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Esports betting startup Unikrn (stylized as unikrn) is relaunching its services today in Brazil and Canada (except Ontario). The company will offer an esports book to bet on the biggest events of the year, but Unikrn is expanding its features and focus to include a traditional sportsbook, casino games and skill-based betting.
Unikrn’s launch plans
For its relaunch, Unikrn revamped its existing services and selected specific markets to target.
Unikrn is highlighting three skill-based services on their platform. UMode allows players to bet on their own performance in-game against the house. Skill-based betting services similar to UMode are rising in popularity. Similarly, Moneymatch mode will let players bet on their performance against a particular person, whether it’s a friend or someone from a public lobby. Finally, players that link their in-game accounts will earn Unikrn Rewards just by playing.
The company is also taking steps to ensure it always has content for players to bet on by expanding its Unikrn Virtual service.
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These services were available before unikrn paused operations. However, this time was used to make major improvements under the hood. These minimally visible choices were intentional according to Justin Dellario, CEO of Unikrn and managing director of esports at Entain, in an interview with GamesBeat.
The company also chose friendly markets to start. Entain has a strong history of operating in both Canada and Brazil and both markets have strong esports fandoms.
Unikrn was an early mover in both esports betting and cryptocurrencies, initially launching eight years ago. Unfortunately, they were a bit too early. In 2017, it raised $31 million through an initial coin offering (ICO) but this stirred up legal problems for the company.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alleged that Unikrn did not register its ICO. Eventually, the company settled the charges by paying a $6.1 million fine and disabling its UnikoinGold token. According to a SEC release, the fine represented “substantially all of Unikrn’s assets” at the time.
However, the company did not close its doors. Eventually, Entain — one of the largest betting companies globally — acquired Unikrn in August 2021. The betting company plans to leverage Entain’s global scale and infrastructure and experience working with regulatory bodies to propel growth.
Dellario confirmed that gaining and maintaining trust with players was top of mind for the brand.
“Over the past year, the passionate team at Entain has worked closely with us to create a safe, accessible, secure and compliant product that players can trust — even if they’ve never placed a bet before,” said Dellario.
Unikrn plans to expand into new, regulated markets in 2023 and beyond.
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