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Newgioco Group launches wagering on esports events in Italy to fill the gap left by live sports

7th April, 13:33

The group said wagering on esports is intended "to fill the gap" left by the suspension of live sports and limited availability of niche sports events during the coronavirus pandemic

Newgioco Group Inc (NASDAQ:NWGI) said Tuesday that it kicked off esports wagering last week through its online betting channel in Italy and it will embrace League of Legends, DOTA, Starcraft, as well as esports versions of NBA Basketball, Formula One and MotoGP.

In a statement, the Toronto-based global sports betting and gaming technology company, said that esports wagering took off on April 3.

"Clients of our online operators through Multigioco in Italy are now able to wager on the outcome of esports competitions of League of Legends, DOTA, Starcraft, as well as esports versions of NBA Basketball, Formula One and MotoGP," Newgioco added.

READ: Newgioco says coronavirus impacting its sports book, but offset by higher online poker and virtual sports revenue

The company has temporarily shuttered 150 betting shop locations throughout Italy due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but the group stressed that the closing of the physical locations does not affect its continuing online and mobile operations.

In fact, the wagering on esports is intended "to fill the gap" left by the suspension of live sports and the limited availability of niche sports events, said the company. People can now place bets through all online channels, using personal computers, tablets and mobile phones.

Newgioco group CEO Michele Ciavarella said the company was "absolutely committed" to keeping its "full team employed" during the global pandemic despite the challenges facing the markets.

"The first result of our whole team approach is the launch of esports in the online channel in Italy within one week of regulatory approval," Ciavarella said.

"The rapid go-to-market of esports offerings reflects the talent and efficiency of our design team and flexibility of our Elys platform. The focus is now to accelerate the development of our unique US sports betting platform in preparation for the re-opening of markets once the crisis subsides," he added.

The company said it has been processing about 200 to 300 online account applications daily since the government-imposed quarantine took effect on March 8.

Newgioco conducts its business primarily through an internet-based betting distribution network on its website, as well as in retail neighbourhood betting shops throughout Italy. It offers a suite of leisure gaming products and services, such as sports betting, virtual sports, online casino, poker, bingo, interactive games and slots.

The group also owns and operates innovative betting platform software providing both B2B and B2C bet-processing for casinos, sports betting and other online and land-based gaming operators.

Contact the author Uttara Choudhury at [email protected]

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