Esports icon Paul 'Redeye' Chaloner discusses esports betting, skins gambling and his work with Luckbox
When you look at traditional sports, it's pretty obvious that the investment from the betting industry goes some way to helping support various sports, players and teams.
In my opinion, it should be no different in esports and that investment can help elevate esports across the board.
It should also allow those who want to bet on esports the opportunity to do so but in a much safer and secure environment which they currently can't do in many cases.
Regulation and high-quality offerings to the esports industry from the betting industry are far too few and far between right now.
It's been all too easy to setup a skins gambling site and make a truckload of money
I'm acutely aware that we have a very young audience and despite being smart and savvy those who are younger are generally more impressionable too. Combined with a natural curiosity that seems to come with fans of esports, that is a potentially dangerous combination when it comes to gambling.
I've seen the effects of gambling addiction first hand and it's not something I want any fan of esports to go through. But, sadly, we don't have full regulation or education across the board yet.
Watch: Why Redeye chose to work with Luckbox
I'm absolutely not against gambling, it's not something to be frowned upon where it remains legal, but it's not for everyone either and it's exceptionally important for those who do want to explore that part of the world that they have the right education and tools available to them to make the right decisions.
It's been all too easy to setup a skins gambling site and make a truckload of money from people desperate to gamble but with zero education of safeguards and this approach needs to change.
It is slowly changing, but not quickly enough. We need more credible operators, agreements in place to collectively educate and produce more information that helps those with issues and explains how things work in a simple but effective way to those contemplating betting.
It also needs game owners to ensure they do their part in stamping out illegal and highly dangerous sites.
Skins gambling - a viable future?
I think there could be a place for skins betting, but it wouldn't look anything like it does right now. It needs regulation, it needs safeguards, it needs smarter implementation outside of the games.
Working with the right partners, however, could yield something very good
I'm not entirely sure there is the appetite for that inside game IP owners and it's not because they don't care, I believe they do, but because it requires massive investment and time and at the very basic level they are producing and creating a video game, not a gambling platform.
I think working with the right partners, however, could yield something very good, but we'd need further clarification on what "skins" represent in the real world. Are they currency? Do they convert to real currency?
How do they get regulated? What age restrictions should be in place? What limits would apply? It would take an extraordinary amount of work, time and money to make the skin gambling industry healthy and viable.
Working with Luckbox to do things right
It's been very good so far and actually very enjoyable all round and I say that as someone who doesn't particular enjoy lots of meetings!
It's been super productive no matter what we've been working on, be it plans for the website, thoughts on how we can add educational pieces and tools to the system, crypto currency discussions and lots of recent talk on the year ahead and the roadmap.
The more I see, the more I'm excited to see it all come to fruition and even then, I love that we share the same goals in terms of education and improvements. We might not get everything right on day one and that's OK, we have lots of plans to include community and feedback rotations to allow the system to grow and change with it's users.
So even when things get launched, while I'll be excited to see what fans and the public make of it, I'm even more excited to hear their feedback and implement user requests and changes. The only downside right now is that I can't share the plans ahead or Luckbox will have to fire me before we even go live!