The Rise of eSports Betting – A New Frontier in Casino Wagering

eSports betting blends videogames with wagering. Arguably, this gets you into a new world of betting: it’s exciting, it’s videogames, but one word of warning before you jump in. The market is new, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to navigate.

So betting on eSports is different, because data feeds are rare, with most live events not on public TV or broadcast services.

Accessibility and inclusivity

Esports are mainly played online, which means that fans can watch esports from anywhere worldwide. Therefore, people around the world are watching esports with the commonly diverse demographics as compared to traditional sports. In addition, the betting market’s diversity is positively affected by the online nature of esports, which can increase the quantity and various aspects of betting.

Since eSports events tend to be broadcast live, they create an additional sense of anticipation. Furthermore, gamblers who bet on eSports sometimes also play the same games, which may give them an edge in predicting outcomes.

Hand-in-hand with the increased appeal of gaming has come an increased demand for eSports data, with more and more complex algorithms used to help shape betting decisions. This could mean closer collaboration between bookmakers and developers, to include in-game features that improve gambling experiences – such as gambling on in-game currency, or unlocking bonus offers based on the player’s performance.

Payment options

Most esports betting websites will allow you to deposit using a credit card or through a digital wallet such as Skrill. Skrill is an e-money company and their virtual wallet will keep your betting funds separate from your banking funds, so that you can play with real cash betting headaches free of mind, and reduce the risk of overbetting (bankroll management failure is in fact one of the most ruinous mistakes an eSports punter can make).

The unpredictability of esports matches – where game changes, player transfers and development schedules can roll out new features that affect gameplay speed or strategy – can lead to significant swings in potential outcomes. This requires the betting operators to have technology in place to instantly distribute rights-held data.

eSports fans are devoted: they crowd online forums and chats to discuss their teams and players, and also technically sophisticated enough to use available stats to make betting decisions. It isn’t surprising then that eSports is a big gambling business. Match-fixing is still a problem. The eSports Integrity Coalition has addressed this with a Code of Conduct and Anti-Corruption Policy for participants.

Regulatory challenges

Betting on esports is a new industry, and has some unique regulatory issues. Because some eSports teams and players are actually underage, it’s illegal to gamble on high school sports in many states. The industry has suffered a number of cheating and fixed match incidents, leading to the rise of organisations such as the Esports Integrity Commission to investigate cheating and illegal gambling activity in esports.

One of the biggest challenges of eSports betting is that real money or ‘skins’ are used for betting. While most of the regulated eSports betting operators have measures such as age verification to prevent minors from betting, skin gambling websites – unregulated, on which money is exchanged for skins which are then used for betting – pose a serious problem because some evidence suggests they might precipitate problem gambling in adolescents. This remains poorly understood, however. For that, research into broader demographic and psychological features of eSports betting participants will be needed to identify their risk factors and to inform minimisation of harm and harm-minimisation measures.


Esports betting draws a more immersed audience who are well aware of video-gaming culture but remains a live event, fast-paced wagering experience for operators, which makes it even harder to manage than a traditional sports betting platform would.

Unlike normal betting markets, prices in eSports can change rapidly due to roster swaps and in-game patches, which gives bettors an advantage: factors that predict future market changes might only be known by someone who actually plays the game professionally.

AR integration allows for a more immersive and interactive betting experience, which is likely to appeal to a younger audience who tend to have higher engagement. Social features of the app allow those watching the eSports event to share their betting experiences with other fans through various social media channels, creating more of a community spirit and making users feel a closer bond with the brand – something that was particularly evident in the period of social distancing brought about by the pandemic.

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