E-sports is hitting the gambling mainstream, from Las Vegas to Italy and the UK, but the growth of unlicensed “skins” betting risks torpedoing the nascent trend, industry experts say.
Although cheating at the highest professional levels of e-sports and especially in-person tournaments is rare, collusion and other problems are rife in skins betting, as is under-age play, officials say.
Skins betting is the “underbelly” of e-sports, and must be reined in, said Rahul Sood, chief executive of Unikrn, an e-sports betting site affiliated with Australia’s Tabcorp.
“We’re on the cusp of something amazing here,” Sood told the audience at the recent E-Sports Betting Summit in London. “We shouldn’t allow something like this to f--k it up.”
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