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Norwegian Gaming Authority Cracks Down on Esports Skin Betting

Norwegian Gaming Authority Cracks Down on Esports Skin Betting

March 15, 2017 · Filed Under Online Gambling News 

Esports Skin Betting Sites Receive Threats from Norwegian Gaming Authority , NGA Says Only

A note, or a threat if you will, was published by the Norwegian Gaming Authority warning all skin betting operators that skinning betting activities are considered as being gambling activities and operators who are offering such activities will face punishment.

The NGA is saying that skins are considered as CS:GO which is basically a virtual currency. More details include,

“Skins can normally not be exchanged for cash, but it is possible to take the skins out of the game and of other markets for buying and selling. There are separate online casinos where you can bet and win skins, and in such cases, skins a virtual currency that can be used for gambling. We have seen several examples of Norwegian children and young people who have spent thousands of money from this.”

The NGA added that,

“A gaming site that allows betting and pays out prizes in skins is in our view an online casino, and in Norway, only Norsk Tipping is allowed to offer online casino.”

The note concluded with that when the virtual currency is being used for gambling it brings the activity within the country’s jurisdiction, therefore making it illegal.

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Newzoo’s Updated Projections on eSports for the Future

February 16, 2017 · Filed Under Online Gambling News 

eSports Revenues Could Spike by 41.3% Says New Research Study

Results from a new research study has been released with the results predicting that eSports could soar by the end of this year. Newzoo, independent researcher conducted the study saying that the eSports industry will see revenues increase by 41.3% amounting to more than $695 million this year. An earlier prediction from Newzoo last year stated:

“Esports-related revenues are on pace to generate $493 million in 2016, according to a report from intelligence firm Newzoo. That’s up more than 51.7 percent from 2015, and it is also a 7 percent increase from the projection that Newzoo made to kick off 2016.”

Peter Warman, Newzoo’s Chief Executive said that,

“For brands, media, and entertainment companies, eSports provides a chance to capitalise on the favorite pastime of digital natives and Millennials: playing games and watching game content. With the arrival of live streams and events, gaming has entered the realm of broadcasters and media that can now apply their advertising business model to a market previously out of reach for them.”

Warman also stated that eSports is accelerating the union of different established industries as well as growing exponentially as a new business that isn’t dependent on the industry as a whole. The research study looked at all aspects that will have some impact on the future of the vertical. It concluded with an impressive outcome after its last study that took place 2 years ago when it predicted eSports to reach the $325 million market.

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UKGC Approving of Virtual Currencies for the UK Gambling Market

December 30, 2016 · Filed Under Bitcoin, Gambler's Report, Online Gambling News 

Virtual Currencies Receive the Recognition Needed by the UKGC, as Social Gaming and eSports Grow in Popularity

UKGC Approving of Virtual Currencies for the UK Gambling MarketWith the online gambling market increasing in popularity and appeal, virtual currencies have become a concern of importance by players and operators. The UK Gambling Commission have finally recognized the focus that is needed for virtual currencies with social gaming and eSports. The UKGC issued a special discussion paper that expresses the recognition needed for the industry to continue to dominate the gambling market as a whole.

The UKGC let it be known it was doing what it could to address crucial matters with virtual currencies to protect customers and for regulation. The Discussion Paper clarifies the nature of gambling in terms of betting as well as summarizes gaming and lottery operations. The Paper dedicated a section to virtual currencies, social gaming and eSports. The UKGC has provided information about the approach being taken with unlicensed gambling operations.

A type of digital money that is controlled by developers and accepted in specific virtual communities is what the European Central Bank defined virtual currencies back in 2012. Since the market continues to expand virtual currencies have been classified as an inseparable part of the online community, therefore the importance of currencies has been pushed to issue the Discussion Paper.

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UKGC Addresses eSports and Digital Currencies Regulation

July 21, 2016 · Filed Under Gambler's Report, Online Gambling News 

UK Gambling Commission Seeks to Further Evaluate eSports and Digital Currencies

UKGC Addresses eSports and Digital Currencies RegulationThe UK Gambling Commission released its most recent Annual Report. The report explains in detail the main focuses the Commission are concentrating on. The main key points are to further its evaluation with eSports and digital currencies.

The continued attention to the growing markets and emerging products will be directed toward the most important aspects such as player protection and regulation. Some of the issues range from trading in-game items and the rise of real money eSports betting markets. The Commission strongly believes that there are distorted impressions between social gaming and gambling.

