For Gambling, the New Multibillion-Dollar Frontier: Competitive Video Gaming
Esports, competitive video gaming at a professional level, has been around for decades.
From humble beginnings in the 1980s, competitive video gaming has exploded in recent years.
Today, players participate in leagues with team franchises and media deals. They display their skills in sold-out arenas as millions of fans watch online.
Once a niche world of small online communities, esports is a billion-dollar global industry, and growing.
To put the surging popularity in perspective for those new to this market, last year’s League of Legends world championship, where players competed for millions of dollars in prize money, was held at the famous Bird’s Nest in Beijing, the national stadium built for the 2008 Olympic games. It was packed.
Overall, an estimated 385 million people from around the world tune in to watch teams of video game players compete.
Adidas, Under Armour, Nike, and other major brands sponsor players, teams, and events.
Media rights for events, which hit $50 million in 2016, are expected to surge sevenfold by 2020, reaching nearly $340 million.
ESPN struck a deal with EA last year to broadcast FIFA tournaments on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN3.
Europe’s elite soccer clubs have been signing esports players at an increasing pace in recent years, even signing players outside of soccer, as they vie for a share of the multibillion-dollar market.
In September 2017, the Philadelphia 76ers became the first U.S. sports team to acquire a competitive gaming team, purchasing Team Dignitas in a deal sources place at as much as $15 million.
While the trend is clear, the average investor has lacked a way to profit from this growth, until now.
Betting on a Winner
We’ve found a pure-play opportunity in the esports market with a business model that can scale while generating big profits.
And it’s still trading under the radar of bigger Wall Street investors. At least for now.
As the popularity of esports has soared, so has interest in wagering on the competition.
This company has developed a next-generation online platform to facilitate as much of this wagering as possible.
It’s estimated that esports wagering will top $20 billion over the next few years. In 2016, total bets in the space were reported at $1 billion.
And these numbers are from before May 2018’s landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that paves the way for states to legalize sports gambling.
According to the casino-backed American Gaming Association, Americans place $150 billion a year in illegal sports bets. As the race to legalization unfolds, this could add billions to esports wagering in the coming years.
Unlike a traditional sports book, where players bet against the house, this company has developed a technology platform that connects gamblers directly.
It doesn’t matter who wins or loses. This company generates fees from simply matching the bettors.
At gamescom 2017, the company signed more than 60 affiliate-marketing agreements. Combined with a robust marketing strategy, they’re set to hit the ground running.
The Company is aptly named: Esports Entertainment Group. Investors can scoop up shares at just over $0.98 right now. It trades under the ticker GMBL on the NASDAQ.
Successful Beta Test and Launch
In March, GMBL announced the successful completion of its beta test and launch of its VIE (https://vie.gg) platform, the world’s safest, most secure, and most transparent esports -wagering platform.
VIE offers bettors exchange-style wagering on esports events in a licensed, regulated, and secured platform to the global esports audience, excluding jurisdictions such as the United States that prohibit online gambling.
The bet-exchange model provides for player-versus-player (PVP) betting, with the house taking a small percentage of each wager, as opposed to a sports-book model that pits the player versus the house, meaning a VIE player always wins and the Company removes all risk, creating a win-win for players and the Company.
The launch of VIE follows months of extensive, final financial compliance with applicable regulators, financial institutions and payment processors, as well as beta testing that provided the Company with valuable feedback from esports enthusiasts around the world.
The VIE platform features wagering on the top games in esports, including Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, Call of Duty, Hearthstone, and StarCraft II.
Growing Roster of Affiliate Marketers
A core element of the Company’s customer-acquisition strategy is an affiliate program powered by Income Access, which won eGaming Review's B2B Award for “Affiliate Software” four years in a row.
Income Access has been fully integrated into VIE to manage GMBL’s affiliate program, which has received attention far beyond the Company’s expectations.
The 60 affiliate esports streamers signed at gamescon 2017 represent an audience reach of 250 million people globally.
More recently, GMBL announced the signing of more than 50 esports teams to its affiliate roster, further strengthening its ability to reach potential bettors.
Low Stock Price Provides Substantial Upside
GMBL’s stock was as high as $3 last year. Today it trades for just over $0.98 per share.
If it only recovers to last year’s high, you could see a 200% return. With the platform now live, in a red-hot sector, with top notch management, we think it could ultimately trade much higher.