The state of Nevada approved it for the first time in March and immediately began accepting wagers on the iRacing Pro Invitational series. With professional and college sports leagues shut down, eSports wagering is moving to the forefront of the betting landscape.
It simply accelerated the timeline, forcing sportsbooks and the gambling industry as a whole to adapt and look at eSports in a new light. Traditional sports leagues will eventually return. But the eSports betting market is finally legitimate. Video games have been around for nearly 70 years, but eSports are a different deal. These are competitive tournaments or events spanning a variety of games — everything from sports to strategy to first-person shooters like Call of Duty. Local eSports competitions began to spring up in the s.
A Space Invaders Championship run by Atari is believed to be the first nationwide competition, drawing 10, competitors. These were the pre-internet days and still strictly niche events. That all changed in the s when access to online computer games completely changed the eSports landscape.
More people had access to console and PC games at this time and Nintendo regularly held tournaments with cash prizes. Players could now communicate in real time online, which led to the current eSports landscape. Leagues like the Cyberathlete Professional League started to pop up in the late s. Players started forming eSports teams to compete in large scale tournaments in games like Counter-Strike and Quake. Similar leagues started to pop up all over the globe in the s as eSports gained widespread attention.
Online platforms for Sony Playstation, Microsoft Xbox and PC games allowed players to compete against each other from their own homes. While interest in eSports was previously limited to players, viewer interest continues to explode. Top players are now paid six-figure salaries and can earn much more with eSports tournament winnings from massive prize pools.
It all aligns perfectly with a general consumer trend toward a la carte viewing instead of standard programming, putting eSports and eSports betting in great position from a viewership standpoint in the years to come. Professional sports leagues like Major League Baseball have been trying to capture a younger demographic for years. Viewership for eSports is inherently young anyways as kids tend to play more video games than adults.
Studies have shown an overwhelming majority of viewers are in the age range. A new type of viewership has also emerged in recent years — bettors. This is a sub-category that includes hardcore gamers and gamblers who may have never picked up a controller. Gamblers are quickly realizing the same principle that make traditional sports so much fun to bet on — watching the best in the world at what they do compete at the highest level with an unknown outcome — apply to eSports as well.
Once the on-track races were cancelled, NASCAR immediately reached out to data provider and integrity partner Sportradar to begin fraud detection and help ensure legal betting would go smoothly. States like Nevada and West Virginia approved it the following week. It made for a smooth transition to televised iRacing events featuring racing software and tracks that are so realistic drivers were using it to practice long before the Pro Invitational series.
The state of Nevada — which previously limited eSports wagering to specific events — approved eSports betting on the entire Counter-Strike:Global Offensive league for the first time in March Skins betting gained traction along with the PC era. Skins are essentially customizable add-ons that change the look of a character or weapons in the game.
Some are very common and others are rare, earned in a variety of ways through gameplay or betting. The rare skins can be traded or sold for cash, so players started betting skins against one another in eSports competitions. Teams have moneylines and point spreads are assigned based on the number of games a certain team will win or lose by in competition.
But as eSports betting continues to grow, legal U. It stands to reason making an eSports bet will soon be no different than a routine NFL point spread bet. But the total amount bet numbers and revenue estimates are staggering. The eSports betting handle and revenue numbers correlate with similar growth in viewership numbers. Audience numbers rose from million in to million in Yes, eSports betting is legal in the U. Additional states will soon join as more move to legal sports gambling made possible when the U.
Supreme Court struck down a federal ban in It is up to the various operators and sportsbooks whether or not they want to take advantage of legal eSports betting and offer it at their place of business. FanDuel has been an industry leader in eSports betting as the first major U. It also offers Daily Fantasy Sports contests for eSports. Online sports betting and online casino games like blackjack, roulette, craps and baccarat are separate markets with separate legislation. Others have specifically addressed the issue in legislation on whether or not online gambling includes eSports betting.
There are still some integrity concerns with oddsmakers as sportsbooks have been much slower to adapt on eSports betting than traditional online sports or casino betting. But the revenue numbers keep going up. The tricky part for now is finding a sportsbook like FanDuel that offers legal eSports betting in their state.
Bettors should try to gain an understanding of teams and leagues before betting too much. With a little research into the eSports scene, they can start to spot value bets and mismatches or key roster movements. Skin betting was one of the first forms of eSports betting and has been going on for some time. This is most relevant with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive skins, which comprise a massive portion of the market. Skins are used like currency in that they have more or less value based on their rareness or difficulty to achieve.
