Las Vegas-based esports betting platform provider Unikrn had its crypto wagering license approved by the Isle of Man this week, effectively clearing the way for esports participants in the US to bet on themselves on competitive video games. The license also enables the firm to roll out its offer to 20 countries throughout Europe, South Korea and other Asian countries, and parts of Latin America.
Unikrn joins a host of potential US market entrants seeking to capitalize on the strike down of PASPA, but for now esports players in 41 states may only place ‘skill-based’ bets on themselves. Players do this by linking with the Unikrn platform after undergoing an age and location verification process. They can then place wagers on their own skill and ability via a mutual pool.
The firm already operates an esports venue at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas where gamers are able to bet on themselves on games including Call of Duty and Fortnite and has plans to open up similar venues in other casinos.
In his official press announcement, company founder and CEO Rahul Sood said: “There is finally a legitimate, regulated operator in the space that has a pretty comprehensive offering. It’s huge.” While Sood’s view may seem optimistic, there is growing opinion among industry observers that esports will be a massive money-spinner. But for that to happen, betting will need to be opened up to spectators which will possibly require the formation of a dedicated national sports betting organization to push through.