The live-betting esports platform Unikrn had its crypto-gambling license approved by the Isle of Man earlier today, paving the way for Unikrn users to legally gamble on competitive video games using crypto-currency.
As reported by VentureBeat, Unikrn was previously only licensed to provide real-money betting on esports in the U.K. and Australia, but now the company can handle crypto gambling in 20 regions through its in-house currency (the UnikoinGold token) or traditional currencies like the U.S. dollar.
The fact that Unikrn is now licensed by the Isle of Man (reputedly a rigorous licensor of online gambling operations) means Unkirn can allow gambling bets using crypto-based currency betting (which is currently legal in 41 U.S. states) for skill-based esports matches.
This is a big deal for esports betting in America, since a federal law banning such gambling was lifted earlier this year, with the United States Supreme Court allowing state-by-state legalization instead. It's worth noting that states still have to pass their own laws to legalize and regulate sports betting following the Supreme Court’s decision, with New Jersey most recently outlawing esports betting.
While Unikrn has played host to real-money wagering on video game tournaments since 2014, it's taking advantage of the licensing announcement to roll out a bunch of new services (including the afore-mentioned crypto-currency system). In countries where sports betting is legal, Unikrn users will not only be able to make bets on major esports competitions, but will be able to bet money on themselves with skill-based bets.
Unikrn chief Rahul Sood seems intent on establishing a path for esports betting in American casinos, as Unikrn already has a venue at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas where users can wager on themselves in esports tournaments similar to poker.
A blog post written by Sood, which can be found here, goes into more detail about the license.