The Annual Report said that “Our focus will be to understand developments, including engaging with key stakeholders, and we will work wherever we can to ensure the risks associated with these, particularly to children and young people, are minimized.”

The Commission allows its operators who have obtained licenses to offer eSports betting, but the concern is being expressed over several other areas of the betting market.

“The growing market in esports and computer gaming has scope to present issues for regulation and player protection – issues which are being examined by gambling regulators in other international markets,” the Commission noted.

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Gambling – Gaming Crossovers: The Future of Gambling?

March 8, 2016 · Filed Under Gambling Articles, Online Gambling News 

Gaming and gambling are undergoing a revolutionary change. Bookmakers are setting lines on big-time international video game tournaments. Top poker players are joining the ranks of eSports teams, and top video gamers are heading into the poker world to turn pro. There is no longer a clear dividing line between the two, and that’s not a bad development at all.

Both segments of the population – gamers and gamblers – have shared common interests for decades, and we’re finally seeing the overlap. The fusion of the gaming and gambling worlds has already become a lucrative venture that will generate both industries billions of dollars in future revenue. We’re only a few years away from the full transformation of eSports. It’s only a matter of time before eSports tournaments become hyped-up, televised live events that could rival the Super Bowl and World Cup.

Gaming has become big business, especially professional gaming, and global media companies like ESPN are banking on the future of eSports– that it will become a lucrative revenue stream in the sports entertainment genre.  Fortune Magazine reports that “the eSports industry will grow from $278 million in revenue in 2015 into a $765 million industry by 2018, according to forecasts from research firm Newzoo.”

It’s one thing to pay to play video games, but it’s a whole other thing to get paid to play games! The entire paradigm has shifted and the previous stigma of the gamer has quickly evaporated. Gamers are poised to become the next wave of celebrities. They’ll achieve rock-star status for their prowess in eSports.  It makes sense that we’re experiencing the rise of gamers as the next big-time professional sport that someday might rival football and basketball. According to Slate Magazine, gambling is the next wave in mobile gaming.

Gambling - Gaming Crossovers: The Future of Gambling?


The monetization of the gaming world facilitated the crossover into the gambling industry. We’re on the cusp of a revolutionary boom, with gaming gaining widespread appeal while rubbing up against the gambling world.


We’re experiencing a creative period in which gaming/gambling crossovers are spawning some cutting-edge content. The Spin and Bet promotion on BetStars was clearly inspired by the popular game of roulette. The Spin and Bet promo (in which bettors have a chance to multiply the size of their wager) is a popular crossover for roulette and sports betting enthusiasts, but it’s also an example of the financial synergy between a gaming/gambling.

The Spin and Bet promo offers five potential enhanced prize pool outcomes: 1x, 1.5x, 2x, 5x, or 10x. The overall amount is multiplied by wherever the wheel stops, so it shares the same buzz as watching the outcome of a roulette spin.



ElkY, known to the world as Bertrand Grospellier, is one of the most successful gamers in the world and is considered among the all-time greatest Starcraft players. The French teenager left his home in Paris and moved to South Korea to compete professionally in the popular strategy game, the second installment of which has sold more than 1,000,000 units already. ElkY quickly became the equivalent of a rock star. ElkY was also an excellent online poker player and he realized he could earn more money playing cards than playing video games.

The gaming world got great news in 2015 when ElkY announced that he was coming out of gaming retirement to join Team Liquid as an eSports pro. During the online poker boom of the early 2000s, many gamers migrated to poker to take advantage of the global infatuation with online poker. That was the first time gamers stepped into the gambling realm… without even stepping inside a real casino. Many successfully made the crossover without even leaving their couches.




In the online poker world, there’s a challenge among pros in which they play “heads-up for rolls” (or “HU 4 rollz” as the kids today would say in chatspeak). It’s a version of a duel in which two players engage in a winner-take-all scenario with their entire bankroll at stake. That’s the closest modern equivalent for a showdown at high noon, like in an old Western film when two gunslingers decide to settle their differences with a shootout in the middle of the street.

In the gaming world, rivalries among peers always existed and some gamers were willing to engage in “friendly wagers” among themselves in which they played for pride, bragging rights, and the glory of winning. However, other gamers were more financially driven and accepted wagers against friends. These P2P transactions, in which small sums (e.g. a few quid) were wagered on outcomes of Starcraft or Madden NFL, were the gamer equivalent of playing “heads up for rolls.”



