Regulated Esports Betting Set For Takeoff In Italy, But Selection Of Games May Be Limited

Written By Joss Wood on June 6, 2016 - Last Updated on January 22, 2018

Italy’s largest gaming company SNAI has partnered with Betradar to offer the first regulated esports betting option to Italian customers.

In the absence of regulation the business goes to the black market

SNAI has also entered the market for virtual sports betting in a deal with Inspired Gaming.

The new products are not just seeing incredible growth, but without the support of regulators can also create a threat to regulated operators’ businesses: If the regulated markets don’t offer these popular products, the market will be left open to less scrupulous offshore operators.

The new SNAI product offer has been enabled by the Italian regulator’s pro-active approach to increasing the range of products which regulated operators can put on the market.

The Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli (ADM) has committed to the philosophy that the best way of channelling customers to the regulated market is to offer the products they want.

ADM regulation wraps rules around esports betting

As a regulated offering, the ADM can set boundaries on esports to ensure issues of game integrity and under-age gambling can be controlled.

Limiting game types

Initially, licenses cover only Dota 2 and League of Legends games, but the regulator intends to expand both the range of games and the number of licenses issued as quickly as possible.

Game types will be limited so that esports games which might instigate “violent or discriminating behaviours” will not be authorized, raising a question regarding FPS titles such as CS:GO.

Keeping a close eye on integrity

“Furthermore, as part of our relationship with the ESL, Sportradar monitors betting patterns across all ESL competitions through its multi award-winning Fraud Detection System,” Caci explained.

“Using our esports products, SNAI can rely on its betting offer having the industry’s best manipulation detection system in place.”

The ADM requires all esports results to be confirmed from two separate sources, and requires technical reports on the wagers that have been placed.

It is the availability of products such as the Fraud Detection System that gives ADM confidence that wagers can be fairly placed. Not only can ADM say esports are suitable for regulated betting, but that it is also capable of regulating the activity safely.

Bookmakers must respond to demographic changes

SNAI is convinced that all betting operators will need to offer esports betting to satisfy the market.

CEO of SNAI – Cogetech Group, Fabio Schiavolin, says bookmakers have to respond to the changing demands of their customer demographic: “Betting on esports for sure will play a key role in the future of sports betting and no bookmaker can afford to ignore it.”

Lorenzo Caci, Sportradar’s Director Sales echoed the sentiment, saying: “We expect betting on esports to be just at the very beginning but it’s already seeing incredible growth.”

Esports betting offers “staggering possibilities for sportsbooks in terms of betting markets and frequency,” Caci noted.

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Joss Wood

Joss Wood holds an English degree from the University of Birmingham and also earned a master’s degree in organizational development from the University of Manchester. Joss has a special focus on the international online gambling market, though he also writes extensively on US regulated markets, sports betting, and esports betting.

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