European sports media company DAZN has completed one of its goals for 2022. A few months after announcing plans to introduce an online sportsbook, the platform is now live in the UK.
DAZN announced in April that it was teaming up with gaming solutions provider Pragmatic Play to create a branded sportsbook. The two have finished putting DAZN Bet together and are running a soft launch in the UK now.
More than just another sportsbook, DAZN wants to leverage its past experience in sports entertainment to offer a full “social gambling experience.” Provided the soft launch goes according to plan and DAZN works out any unexpected kinks, more launches will follow in Europe and North America.
Joining Sports With Entertainment
DAZN has over four million subscribers, according to the company. With that in mind, it anticipates a warm and immediate reception as it begins to introduce DAZN Bet. It chose the UK to start since its headquarters are there, and it can easily gauge the reception of the platform.
Of its worldwide userbase, DAZN has around 200,000 customers in the UK. However, it’s unclear how many of those are sports betting fans, as well. Still, it’s a significant amount of people to be able to target at once through the soft launch.
We are on a mission to create a richer entertainment product that over time is integrated into DAZN’s daily destination sports business, where possible. Whilst this market entry will be a learning phase, our goal is to provide sports fans with a fantastic recreational sports betting product for DAZN’s global sports fans community,” said DAZN Bet CEO Mark Kemp.
As long as everything goes according to plan, DAZN plans on launching in Spain next. Then, it will extend its coverage to other European countries where it can receive a license.
At the same time, it also plans to take on Ontario, Canada. If it can stay on track, DAZN wants to be live across Europe and Ontario before the end of the year.
Leading the sports betting effort at DAZN is Mark Kemp. Until this month, he was the CEO of BoyleSports. Before that, he held several managing director positions, including an extensive run at Ladbrokes & Coral.
The sportsbook isn’t the only ancillary service DAZN has in mind. Monetization in sports is a growing theme, and the company sees a lot of possibilities. It reportedly is considering non-fungible tokens (NFT), new merchandising efforts and more.
Working Out the Bugs
For the sportsbook to be successful, especially in Spain, DAZN has some work to do. The streaming platform has access to LaLiga games in the country, but so far, it hasn’t impressed sports fans.
Repeated technical glitches have made the viewing experience unpleasant for a lot of users. In addition, some users have reported issues trying to watch the MotoGP World Championship, as well as other sports.
DAZN is aware of the claims and has acknowledged that there was some setback in matches due to a greater influx of subscribers. Users have experienced waiting times and tedious buffering, with 49% of users having difficulty accessing the transmission, according to Ookla.
With a great amount of competition and users’ money at stake, DAZN can’t afford any glitches with DAZN Bet. So it’s going to have to get its technical streaming issues sorted out in order for its sportsbook to make a splash in new markets.
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