Sony has been one of the major players in the game development arena for decades, but has seldom delved in iGaming in any way. According to the latest reports, the Japanese tech giant applied for an eSports betting platform back in 2019, which has now become public.
The move comes as somewhat surprising, considering that Sony has not shown interest in iGaming in the past. With growing popularity of eSports, it appears the company is now trying to claim an even bigger part of the overall eSports market, which certainly includes betting as well.
The Sony Patent Claim
According to the US patent laws, any patent claims can only be made public once 18 months have passed. These restrictions exist to protect intellectual property in early stages of development. The patents being released to the public now include those from 2019, and one of them is Sony’s patent for a comprehensive eSports betting platform.
According to the patent documentation, Sony is looking to create a platform that could be accessed via Sony devices (Playstation) as well as PCs and rival gaming consoles. The platform would enable viewers to make real money and play money bets in real time. The bets in question would be made on eSports, or rather video games played by professional players worldwide.
The popularity of eSports has never been higher, and eSports betting is not a new thing. However, at this time there is no platform that would enable live betting while watching matches, all within the same platform. Instead, players must visit online sports betting sites that offer eSports as part of their offer.
On top of the betting options, viewers would be able to watch streams without betting, as well as gain access to a wide range of statistics and analytics pertaining to the matches. This could make eSports even more fun for those watching at home, not that the interest is not already very real.
When could it Go Live?
At this time, there has been no official announcement in relation to this platform. There is a whole host of issues that would need to be addressed before it could go live, and legality is probably the biggest one. As you may know, sports betting is not legal in all states yet, and is quite restricted in those where it is legal as well.
For instance, in order to offer sports betting services in states like New Jersey or Pennsylvania, operators must create partnerships with local casinos and gaming companies. Sony would need to find partners in each state in which it intends to use its platform, who would be willing to back the project, if it was to include real money betting.
What’s even more, there is a question of ethics. Video games are played by many minors, and by creating such a platform, Sony may be putting the youth at risk of getting involved with gambling. While various security systems do exist, putting sports betting on gaming consoles may prove to be a dangerous thing.
The controversial platform idea will likely float around for many months before it is even considered for approval, and we are likely to hear many expert opinions both for and against it going live. In either case, this push from Sony shows a clear intention to capitalize on a part of the market that gaming companies like Sony have not been involved with in the past.