Las Vegas-based gambling firm GameCo has announced a partnership with sports betting solutions company US Bookmaking and Sky Ute Casino Resort to launch the first-ever esports-dedicated sportsbook in the United States.
The esports betting platform will be available digitally at the Sky Ute Casino Resort in Colorado, whilst also being offered to residents and visitors in the state online through desktop, mobile, and interactive devices.
GameCo will leverage existing partnerships with Askott Entertainment, GRID, and 10Star along with its esports betting solution to power the sportsbook’s 24/7 in-play betting offering.
Sky Ute Casino Resort Assistant General Manager Travis Garlick commented in a release: “Esports mobile betting has always been on the horizon and now the Sky Ute Casino Resort is excited to enter the arena. In conjunction with Sky Ute Casino’s service providers, U.S. Bookmaking, and GameCo, Sky Ute selected these associates to provide a unique customer experience that will infuse the world of esports with the excitement of the casino industry.”
The three-way agreement will see the initial market deployment of GameCo’s esports betting solution, which was revealed in August under its esports-focused brand, iGameCo. The betting application is the combined result of Askott Entertainment’s Chameleon Gaming Platform, GRID’s data and streaming solutions, and 10Star’s trading services.
The programme will be overseen by the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) to ensure match integrity across all wagering activities.
It was also revealed, in a separate release, that FansUnite will become the first iGaming solutions provider ‘to receive significant exposure in the U.S. esports betting market’. This is due to a partnership struck in September this year between FansUnite and GameCo.
Blaine Graboyes, Co-Founder and CEO of GameCo, added: “GameCo is proud to work with US Bookmaking and Sky Ute to continue moving the industry forward by providing the first-ever dedicated esports book in the U.S. We are thrilled to provide a comprehensive solution that enhances the esports betting industry for our Colorado players wherever and whenever they want to play, and we’re looking forward to bringing these kinds of innovations to additional US markets soon.”
Colorado is one of several states that permits esports betting, though it must be sanctioned by a sports governing body, or in this case, the Esports Integrity Commission. Outside of GameCo’s new offering with US Bookmaking and Sky Ute Casino Resort, operators would need regulatory approval to offer and accept wagers on esports events.
Esports Insider says: GameCo is no stranger to the video game business, initially inking a licensing agreement with Japanese developer BANDAI NAMCO in July 2017 for its skill-based, proprietary Video Game Gambling Machines. Though this latest foray into esports is much more deliberate, and the result of many months of preparation beginning with its March partnership with GRID to power the data component of GameCo’s esports betting application.