways to engage with the younger generation, one of proven ways to do so is building esports hubs and hosting internal esports tournaments.
“The monetization part actually comes from being able to quote the odds of these tournaments and this is not the expertise that [casinos] necessarily have”, said Suchar.
“Then Oddin steps in and gets plugged into the organizers’ data and we are able to calculate the lines, we are able to provide the risk management into it and this way provide the extra monetization for the land-based casinos”, he said.
“This way they can organize these events, bring the young generation in-house and at the same time monetize it through the betting on their own tournaments”, Suchar added.