DAZN Group, the international sports media firm and parent company of the over-the-top subscription platform, has today (August 22) launched its planned betting service in its first market, the UK.

The rollout of DAZN Bet has been described as a soft launch by DAZN, which says it will allow it “to test and build the optimal gaming and betting experience,” as well as begin to learn about how its subscribers would like to interact with a betting and gaming offering.

The company is positioning DAZN Bet as “a more recreational, sociable, and relevant experience” for sports fans compared to other options available in the casual betting market.

The platform has been created in partnership with Pragmatic Group, the betting and gaming industry platform and content provider.

The UK launch will be followed by Spain, other European markets, and Ontario in Canada later this year.

DAZN has pointed to the over 200 markets in which it has a presence through its broadcasting activities as an invaluable asset for the rollout of DAZN Bet.

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Plans for the service were announced in April, following the appointment as its new chief technology officer of Sandeep Tiku, who has significant experience in working on betting platforms.

DAZN has reiterated that DAZN Bet forms part of a wider strategy to provide more interactive experiences for sports fans.

Of this approach, DAZN has said its ambition is to “reinvigorate sports broadcasting by delivering the widest catalog of sports contents to fans globally while creating a truly 360-degree interactive sports entertainment experience for customers.”

Among the other areas of interactivity in which DAZN intends to develop a presence are sporting NFTs, tickets, and merchandise.

Mark Kemp, the chief executive of DAZN Bet who was recruited from BoyleSports in April, said: “The initial launch of DAZN Bet is the start of an exciting journey across media and sports betting and further delivers on commitments we have made to revitalize sports viewing for fans.

“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. It is a journey, and we begin it now.”