The iGaming industry is a big business now and is very competitive. More and more gamers are spending more money in the industry to try and place bets and make money out of it. For instance, the esports market was expected to bring in $900 million in 2018 and reach $2.4 billion in 2020, according to research from Newzoo.
With revenues topping about $1 billion each year, the rapid growth and competitive nature have attracted most investors, who do not want to miss on the action. These include celebrities like Ashton Kutcher and Jeniffer Lopez and popular athletes like Shaquille O’Neil and Michael Jordan. More investors are placing more money on different games or iGaming companies for different reasons. However, most of them are looking forward to making some good money not only in the USA, but in other countries. Investing in online casinos with poker games and online slots Canada gamblers can access is one of the ways.
In this article, we are going to reveal some of the most famous investors in iGaming.
Michael Jordan is a basketball legend who is the main owner of the Charlotte Hornets. According to Forbes, he is worth $1.7 billion. Sports are what made him who he is, and he has started investing the money he made into not only sports but also technology. For instance, he has invested in some tech like Gigster and Muzik.
In October 2018, Michael Jordan invested $26 million in the aXiomatic Gaming Company. The latter is the parent company of Team Liquid, which is a leading professional esports organization. The Hall of Famer described e-sports as a fast-growing international industry, and he is excited to expand his sports equity in aXiomatic.
As a famous and former professional basketball player, Shaquille O’Neal is another serious investor in the iGaming industry. Despite his earlier failures in video games, O’Neal has made investments in several esports organizations. The Big Diesel has joined other investors like Alex Rodriguez in NRG esports. A quick fact about other investors in NRG esports includes Jenifer Lopez and Marshawn Lynch.
NRG esports is a part of the Overwatch League and has other teams in games like Fortnite, Dragon Ball FighterZ, and more.
Shaq O’Neil has been a huge part of esports and can be seen in commercials and advertisements. Furthermore, he is the acting manager of the esports franchise - Sacramento Kings NBA 2K.
Despite keeping his investments low profile, Ashton Kutcher has invested in more than 60 companies such as Airbnb, Skype, and more. He is also the owner of Sound Ventures. The actor certainly can see the promising future ahead. Thus, he invested in Unikrn back in 2015. This is a betting platform supported by cryptocurrency.
Besides, Ashton is a highly intelligent individual who certainly knows a winning team when he sees one. As a result, he has not invested in iGaming, but also placed bets on several sports events, where he won the wagers he placed.
Steve Aoki is a famous American entertainer and DJ. His family has a successful investing background, with his father being the founder and owner of the restaurant Benihana chain. The Twitch streamer and gamer joined the esports industry in 2016, where he invested in Rogue. However, the amount invested is not known.
Rogue is a professional esports organization with teams that appear in different tournaments of such games as League of the Legends, Overwatch, Rainbow Six, and Counter-Strike. Steve appears with the teams in certain events and is also on the Rogue jerseys.
Another popular investor in Rogue is the Imagine Dragons band.
Aubrey Graham, aka Drake, is known as a Grammy-Award winning artist, but he has another great passion for video games. He is also part of the streaming platform, where you most likely have watched him playing Fortnite with Tyler Blevis. The video gained over 635,000 viewers.
But far from that, Drake invested in the 100 Thieves franchise together with Scooter Braun (Justin Bieber’s and Arianna Grande’s manager). These two are now proud co-founders of the esports team, which is active and compete in games like Call of Duty and League of Legends.
Steph Curry has been described as the greatest shooter in the history of the NBA. This two-time MVP, together with his teammate Andre Iguodala was part of funding Team SoloMid, which amounted to $32 million in the first round. The esports TSM brand is a professional team in League of Legends, Fortnite, and other games. This is quite ironic, as Curry will be going against The Golden State Warriors.
Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs
Formerly known as P.Diddy or Puff Daddy, this rapper has also jumped on the esports. He joined a group of investors in funding PlayVS, and the amount reached $30.5 million. PlayVS is a reputable esports league based in Los Angeles. It partners with high schools and colleges to allow students to represent their schools in esports tournaments while trying to gain college scholarships. Some of the esports in PlayVS include:
- League of Legends
- Rocket League
The ‘Iron Man’ or ‘The Baddest Man on the Planet’ is also a huge investor in the iGaming industry. He has knocked out 44 opponents in his boxing career, and he is looking forward to another ‘knockout’ in esports.
In 2019, Mike invested in Fade 2 Karma, a Hearthstone team founded in 2015. Due to this, F2K is working on constructing a new facility in El Segundo, California. It will be called ‘The Ranch House’ and include a performance stage for competitions, a rooftop party deck, private live streaming rooms, and content production.
Mike Tyson joined the team where they played Hearthstone, though he sucked at it. Besides, he gained his interest in esports from his son, who is a fan of professional esports tournaments and a gamer.
Other than being ‘the most powerful actor in Hollywood,’ Will Smith has also joined a $46 million investment for Gen.G. Will Smith and a Japanese soccer star, Keisuke Honda, led the funding round. Gen.G was founded in 2017 and is the parent company of team Soul Dynasty, an Overwatch League team. Besides, it has other teams competing in;
- League of Legends
- Call of Duty
- Clash Royale
It seems like basketball players love esports, and Kevin Durant is one of those great athletes who are spending their money in the industry. In 2018, Durant announced joining Vision Esports, which operates teams like Echo Fox. He joined other investors in a group that raised $38 million in Vision Esports. Besides, Kevin founded the Durant Company, which is for his technology industry investments and includes some companies like Postmates and Lime. Other investors in Vision Esports include Rich Kleiman, Kevin Durant, the St. Louis Cardinals, and the New York Yankees.
Esports is growing at an explosive rate. New companies and teams are starting up, and hundreds of investors are ready to invest millions in the hopes of making more in the future. These are just some of the famous investors you have probably heard of, but there are still others like Magic Johnson, Tony Robbins, Mark Cuban, and so much more. We are all waiting to see more movie stars, artists, athletes, and more in the business.