Electronic sports or esports has definitely come a long way over the past years. Once considered a small industry that was only big in South Korea, it gained lots of attention in other markets. The US is one of them, with more Esports tournaments held in America with every passing year. Tournaments similarly to Dota 2’s The International and League of Legends’ World Championships see the winning teams earn fat paychecks.
The rise of the industry has caused Esports betting to become more popular. Many online sportsbooks now feature sections dedicated to Esports lines.Taking everything into consideration, you would think that computer game gambling has reached the heights of NFL betting. The truth, though, is that Esports betting still has a long way to go before reaching its full potential.
The rising phenomena is gaining momentum everyday. The betting industry saw the esports trajectory skyrocket especially in this time of social distancing and pandemic lockdown. Gamblers are betting on these video games in the absence of physical sports competition.
Vegas or no Vegas, Growth of Esports betting Continues Trajectory
Sportsbooks within the American state may not be jumping at the chance to give Esports betting. However, investors still have a robust belief that the industry will increase in popularity and shoot up the charts. Analysts think that there is a link between Esports and betting. They believe that more people betting means more Esports viewers and the other way around.
Sandra Douglass Morgan, Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB), spoke on the matter at a 2019 UNLV gaming conference. She said that only four operators requested the ability to supply Esports gambling. “There seems to be public interest in Esports, but not a major demand from licenses to supply wagers on Esports events.”
The encouraging news is that gamblers have an interest in betting on computer game tournaments. But the shortage of operators’ interest is more because of industry oversight. “As Esports evolve and oversight and sectioning organizations emerge,” Morgan said, “the board expects a rise in the quantity of Esports style wagering.”
Concerns about Electronic Sports
According to Brett Abarbanel, director of research at UNLV’s International Gaming Institute, some Esports fans even have concerns. These fears revolve around potential match-fixing, only not in a traditional sense. Normally, such concerns revolve around competitors playing worse to lose a match intentionally. Abarbanel’s report, however, shows that Esports enthusiasts are worried that competitors would cheat to win. Abarbanel noted that the young age of the competitors leaves them vulnerable to outside influences.
“The age of participants was a vital consideration for Esports spectators,” he explained. “Several of these questions said minors who accept a bribe should not face punishment due to their inexperience.”
He also said that the majority of the study participants were not overly concerned with match-fixing and Esports gambling.
“Results indicate that Esports viewers are not deeply concerned by match-fixing,” Aberbanel wrote.
“In addition, spectators typically view gambling as a reason behind corruption among competitors, but also understand and accept some elements of the practice.”
Esports Wagering with Online Sportsbooks
While regulated land-based sportsbooks consider match-fixing concerns, online bookmakers have moved full-steam ahead. It is hard to search for an online bookmaker that does not offer Esports betting nowadays. Most feature sections that are dedicated entirely to video-game wagering.
Some of the best US-facing online sportsbooks even put a separate tab for Esports at their homepages. This scenario is quite the departure from several years ago, when most online betting sites did not offer any Esports lines. If they did, it was only during the major events involving Counter Strike: Global Offensive(CS:GO), League of Legends (LoL), or Defense of the Ancients (DOTA 2).
Certain bookmakers have dedicated their entire life to video games. These Esportsbooks cover a wide range of markets including First Person Shooter (FPS) Counter Strike: Global Offensive(CS:GO), Battlefield, Overwatch, Halo, and Call of Duty. Morein the MOBA/RTS category similarly to Starcraft 2, Arena of Valor,Defense of the Ancients (DOTA 2), Warcraft, and League of Legends(LoL). Some Fighting games include Super Smash Bros, Tekken, Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, and Soulcalibur. Other Esports betting sections are FIFA, Rocket League, Fortnite:Battle Royale, Hearthstone, and World of Tanks.
The Numbers Depicts Esports Growth in the Betting Industry
You can see that there are already lots of signs that Esports gambling is growing. But what about hard evidence/data?
Statista predicts that $23.5 billion are going to be wagered on Electronic sports by 2020. Assuming bookmakers earn around 5% off this action, the industry is well over $1 billion in revenue. Keep in mind that several Esports fans do not even consider the betting sector. The $23.5 billion in total handle could skyrocket within the next few years once there is more awareness involved in the gambling side of this industry.
Challenges of Esports Betting Industry
The numbers and growth casts a positive light on the computer game betting industry. But the gambling arena in this category faces some significant obstacles too. Nothing is guaranteed for competitive gambling and Esportsbooks. A more in-depth outlook at the challenges the industry must overcome is apt for improvement.
More Support for Major Tournaments Needed
Again, Esportsbooks dedicate their entire movement toward serving computer game bettors. Most of those gambling sites cover over a dozen markets. Unfortunately, Esportsbooks do not comprise most of the industry. Most Esports bettors still use general Esportsbooks. The problem here is that sportsbooks need to cover a good range of sports, from baseball to hockey. Their audiences are too general to supply dozens of daily Esports lines across 10 different games.
These sorts of Esportsbooks usually only cover League of Legends (LoL), Overwatch and Counter Strike: Global Offensive(CS:GO). It also covers Defense of the Ancients (Dota 2), and possibly a couple more markets. The biggest online bookmakers still make good money off this limited selection. But the betting side will not truly take offer until the largest operators have a wider variety of games that the bettors and gamers would enjoy.
Sports per Head covers Esports betting and the wide array of sports selections in its sportsbook. Visit our website at www.sportsperhead.com and be updated on the state of electronic sports trajectory in the betting industry.