Even Full Tilt Poker has gotten into the gaming realm. In December 2015, Hearthstone announced that Full Tilt would become their new corporate sponsor for their Heroes of Warcraft team. That move baffled some critics who thought Hearthstone and Full Tilt were technically competitors. Alas, the bluffing similarity between online poker and Hearthstone is one of the primary reasons Full Tilt was interested in a sponsorship relationship. In fact, ElkY credited his fondness for Hearthstone as one of the reasons why he ended his retirement and returned to the eSports realm. Hearthstone currently has over 40 million players and their base is growing every day.

In addition, Full Tilt made gaming/gambling crossover history when Full Tilt’s software was added to the Steam network. Full Tilt had a chance to expose its brand to a new audience. Steam is one of the largest gaming networks in the world with over 6,000 games and a massive user base of 125 million and growing. They had to vote on whether or not a new game is introduced to their platform. Full Tilt was under review, but they received enough votes to pass their rigorous “Greenlight” process. Full Tilt finally joined the Steam network, which was the first time an online poker site had ever made the leap to a gaming network. Full Tilt finally gained access to the untapped eSports market.




Behold the rise of the gamers! Nerd or geek culture has certainly become the centerpiece of popular culture, with video games leading the charge. The gaming community is growing exponentially with the introduction of social media gaming and the increasing ability to play games on the go via mobile phones and tablets. Many of the kids born today are fully ingrained mobile gamers because of the multi-platform accessibility for gaming opportunities.

Now, the gaming world and the gambling world have finally crossed paths. The inevitable merger of the two communities helped ignite a financial boom for both. The eSports industry might someday rival professional sporting leagues. We have already seen several successful crossovers between the two industries and communities. Former professional gamers, like ElkY of Starcraft fame, have gravitated toward professional poker. On the gaming industry side, bookmakers at major casinos have recognized eSports as a legitimate sporting contest.

I know it will never happen, but my dream is to someday see the multi-million dollar World Series of Donkey Kong hosted in Las Vegas!

Author Bio: Anthony writes on eSports and online gambling.

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eSports Growing Popularity with US Celebrity Investors

January 11, 2016 · Filed Under eSports, Gambler's Report, Online Gambling News 

From Mark Cuban Predicting the Inevitable Legislation of Gambling to Ashton Kutcher’s Backing of eSports Betting Startup Unikrn, to Betway’s First eSports Portal, Are You in the Game?

unikrn_esportsBack in September of 2015, celebrity TV personality of the famous hit series, ‘That 70s Show’ and ‘Two and a Half Men’, Ashton Kutcher was confirmed by the actor himself as an investor in Seattle-based eSports betting platform, Unikorn. The undisclosed amount that the two agreed upon was said to be quite substantial.

Unikrn at the time also received financial backing from other celebrities to the tune of $7 million, and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was said to be one of the high-profile people involved.

This week the Mavericks owner was once again in the headlines sharing his belief that, “legalizing gambling in the U.S. is inevitable.” The Shark Tank host and billionaire NBA team owner shared his views on eSports and virtual reality and why he is investing in the future.

This past week, Fantasy Labs announced a new deal for an undisclosed amount had been secured. Cuban has been very vocal as of late expressing that he hopes, “the stupidity and hypocrisy in a few states will be cleared up in the courts shortly.” Cuban also believes that, “it will take some time for the courts to overcome the grandstanding by a few district attorneys.”

Cuban stated further on the deal with Fantasy Labs,

“The explosive growth of fantasy sports, and its involvement with new categories of competition like eSports, increases the need for high-end resources like the platform offered by Fantasy Labs,” Cuban said in a release announcing the deal. “I’m excited to be involved with a company that is working to advance an industry that is poised for huge growth.”

In, 2015, Betway managed by managed by Betway Limited become the first major bookmaker to launch a dedicated eSports portal across several long term markets. Since then the popularity of Bet eSports Way has grown significantly just as predicted by Betway’s Anthony Werkman who stated back in 2015:

“Our new dedicated portal was designed with significant input from our own passion for eSports, which is huge and will only continue to grow. Betway is leading the way in eSports betting and the launch of our dedicated eSports portal is just the beginning.”

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Activision Buys Live Gaming Creator, Major League Gaming

January 5, 2016 · Filed Under Gambler's Report, Online Gambling News 

Leading Streaming Premium Live Gaming Events Creator, Major League Gaming acquired by Activision Blizzard

Activision Buys Live Gaming Creator, Major League GamingIn eSports news, Major League Gaming has been acquired by Activision Blizzard to extend the company’s reach across the uprising of an esports community. The addition of live streaming capabilities and technologies to the Activision Blizzard Media Networks division is part of the companies plan to create a larger network in a vision of becoming the ‘ESPN of esports’.

