SickOdds Goes To Amsterdam Betting Conference

With the esports betting market set to grow rapidly over the coming years, major gambling outfits are beginning to take note. SickOdds went to Amsterdam on July 17th to speak on a panel at the Amsterdam Affiliate Conference which saw a packed out audience and a growing interest in this emerging market. While most esports betting operators feature CS:GO or Dota 2 markets in their offering, their esports section is often “tacked on” and difficult to find. The major insight from our time in Amsterdam is that this is now changing and a number of larger sportsbooks are in the midst of progressing this industry further.

Betway is often our go-to case study of an industry player that does esports betting right. A non-endemic brand, Betway has been a popular bookie for traditional sports fans, but in recent years their strategy broke away from offering only traditional sports and instead invested heavily in their esports content. Famously, Betway partnered with the Ninjas in Pyjamas and MiBR CS:GO teams to create videos, imagery and content for the brand. The investment by Betway into the esports market has grown well into the millions and it’s impact is beginning to show. While Betway have had a leading role to play in the “hybrid” approach to traditional sports and esports betting, our time in Amsterdam showed that other platforms are beginning to follow suit. While details are thin on the ground, companies like BetConstruct and Bet365 are expected to release details in the not too distant future about their increasing investment in this space beyond simply listing the basic esports and betting lines.

This investment is crucial for the industry. As esports players, we feel uncomfortable about sportsbooks entering the space with dollar bill signs in their eyes and a complete lack of appreciation for this market that we love so passionately. Bookmakers which tack on their esports sections with very little interest in the sport aside from making hand over fist is a major turnoff for esports players. It’s no surprise then that Betway and others are looking to invest further – living and breathing the market in a way that shows legitimate interest in this once nerdy pastime.

This was the crux of our position on the panel at Amsterdam: if you’re looking to get involved in esports – whether as an affiliate or a bookmaker – you need to find a keen interest in the industry beyond the hope of turning a profit.