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.

Famous Norwegian TV Host Bags 3.4m GIG Shares

Gaming Innovation Group (GIG), a developer of iGaming solutions, has been ordered to give up 3.4 million shares to a company owned by Hallvard Flatland, a famous TV host in Norway.

GIG’s Shares Become a TV Saga

A Norwegian court has ruled out against Gaming Innovation Group (GIG) and in favor of Hallvard Flatland, a popular TV host in Norway. In the case presented to court, M. Flatland argued that he had been promised shares in the company in exchange for services promoting brand-awareness and more, at a time when GIG has been expanding rapidly at home and across the Atlantic.

Mr. Flatland also claimed that he had been promised a seat on the Board of Directors. A Norwegian court sealed the case with a ruling during the week, supporting the claim of Mr. Flatland.

This immediately prompted a response from GIG board member Helge Nielsen who spoke to Dagens Næringsliv, a news agency, expressing the company’s surprise and stating that GIG will pursue a legal recourse and appeal the case.

According to the available information, Mr. Flatland had arranged the transfer back in 2015, with the host attending a Board of Directors meeting to negotiate his services for the company.

However, the only written account of the meeting is Mr. Flatland’s own notebook, which makes the decision of the court even more strange to begin with. The company’s legal man, Rustan Knudsen, has pointed out to the obvious lack of evidence to support Mr. Flatland’s claims.

Nevertheless, the Bergen District Court decided to award Mr. Flatland NOK 8.5 million worth of shares with GIG sentenced to transfer the shares to Euro TV, owned by Mr. Flatland, within two weeks. In addition, GIG has been ordered to pick up the legal costs for Mr. Flatland.

A Meeting that Meant Nothing

GIG have been able to confirm that a meeting between the Board of Directors and the plaintiff had taken place, but no agreement had been reached thereof. With the news that the company had been sentenced, its stock fell by 5%, but quickly jumped back with GIG releasing a very brief statement that the company would work with its legal team to challenge the sentence.

GiG disagrees with the court’s ruling and will now assess whether to appeal the judgement together with its legal advisers. – GIG

The statement also invited readers to examine the annual report for 2017 in which the company challenged the idea that Norwegian courts can produce a ruling in such cases. GIG re-iterated that no agreement had taken between the company and Mr. Flatland.

As to Mr. Flatland’s actual role helping the casino, he would have stepped in the shoes of John Carew, a retired footballer who played for the national team. In his own addresses to the press, Mr. Flatland expressed apparent regret that the matter had had to reach courts, but he said that agreements must be honored.

Should GIG have sought to settle matters, he wouldn’t have had to go to court. And while Mr. Flatland present an explanation, it’s still bizarre to believe that a court would take a personal book into consideration.

Kat Orlov

Newcomer Kat is our newcomer poker aficionado whos skill not only lives on the table but flourishes on the site as through her many sources she never fails to be the first to hear of any important or exciting poker news around the world.