They can also sell skins for real cash as the betting market acts as sort of its own economy. Skin betting is extremely popular with gamers. They can be purchased from a variety of sites or earned through betting and gameplay. Think of it like a poker game in a movie where someone runs out of cash so they throw their car keys or an expensive piece of jewelry into the pot.
Rare skins are just as good as money in eSports betting circles. The market also extends to social betting, essentially a peer-to-peer wagering agreement on eSports. DraftKings and FanDuel both offer eSports for the incredibly popular daily fantasy sports market.
Players deposit money into their accounts and enter contests for specific events. Every player is allotted a certain salary amount to build its roster and point criteria is assigned based on the individual sport. Players that pick the highest-scoring rosters are paid out on a sliding scale, with big payouts for the winners. This is one of many markets where eSports continues to pick up steam and should grow in the coming years. Real money betting on eSports works just like real money betting in other sports.
Sportsbooks in states with legal eSports betting take wagers on teams or players and pay out on winning bets. While skins betting has been huge for years, real-money eSports betting figures to be the biggest area of growth. This is a combination of skins and real-money eSports betting. Challenge betting is essentially a wagering agreement between two players before a game. This can be anything from big cash numbers to rare skins or smaller, friendlier wagers.
That means no juice or house advantage, which makes challenge betting a popular way to wager on eSports. Real-money betting means finding a sportsbook in a state with legal eSports betting. The rest in terms of the payment process is exactly the same as betting on any other sport. Legal sportsbooks continue to offer more forms of payment and players are increasingly using these deposits to bet on eSports along with traditional options.
Sportsbooks will typically offer first-time bonus offers or promotions for new accounts, and eSports users can easily take advantage. They vary from outlet to outlet. Free bet bonuses are another common one. An eSports betting site will offer bettors a free wager on a specific tournament or game — if the bet wins, they get real cash profits. These are just a few examples, and eSports bettors should be on the lookout for the bonus offers that work best for them. Sites like GG. Bet state that their streamer betting service serves up fresh odds every 90 seconds.
Betting on streamers also has the potential of allowing you to wager on a greater amount of esports. Rather than only being able to bet on the big team-based esports such as League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, you should have the freedom to bet on streamers playing popular new titles like Fornite and Apex Legends. There will always be gaming fans who want to bet in the most famous esports teams, but betting on streamers adds an extra dimension to how you can bet on esports.
So if you are ever waiting for a big esports tournament to kick-off, be sure to try some streamer betting. Item betting is a general term for betting — sometimes formal, sometimes informal — that takes place within or alongside marketplaces for in-game items. But anecdotally, there is enough to suggest tens of thousands of players are participating in such wagering — often at surprisingly high stakes.
Instead, wagers and prizes are conducted entirely using transferrable in-game property such as weapons or abilities. In many cases, these items are exchangeable for cash at a third party destination, blurring the lines when it comes to the legality of these types of bets in certain jurisdictions. A recent crackdown by Valve on skin betting sites has left the future of the vertical in question. Read about some alternatives to CS:GO skin gambling sites.
Social esports betting refers to the type of casual bet placed between friends on the outcome of a match or event. This type of betting may also include challenge betting, where individuals compete directly for a wager. Attempting to estimate the size of this market is impossible, as there is little in the way of reliable or confirmable data, but given how organically betting and sport combine as a social activity, there is every reason to believe that it is substantial in size.
Esports Betting Odds, Guides, Reviews Our editors have chosen the best esports betting sites for and have ranked them below. Unikrn Review. Bet Now. Bet Review. Luckbox Review. Odds Tracker. Browse Games. Latest Tournaments. Esports betting — What you need to know Betting on esports matches is growing just as fast — if not faster — than esports itself. What should I look for in an esports betting bookmaker? We think there are a few fundamental questions you should be asking before choosing an online esportsbook to place esports bets at: Can I trust the site?
How good are their prices for esports bets? What promotional value do they offer? What kind of bets can I place on esports matches? Can I trust this sportsbook? Figuring out if you can trust a sportsbook online comes down to a few simple tests. The first is the test of regulation. Which jurisdiction issued the license for the online sports book?
