LeoVegas expands with Pixel.bet in the Nordic Countries

Amid the growing Swedish sports betting market, Leo Vegas has decided to expand into an unlikely segment – betting on competitive video gaming or esports.

LeoVegas, Pixel.bet and Sweden’s Promising Market

After acquiring a controlling stake in Pixel.bet, LeoVegas is finally rolling out its esports book in earnest. The newly-licensed Swedish market is the perfect moment for the company to launch competitive video gaming betting.

With a successfully acquired permit from Spelinspektionen, the national regulator, Pixel.bet is arriving in one of the most esports-friendly countries and home of the DreamHack festival.

EveryMatrix Expands Offer with New Esports Markets

Pixel.bet is also planning for the long-term, having cut a five-year licensing deal with the regulator. The offer launched today, on February 26, with the majority of the offer focusing on esports, a still very young segment.

There are inherent challenges to this segment of the industry as well, so following Pixel.bet’s ambitious progress would be like a weathervane for other operators.

Esports Betting and the Challenges Ahead

Esports betting has been growing since 2013. Though the segment wasn’t explored until later on when Betway and Pinnacle entered the market with modest offer, 2018 has been particularly generous for the industry.

At the end of 2017, only 5% bookmakers had registered a profit out of introducing esports. With conventional tactics failing with esports fans, who have turned out to be much smarter and better informed about odds and the winning probabilities, the best companies have been adapting their offers.

Pixel.bet is the result of the rapid expansion of the segment. LeoVegas now holds 51% in the company and they don’t intend to attempt any of the known techniques that have worked for mainstream sports.

There’s no need for bonuses, for example, as esports fans tend to get capricious with anything that may appear to be too complicated or even fraudulent.

Another great boon to Pixel.bet’s offer in Sweden is that esports fans won’t have to undergo the traditional KYC process if they opt for the Pay & Play payment option, which will additionally slash time for everyone.

A Nordic Beginning

Pixel.bet will be focusing primarily on Nordic markets as they tend to be some of the richest, both in terms of purchasing power among the customers there and the fact that all youths play video games in one form or another, although not necessarily esports.

Pixel Digital CEO, Eirik Kristiansen had the following to say commenting on the latest developments:

With this licence we gain the opportunity to offer our product and passion for esports betting to the Swedish market. Moreover, we have added a truly exciting casino experience that we know customers will appreciate.

This springboard in Sweden will also position us for continued expansion internationally.

Meanwhile, LeoVegas’ won top brass has seen reason to invest in Pixel.bet, citing “economies of scale” as one of the main factors for advancing in the company.”

During a year when we focus on strong growth but also on cost efficiency, it is inspiring to see that Pixel.bet are developing well and that we as a group, ” LeoVegas Group CEO Gustaf Hagman said.

Pixel.bet is also a member of the Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC), a body that focuses on uprooting match-fixing in esports contests.

George Hansen

Taking a liking to the occasional bout of slots, George used to moonlight as a roulette dealer, giving him a unique perspective into the casino world. From there he continued his journalist education and has been with us ever since a star-aligned graduation brought him and our team together.

Veikkaus Lets 400 People Go in Digital Restructuring

  • Finnish operator Veikkaus slashes 400 jobs
  • 1,300 out of 2,000 employees to be offered redundancy
  • Veikkaus is re-focusing on the digital segment entirely

Despite an expanding gaming market in the Nordic countries, Finnish operator Veikkaus is shedding 400 employees in a bid to consolidate its digital footprint.

Veikkaus Has Gone Digital

Finnish operator Veikkaus is pulling out of the land-based business, cutting 400 jobs in the process. Instead, the operator will re-focus its efforts on establishing a digital footprint and rolling out its offer online.

The restructuring is quite impressive, with 1,300 of the company’s 2,000 employees now anticipating voluntary redundancy measures. It’ll be a busy few months for HR, it seems. Most of the employees are based in Helsinki.

A slight silver lining, if one can be found in the gathering storm, is the fact that most of Veikkaus’ employees are employed on part-time positions. Benefiting from the far-reaching restructuring, Veikkaus also wants to reorganize matters on its retail end.

Veikkaus President and CEO Olli Sarekoski outlined the plans ahead of the company in a statement published on the official website:

We want to ensure Veikkaus’ future in the middle of the ever-accelerating digital competition. Players are increasingly switching over towards the digital channels and, as a result of the structural changes in retail trade, our point-of-sale network has experienced a drastic decrease over the past few years.

Mr. Sarekoski cited the above reason for introducing changes to Veikkaus’ points of sale as well as the complete shut-down of restaurant table gaming activities.

Presently, the company’s operations stand at:

  • Veikkaus is planning to introduce redundancy measures for 1,300 out of its 2,000 employees
  • Presently, the company owns 187 restaurant game tables across 162 properties
  • Veikkaus.fi presently offers 200 different online games
  • 42% of Veikkaus’ revenue is generated via the company’s online operations

A World Gone Digital

The advancement of the online segment is not surprising. Given the density of the population in Finland, digital venues are far more accommodating than land-based venues which often require travelling time, not to mention the extra expenditures.

By re-focusing their offer online, Veikkaus can slash much of the costs of its own operations as well.

A similar move has been undertaken by NetEnt, although the company only slashed 55 people in Stockholm, Sweden, in order to pursue further expansion of the game development department.

Sophia Rojas

Growing up around law firms, Sophia keeps our team of reporters atop any legislative developments to follow up with a welcomed dose of positive news as our house trivia nut!