Mark McGuinness, co-founder of www.esportsbet.com, a resource for gamers and sports bettors who wish to start betting on eSports, and currently the chief marketing officer of BetOlimp.com part of Olimp Bookmakers Ltd, has described the forthcoming EiG (30 October – 1 November, Arena Berlin) as an ‘intrinsic part of the i-gaming and land-based gambling industries.'
One of the leading industry experts speaking at EIG, he added: “Many who are connected with gaming are travelling around the globe for work and often don’t have time to stop, reflect or find that eureka moment that may transform their business to the next level or bestow a competitive advantage over other incumbents in the marketplace. EiG is a place for research where you are consciously scoping for ideas and inspiration. As an event, it is that special place you can choose to find things that can challenge and change the way you think. For me, no other industry event in the annual calendar has come close to replicating that magic and indeed mystic spell.”
McGuinness, who has more than 20-years senior level experience in digital betting and entertainment with both private and public i-gaming operators, will be appearing at EiG in order to discuss the affiliate potential in eSports. Scoping out the opportunities that exist, he explained: "Quite frankly online sports betting and casino gaming is saturated. The consumers are literally dying off, and have multiple accounts with operators.
“eSports is the future consumer, the Millenial Generation or the iGeneration are the current and future consumers. They are interested in digital content, skilled gaming, community, social giving and ICO's. They are the most empowered generation in the whole of human civilization. If affiliates don't embrace this audience, then they shall become extinct like the dinosaurs.”
He added: "The eSports sector is growing and games transcend our every waking moment and inhabit our most precious object, the mobile phone. In terms of sports, popularity shall be one of a recurrent pattern of coming and going or decline and regrowth. At the moment CS:GO, Dota 2, Starcraft, LoL and FiFa are the popular betting titles."
Looking beyond just the eSports vertical, he believes the affiliate sector needs to professionalise in order to prosper, particularly in light of recent negative reporting in the UK media and direct criticism levelled by British politicians.
“A harder line is needed by and from affiliate owners/businesses,” he stated. “After all, these changes shall affect how affiliates attract traffic in order to know their customer, which shall impact on the upstream conversion to the operator brands and ultimately their direct affiliate revenue. The reality is, it will hit their bottom line, hard, owing to the fact that affiliates will need to demonstrate greater transparency and accountability of traffic sources and KYC within their marketing value chain.
"The dynamics will change and the fittest and biggest affiliates shall survive. We have already witnessed major consolidation in the affiliate sector, with large media or performance marketing companies pivoting their business model perhaps as a direct or indirect result of the headwinds coming from the UK Gambling Commission