Sports betting has, legally or illegally, been around for about as long as sports have. With the Supreme Court’s decision in 2018 to allow individual states to oversee the legislation there has been a huge increase in the number of people betting on sports in the US.
But it is not just the ‘traditional’ sports that these customer account holders are betting on. All the best sports betting apps now offer markets for a range of esports games and events – and it is an area of the industry that is becoming more and more popular. But how did this happen? And what does the future hold for esports betting?
Betting on Esports
Esports started with a few friends playing video games competitively. Fast forward a few years and it is a multi-million dollar industry played globally in tournaments by professional esports athletes. With so much money involved, the betting companies were never going to pass it by.
Betting on esports events is remarkably easy. For older betting fans it is exactly the same process as for the more traditional sports. So, the process is simple and all that is needed is a little knowledge of the games. For those coming from an esports background, online sportsbooks have made betting more straightforward.
New Generation of Bettors
Although the change in legislation across the US brought whole new demographics to online betting, it is esports that has completely revolutionized the industry. Many of the people that play, or bet on, eSports are not even interested in the kinds of sports that sportsbooks used to only offer markets for.
But there is a deep knowledge of esports in this demographic – and they can use their expertise to place bets on games and events. The betting companies will be happy that existing customers have been exposed to more betting options, but the new customer group has boosted profits.
Esports – and esports betting – had already begun before the COVID pandemic. But it is not controversial to state that the lockdowns around the world increased the number of people looking into betting on esports. With no other sport available, customers were looking for something to bet on.
Online sportsbooks are never slow in recognizing new trends and exploiting them, so after they realized that esports was the only game in town, they started backing the sector and putting even more money into the events. This made the profile of esports even higher and it was probably the moment it all went mainstream.
Betting firms were initially just happy that they were able to provide their customer account holders with something to bet on. But they soon realized that the market for esports was so much bigger than just a stopgap. Reaching a new audience made it a no-brainer for sportsbooks to highlight their esports sections.
For gamers and esports athletes, the raising of the profile has pumped even more money into the industry. This means that there is more prize money at events and more media attention on the different esports. It seems as though everyone is happy with the rise of esports.
The Future of Esports Betting
The one very definite thing about the future of esports betting is that it will only get more popular. Gaming, and esports in particular, have grown in the last few years, and with the money involved from betting companies, the profile will get even bigger.
Although there will probably also be further regulation of the gambling industry – particularly in the US – it will also grow as more states and other regions around the world legalize betting. The sportsbooks themselves have realized the potential of this area of betting and will market accordingly.
The rise of esports is due to excellent timing with technological advances and with global events. It has already revolutionized the betting industry and is sure to be a major player in the future as well.