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Industry-first esports gambling platform gets wagering license approval

"There is finally a legitimate, regulated operator in the space that has a pretty comprehensive offering," says Unikrn CEO

Live-betting esports platform Unikrn is set to roll out in 20 countries after its wagering licence was approved on the Isle of Man this week.

The license approval has cleared the way for Unikrn to bring esports gambling and skill-based betting to most of Europe, South Korea and other Asian countries, and certain parts of Latin America.

For the time being, esports spectator betting will remain unavailable in the US, hampered by federal gambling laws.

However, skill-based betting will become available in 41 US states with the Unikrn rollout.

Unikrn CEO Rahul Sood claims that if the US market is developed, esports betting could be worth $9 billion by 2020.

"There is finally a legitimate, regulated operator in the space that has a pretty comprehensive offering," he told The Associated Press. "It's huge."

Previously Unikrn had only been licensed for real-money betting on esports in the UK and Australia, but this license approval dramatically expands the global scope.

Not only will gamers be able to bet on live esports tournaments such as League of Legends World Championship, but they will be able to place skill-based bets on themselves.

Players can bet on their own skills in games like Fortnite, Hearthstone, and Starcraft II, with odds generated by linking their player profile to the Unikrn platform.

In April this year the Seattle-based company acquired gaming tournament platform ChallengMe.gg to facilitate its skill-based betting structure.

Founded in 2014, backed by investors such as Mark Cuban, Elisabeth Murdoch and Ashton Kutcher, Unikrn is the first betting platform built on the blockchain.

Following an initial coin offering for UnikoinGold in October 2017, Unikrn raised $31 million.

In August this year, a class-action lawsuit was brought against the company, alleging it sold unregistered securities to the public during its ICO. Sood told the Associated Press the lawsuit is "very frivolous" and claimed there is "no merit to it".

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