Huge step for eSports as Tabcorp strikes Unikrn deal

Huge step for eSports as Tabcorp strikes Unikrn deal

Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Huge step for eSports as Tabcorp strikes Unikrn deal

Australian betting company Tabcorp has signed a deal to offer betting on the growing eSports market as it seeks to overcome flat domestic ­wagering revenues.

Tabcorp has become the exclusive betting agency for Unikrn, a US-based gaming online and eSports gaming tournament platform, and will initially attempt to encourage betting among 500,000 regular online gamers in Australia.

The deal with Unikrn, a start-up by former Microsoft executive Rahul Sood that has already attracted nine million members, will form part of Tabcorp’s sports betting offering, a fast-growing and increasingly important line of business.

Tabcorp wrorill offer its first market on a mid-seasonal League of Legends invitational in Tallahassee, Florida, on May 7 where five teams.

Tabcorp chief executive David Attenborough said that, if successful among Australian customers, Tabcorp could expand the offering to new ­jurisdictions, including Europe.

“We are looking to get the product and experience right in Australia and once we are confident that we are scoring high marks from customers we will look at other jurisdictions,’’ said Attenborough.

Attenborough said there was a potential global market of 200 million players that could be drawn to the online tournaments, putting it on a par with major US sporting businesses such as the National Football League and the National Basketball Association.

Unikrn was established last year and received $3m (€2.72m) in angel funding last November before buying the Pinion gaming forum business that Sood oversaw as head of Microsoft Ventures.

Sood said: “What we’re seeing is a movement unlike any other, where kids these days are watching other people play their favourite games online and learning from them. They become fans of it, and they live it every day.’’

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