Categories Interviews, Leisure & Entertainment

Real Luck Group CEO Thomas Rosander on esports betting market and the regulatory landscape

Maintained a tight reign on spending after taking over as the CEO earlier this year: Thomas Rosander
online betting and gambling
Courtesy: iStock

Give us a quick overview of the company and its history.

The company was started by a couple of gentlemen from PokerStars. And we are now listed in Toronto under the ticker LUCK and also on the OTCQB with the ticker LUKEF. Our vision is to become the normal number one esports betting destination. In esports betting, nobody has really claimed that position, so we are going for that. We are already live in almost 80 countries. We had a great boost during the pandemic as most companies in this space. 

I think it also hit the fact that video gaming and esports betting are on a growth curve that is unstoppable. This is a long-term massive wave and change of how people actually consume entertainment. And therefore we have a long-term perspective on everything we do.

You took over as the CEO earlier this year. Tell us a bit about what were the challenges that you faced when you started off, and how things have been going since then.

I came in right after the listing. When you’re coming in a new CEO role for any company, you have to question what’s the vision, and where we’re going for here? 

And we came to the conclusion very quickly that it is to be the number one esports betting destination. We have a great core product with frontend and backend, but there are a lot of parts missing for us to take it all the way. And therefore I had to pull the brakes a little bit. We have a lot of money now in our pockets for marketing and so on. And instead of spending it for less return of investment, we basically decided to make sure everything is up to par and we can go all the way and be careful with the investors’ money. But now we’re very close to finally get going.

Real Luck Group Q2 2021

How do you see the presently existing regulatory landscape in the e-sports betting segment?

I’ve been in sports betting and online casino for a very long time and things are changing rapidly. I think all serious companies have kind of been preparing for a regulated landscape for quite some time. It’s tricky from the point that different regulators and different countries and regions have different approaches to it. 

I look at my home country, Sweden, for instance, it’s one of the examples where it’s not working very well because it’s like their intention is not to take care of the players; it’s more make it as hard as possible for the companies. And that is a never winning approach because people have always loved gambling and they always will. You just have to make sure that they’re safe when they’re doing what they want. And as a result, there’s a lot of stuff happening outside of the regulation. 

Meanwhile, Denmark is an example where it’s actually worked really well. And if we look at North America, the US, and Canada, it looks like it’s going to be a really good regulation. So very excited about that. 

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There are many established known companies in the traditional sports betting market, and many of them are now shifting their focus to e-sports betting as well. Do you think that you hold a disadvantage there?

I think the disadvantage is that they have very deep pockets. I don’t see it as a problem now because we also have a lot of money – nowhere as close as them –  but we’ve been saving now for a while. I think the marketing and the money we have is enough to take us wherever we have to go. I have had success in this business with a lot less money in the past as well. 

And I think that we have a huge advantage over them because the majority of the money they’re making is coming from the traditional sports and the casino market. 

And that makes them less motivated to actually invest in the betting demographic that is interested in esports. Meanwhile, we are coming straight into that whole business model that we’re building for the new betting generation. And of course, when you’re doing something new and you’re coming with innovation, it means that you have to see if it works. 

And we can do that as a small company so much faster than one of the giants. I’ve been on both sides, I’ve been with big and small companies. And it’s always the small ones who come up with the cool stuff. 

At the end of the second quarter, there was no debt on your balance sheet. Do you intend to keep it that way?

Yeah, I don’t see any reason why that would change. It’s due to a lot of factors during the last quarter or so, the industry itself had a tough time after the initial type of esports and so on. So our share price is not where I think it should be at all. And we are interested in M&A stuff, which I have announced earlier as well. Unfortunately, this limits us a little bit. But I think that at the beginning of next year, we’re going to show that it is a really good investment to be with us. 

What should investors expect from Real Luck Group over the next two years? 

I like that you said two years because that is the perspective I think you should have. We are going to be, if not the absolute best esports betting product out there, at least among the best for sure.  

We’re going to have a player experience that is really tailoring for video gamers and this new betting generation. And that is the first pillar or strategy to get there. If we’re looking at a little more short-term now, we’re adding online casino, which is something I’ve had great success with. I think in the short term, that is something that’s going to make sure that we really have a nice revenue flow. So that’s the second pillar.

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