Fnatic, a professional esports organization headquartered in London that fields teams in multiple games including Fortnite, CS:GO, League of Legends and Rocket League, sees unregulated gambling as one of the more pressing issues facing the booming esports industry.
Know who’s legit, be legit ?♂️??♀️
We want to highlight the issue of unregulated gambling in esports and make sure you can trust the betting site you use.https://t.co/jA0qCFsvmo
— FNATIC (@FNATIC) January 24, 2019
In a recent post, Fnatic addressed the issue of unregulated esports gambling, citing the issues inherent with skins-betting & skins casino sites that often are not properly regulated, placing the user at significant risk.
“After seeing the industry grow in our fifteen years, we take seriously the responsibility of being one of the leading figures in esports and actively trying to better this community we love,” Fnatic said. “We want our fans who are part of that community to work with us to ensure the continued success of esports. Betting with unregulated bad actors’ harms everyone, and we all need to stop supporting these sites and their owners.”
Fnatic notes that those interested in participating in esports gambling should look in the footer of each site for a gambling license, which will likely come from the Isle of Man, Malta, U.K. or Gibraltar.
As part of its efforts, Fnatic has partnered with the betting site Rivalry to help educate esports fans on gambling. As noted in the company’s footer, Rivalry is licensed in the Isle of Man.
This renewed focus on promoting fairness and security in esports betting comes as more innovative platforms begin to launch in an effort to capitalize on the growing competitive gaming fanbase.
One such company is Unikrn (UKG), a cryptocurrency-driven esports betting platform backed by Mark Cuban and Ashton Kutcher, which recently received an Isle of Man license with regulatory approval for both crypto and real money betting in 20 countries across 3 continents.
Unikrn also recently launched a new mode that takes competitive gaming gambling a step further. UMode, a player-vs-house betting platform that enables gamers to earn fiat or crypto by betting on themselves in normal matchmaking gameplay. Amateur gamers can place bets on themselves in matches of League of Legends, Dota 2 and Fortnite.
In the United States, this type of betting will likely bring additional debate as regulatory bodies begin to crack down on in-game loot boxes. The FTC is currently planning to investigate loot boxes following convincing testimony by Senator Maggie Hassan (D – NH) last November.
At the same time, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a law prohibiting states from legalizing sports betting, adding further complexity to the how game betting (including loot boxes) should be regulated. Shortly after the decision, the Justice Department announced that online gambling is still illegal — ostensibly at the behest of Sheldon Adelson.
Nonetheless, having major esports organizations like Fnatic at the forefront of the conversation should help push the industry toward a sustainable model the promotes innovation while properly adding needed protections for professional gamers, leagues and gamblers.