the awarded leading international gaming and technology company, talked with Focus Gaming News about the future of esports betting, live sports and mobile betting.
Exclusive interview.- The sports betting industry is facing a great paradigm shift like never before and companies such as 1xBet are one step forward. Focus Gaming News talked with them about the future of the industry, the new markets and the company priorities.
1xBet has secured a lot of recent sponsorship deals in both traditional sports and esports. How important do you feel it is to support these sectors?
Our company has long believed that esports is no less promising for betting than any “traditional” sport. Firstly, because of the audience’s age – many esports fans belong to the young generation, which means they may have many years of betting ahead of them, and it is worth gaining their trust now.
Secondly, the number of spectators of esports events is increasing steadily: experts estimate it to be around 500 million right now. New games are emerging that may be of interest to those who were previously indifferent to the entire concept.
This is why it is equally essential for us to support the largest esports organisations and, for example, the top football clubs. By investing in the development of the sport and creating unique opportunities for new fan experiences, we are ultimately working to develop 1xBet’s status as a global brand.
“The number of spectators of esports events is increasing steadily: experts estimate it to be around 500 million right now.”
What’s your take on the esports betting picture at the moment, and do you think it will expand beyond being a niche?
Esports betting has already expanded beyond being a niche. This is evidenced, in addition to the above-mentioned audience volume, by our internal research. We can see that both the number of bets and their total amount are steadily increasing in a wide variety of countries.
Yes, of course, regional preferences have not gone anywhere – esports will not displace cricket in India and football in Brazil. But it is capable of competing for a place in the top five of players’ preferred sports even in the biggest markets.
1xBet has a notable presence in South America. Have you seen changes in the products and services that players are demanding in the region?
This market has enormous potential. It is well known that sports are very popular in South America, so local fans are extremely discerning and want to get the best service for betting. We study their preferences in detail, but of course, the main focus is on football, which is the leading sport in the region. For this reason, we have advertised our brand at the top games in Brazil, Chile and other countries as well as during the World Cup qualifying rounds.
But football is not the only thing that matters, which is why we have become the official partner of the Brazilian men’s and women’s volleyball championships. And there, just like in football, we offer fans a more vibrant experience with our support for local clubs and athletes. Special promotions for your favourite teams and athletes’ top events, prize draws on social networks, the chance to rub shoulders with sporting stars, and much more. This all adds up to a good cause – providing the ultimate service for our customers.
How do you think sports betting demands will evolve in general in the coming years?
I will highlight three points.
The mobile market is growing – the number of bets made with smartphones is increasing. More and more people are betting on mobile apps rather than on web versions. Combine these two facts, and you see that while betting, people value the ability to realise their desires as quickly as possible. This means that the leaders will be those companies that, in parallel with the development of traditional betting opportunities, make sure that entertainment and wins are as convenient for the player as possible.
An interesting trend has also been gamification, which involves players in the betting process more, increasing the range of emotions they receive. People like to compete with other fans, winning not only through goals from top athletes but also through their own actions on the site or in the app. Therefore, elements of gamification will appear more and more in betting.
Finally, social responsibility is a vital requirement for betting companies. Of course, the whole betting process has to comply with legal requirements, that’s for sure. But it is also worth remembering that betting companies are part of the global sports community. Betting creates many social projects which are also important for other members of the community. Those who offer the fans a new experience in this field will also benefit.
“More and more people are betting on mobile apps rather than on web versions. While betting, people value the ability to realise their desires as quickly as possible. An interesting trend has also been gamification.”
What are 1xBet’s priorities for its markets?
We traditionally do not single out certain markets – it is essential for us to develop in all directions with full commitment. Europe, Africa, America, and Asia – we want to be among the leaders everywhere. It has been the main priority in our strategy since the company was founded in 2007. The world may change, but our ambition to be the best everywhere does not.