Changes to regulation and advertising rules coupled with the shift to digital-first operations have created a massive ripple in the gambling sector, causing many brands to rethink their approach to marketing.
But while there are challenges facing the sector there are also a number of opportunities creating new areas for growth, namely the rise of esports, increased focus on women’s sports and global expansion.
These are three areas gambling brands simply can’t ignore. And given the esports market is expected to be worth $1.8bn (£1.3bn) by 2020 according to Statista, it’s certainly an area worth exploring.
Betway has been active in the space since 2014, becoming the first major sports betting operator to create a dedicated esports site.
“This enabled us to offer a more tailored experience to our esports users, without changing the way we engage with the rest of our customers. The market is developing exponentially and there are a plethora of brands getting into the space now,” Betway marketing director Paul Adkins explains.
“As a brand, you need to really understand esports if you’re going to enter the space – it’s a highly educated audience who don’t suffer fools, so you need to be authentic if you want to make a success of it. Where we excel is that every one of our team are fans of esports first and members of the Betway team thereafter.”
The Kindred Group, which owns gambling brands 32 Red and Unibet, was eager to explore esports after seeing a big overlap with its target audience. In November, its Unibet brand signed a two-year global partnership to become the official betting partner of esports team Astralis.