Thomas Rosander has been appointed CEO of Luckbox, the company that was founded in 2009. Rosander talks to iGB’s Marese o’Hagan on the expansion of the esports market, Luckbox’s future plans and the rise of esports gambling.
The betting industry is still dominated by traditional sports. While sports betting is a staple of many people’s lives, the popularity of esports betting is growing along with video websites and streaming platforms.
According to Technavio, a market research firm, the Sports Betting Market will grow by $144.4bn from 2020-2024.
The pandemic in sport has forced many to switch to esports. Oddspedia.com reports that the number of betting events for esports has increased from 3,000 to more than 50,000 by July 2020.
Online entertainment was the main form of online enjoyment before this virus. It is easy to blame it on lockdowns around the world. The demand for esports and casual viewing was also high, and growing before the pandemic. According to market research company Newzoo, 443 millions people watched esports and casually watched in 2019.
Rosander, who has worked with Electronic Arts to produce the popular FIFA esports video game, sees betting in esports, as the future.
I think that you have to always evolve. Rosander says that the sports business is a bit stagnant.
The product is not as innovative, and it still caters to the generation that we aren’t focusing our attention on right now, namely gen-z or millennials.
Twitch is a popular gaming platform that allows users to livestream their gameplay. It reports that nearly half its users fall between the ages of 18 and 34.
Rosander said, “We are trying to cater it for younger generations as they’re the ones who watch Twitch or play video games.”
What is the reason for Luckbox’s move into traditional sports then? This year, the operator expanded its offering by signing a contract with EveryMatrix.
Rosander says he is motivated by the fact that he understands how important evolution and acquisition are when it comes time to put a new product on the market. He illustrates this with an example from the online casino. In his new position as CEO, he hopes to attract more customers with these ideas.
The online casino has grown and become so popular because of its evolution. Many people have tried to start a casino with little money and they failed. It’s more than just setting up a casino. You also need to drive traffic.
Rosander revealed, coincidentally, that Luckbox also plans to launch a new online casino product in the second half of this year.
He explained, “That is something I’m familiar with from my past.” We’re doing it differently than other people. “We’re going to bet on esports first and that will influence our casino.”
Rosander says that esports will remain the primary focus of his company, no matter what direction it takes. Esports’ influence will be felt in Luckbox’s biggest development this year.
Rosander sees that combining gambling and video games is a bigger picture. He previously served as marketing director for EA, and chief customer officer at Luckbox, before succeeding Quentin Martin in the CEO role.
He says, “I’ve had one foot in video games and another leg is igaming. Since I left EA I have been dreaming of combining both. You have a massive video game market and I also love your product, but on the other hand, igaming has a huge audience.
Rosander’s transition from video games to igaming wasn’t difficult, since he had already gained experience in each. It seems that the move from Chief Customer Officer to CEO wasn’t difficult either.
“I was drawn to the company because of a shared passion. As chief customer officer, I could implement ideas and take advantage of opportunities.” It’s great that I suddenly find myself CEO but I didn’t feel any difference because I had already been executing plans.
The process of developing new Luckbox content can be difficult, even though Rosander accepted the wider audience offer.
Title production implications
One of the key features of an esports platform is that it offers markets for a variety of games. The titles are a great way to keep the customers interested in the betting platform, and allow the developers to showcase their skills.
Rosander reveals, “I believe we could always improve on adding titles. But it’s not just us.” We rely on the creators.
Our philosophy is to try and add as much as possible as quickly as we possibly can. It must have the right quality before we add it.”
Rosander appears to suggest that Luckbox is a place where quality and quantity are synonymous. Both must be considered, but certain factors are required. For example, competitive functionality is essential to customer engagement. It is important for video game publishers to ensure that users are engaged and make a name in the industry.
Rosander says, “I would of course love to have more titles. That’s exactly what we are doing this year.”
If you take a look from the perspective of video game publishers, it is clear that they are interested in building games with competitive features from day one.
Potential for marketing
Luckbox, a betting company that is active in over 80 countries, is always looking for new marketing strategies. Luckbox has recently launched an affiliate program with Income Access.
Rosander says that there are certain markets where he sees a great deal of potential. For now, we’re focusing on building our marketing capability and getting ready for rapid growth.
Where there is a marketing opportunity, the regulatory requirements are different. When a CEO is looking to expand a business, the local regulations are important.
Regulation is an enormous pain for the gaming industry. It’s also necessary and everyone is in favor of making betting safer.
Rosander says it can be difficult to ensure that the regulations support the players and companies who want to offer a product regulated.
We’ve gone through a period where some countries have succeeded in regulating. In many countries the balance between players and companies is not easy.
Luckbox’s growth has been undeniable since its conception. In 2020, Luckbox’s revenues increased by 18 times year-on-year as a result of the pandemic. However, in absolute terms, they remain low, since Luckbox is focusing on developing the platform. Rosander, Luckbox’s third CEO since recent years, was appointed in the meantime.
He says that his taking on this position is a sign of a shift in direction. We have a strategy of growth where we are building up our capabilities to acquire players and establishing a network with affiliates.
There’s a lot of potential [for getting customers] on the current market, with a huge amount of content that is being consumed at a rate never seen before.
Rosander hopes that his leadership can see Luckbox as the leader in this new form of content consumption.