According to released reports, Activision already acquired a majority of Major’s assets that was said to be worth $46 million. If all is true, this is a big game changer for the eSports market with it boosting the 2016 year’s excitement levels.

The deal was said to have met terms of the contract on December 21, 2015. Activision Blizzard was able to come up with a deal with the Board of Directors over at Major League. It was also stated that there were no previous discussions with the two, or shareholders of the company. A letter was handed out to shareholders informing them that the sale of the company had taken place.

Our acquisition of Major League Gaming’s business furthers our plans to create the ESPN of esports. MLG’s ability to create premium content and its proven broadcast technology platform – including its live streaming capabilities – strengthens our strategic position in competitive gaming. MLG has an incredibly strong and seasoned team and a thriving community. Together, we will create new ways to celebrate players and their unique skills, dedication and commitment to gaming. We are excited to add Sundance and the entire MLG esports team to our competitive gaming initiatives.” – Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard

Major League has been one of the biggest eSports company in the USA. It has suffered from recent disappointments including CEO and Co-Founder, Sundance DiGiovanni leaving his position with the company. The eSports division of Activision Blizzard just launched back in October. They hired Major Leagues spokesman.

Activision was the fifth biggest gaming company in the USA by revenue. It is parent company for Activision and Blizzard Entertainment. The gaming company is headquartered in Santa Monica, California.

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UNIKRN Preparing Expansion of eSports to US Market

June 20, 2015 · Filed Under eSports, Gambler's Report, Online Gambling News 

Unikrn’s Strong Intentions on Expanding into the US eSports Market, Says US Will Legalize Within Next Two Years

UNIKRN Preparing Expansion of eSports to US MarketCo-founder of Unikrn, Rahul Sood announced the newly established operator has strong intentions on expanding its services to the US eSports market. Although, sports betting is yet to become regulated and/or legalized, the operator is said to be preparing for the future. The sports betting operator announced its launch of the Unikrn Arena platform last month in the UK and Ireland.

Unikrn is in partnership with Tabcorp and its Luxbet betting platform so they can enable its bettors to access online betting for tournaments and events with eSports. Unikrn has been busy thus far with the launch of it services in Australia as well.

The operator has confirmed that they are working on developing a version of its platform and services for the regional market which includes the USA. Within the next couple of years it’s predicted that sports betting will be allowed throughout the US therefore, getting ready for the big audience is just what Unikrn is going to do.

Sood stated that, “When you look at the way e-sports is going, there is a huge audience out there for it.” “We believe there is no better way to heighten the experience than through betting.”

With $3 million received from investors at their initial startup, UNIKRN is in negotiations of securing a second investment that Sood stated is “significant.”

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UNIKRN Announces Expansion in to UK Gaming Market

May 27, 2015 · Filed Under Gambler's Report, Online Gambling News 

eSports and Entertainment Company UNIKRN Expands into the UK Market, Co-Founder Announces Additional Regions Soon to Follow

UNIKRN Announces Expansion in to UK Gaming MarketeSports and Entertainment company Unikrn announced its entrance into the UK market on Facebook this past week in a post that stated, “It’s official, license is active, Unikrn Arena is officially ready for safe and legal betting on#eSports in the UK, and more regions coming soon!” Unikrn is a US based gaming company that offers live viewing, competitive odds and live discussion services in the eSports market.

Unikrn has partnered with Luxbet and Tabcorp to offer its Unikrn Arena platform for events and tournaments for online betting activities. The arena platform will enable bettors to access all open online betting services in the sports market. Wagering types will include traditional sports wagering, outcome of matches and overall tournament winners.

The overall tournament winner is something brand new that has never been seen before. Unikrn wanted to celebrate with entering the UK market so they decided to make online betting a little more interesting with introducing the new betting market.

Counter-Strike, Global Offensive has also been added to its betting options and stable of games. These will be available on European leagues only.

The UK is one of the most sophisticated sports betting markets in the world and there has been tremendous demand for safe wagering on eSports from consumers in that part of the world,” commented Rahul Sood, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Unikrn.

Although Unikrn is US based, their service is restricted to jurisdictions where it is permitted so a large part of the United States is out of reach to its services.

Co-founded by Rahul Sood has a vast knowledge of the industry, previously working for Razer, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, and founded Voodoo PC.

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