ESP.bet obtains first-ever license for virtual goods gambling
By Manuel Marti
ialist eSports fantasy league and betting site eSportsPools (ESP.bet) has secured the first-ever license to specifically cover gambling with virtual goods.
ESP.bet obtained the permission throughout the Isle of Man jurisdiction. The Gambling Supervision Commission granted the eSports-focus website the consent to run real-money and virtual-goods games from its main domain, whilst the Esportspools.com site will remain a free-to-play platform.
Additionally, this premiere license will enable ESP.bet to process cryptocurrencies transactions, meaning the company can handle deposits and pay-outs in digital currencies such Bitcoin.
Scott Burton, Chief executive of ESP.bet commented: “To date, eSports betting and the gambling of virtual goods has largely been a grey market, with a lot of unregulated operators failing to protect their customers. We’ve always taken a more transparent approach, undertaking ‘know your customer’ checks to verify age and running a really clear game system.
“With this licence, that work has been validated and I feel like we have taken the first step towards building a regulated marketplace that is safe for consumers, businesses, and investors.”
On his behalf, Licensing specialist and a Director of Boston Multi Family Office, the service provider that managed the application, Alex McNee pointed out at the bright future ahead of the iGaming industry.
“Global revenues in eSports are now tipping past the $1bn (€850.3m) a year mark and we know the industry still has a lot of growth ahead of it. As the betting markets for this industry mature, operators are going to have to be licensed to ensure long term growth, and that licence will need to cover areas such as digital currencies and virtual goods.
“The Isle of Man’s recent inclusion of these assets into their regulations is a huge step forward, which has now been made real by the granting of ESP.bet’s licence,” he added.