You can usually find this information on the website footer of the sportsbook. What are some of the other sites the jurisdiction licenses? The second is the test of social proof. What are real people saying about the site on social media and on review sites? What kind of availability and accessibility does the site offer in terms of social media accounts and customer support?
You can generally tell the difference between a credible, active site just by examining these simple characteristics. The third is the test of experience. Start small at a sportsbook that has passed the first two tests. Make the minimum deposit and place the minimum bet. If you have any questions or problems, pose them to support and gauge the quality and sincerity of their response.
There are literally dozens of other operators that would be happy to have your business. How good are esports betting prices? What kind of promotional value does the sportsbook offer? Three of the most important promotional components to be aware of include: Deposit bonuses. Free bets.
What kind of bets can I place on esports? Is esports betting legal? Who regulates esports betting? How old do I have to be to bet on esports? How do I know matches are fair and on the level? There are a few factors that are helping to ensure and affirm the fairness of esports matches: Growth of esports prize pools : As more money is on the line for winning competitions, the appeal of a financial incentive to throw matches diminishes.
The entrance of traditional sportsbooks : Fighting fraud is one of the primary occupations of major online sportsbooks like bet As they enter the market for esports wagering, they bring their substantial resources and expertise to bear on the problem of esports match-fixing. Increased regulation : With increased prize pools and betting comes increased attention and regulation. Both increase the risk associated with match-fixing and decrease the ability of match-fixers to hide in plain sight.
How do you deposit to bet on esports? Can you use Bitcoin BTC to wager on esports? Other methods for esport bet deposits Additional methods for moving money to and from online esportsbooks include: Virtual wallets such as Neteller and Skrill. Wire transfers from a checking account. ACH transfers. Cash deposits at a land-based satellite location. Money transfer services. The size of the esports betting market The growing popularity of competitive gaming makes it difficult to assess precisely how popular esports betting is.
How much money goes into Esports Bets? How quickly is the esports market growing? Which regions bet the most on Esports? Which esports have the biggest betting markets? Fantasy sports betting. Item betting. Social betting. The downside of betting at sportsbooks when it comes to esports is that most sportsbooks are still getting to know the esports industry, meaning that you might find an inferior selection of stakes and wagers, at least for the time being.
Fantasy esports This genre of betting is especially popular in the United States, where access to quality online sportsbooks is limited by laws and regulations. Visit DraftKings. DraftKings Review.
The EsportsBets. We think there are a few fundamental questions you should be asking before choosing an online esportsbook to place esports bets at:. This is a question you should be asking regularly, as markets are dynamic and books regularly get better and worse at predicting specific markets. Price is only one part of the equation when it comes to getting the best value for an esports bet. Sites offer players — especially new players — a variety of promotions and bonuses that can improve the payout you receive your play.
At this stage of the game, the quality and quantity of available bets on esports vary significantly from sportsbook to sportsbook. The dominant form of betting right now is match betting — betting on the outcome of a match or broader event. But some of the leading sportsbooks in the space — including Buff. In-play markets are among the most complex to develop and maintain in traditional sports, and it will likely take some time before robust live betting options are available for a wide array of esports events at a wide array of books.
Users should also consider quantity, as not all esportsbooks offer odds on all events. This is a complex question that is impossible to answer for all users in all situations. The important thing to keep in mind is that you, as a bettor, are subject to the laws and regulations of your jurisdiction. There is currently no central regulatory body for esports , although there are a number of leagues and entities — such as ESL — that cooperate to varying degrees.
When it comes to the regulation of the betting operators, the answer varies by operator. Each is regulated by the jurisdiction within which they are located and may be subject to additional regulation based on the markets that they serve. There is no universal answer, as the minimum gambling age varies by jurisdiction.
Sometimes sites will set their own minimum age above the local minimum age. The question of fairness in esports play is a legitimate and growing one. There have already been a number of high-profile accusations of match-fixing with esports, including some that approach the highest levels of the sport. Without some assurance that the game being played is fair, bettors have little reason to risk money on the outcome — even small amounts for social purposes. Similar to traditional sports leagues, esports also have independent commissions verifying fair play.
The Esports Integrity Commission was founded in to investigate all cases of cheating, doping, and match-fixing. Bet and Luckbox. The ESIC has doled out bans at the highest level of esports, and developers trust their investigations. Traditional sports bettors are especially concerned with the fairness of esports. Thanks to the growth of the esports industry and the presence of integrity commissions, you can make esports bets with the same confidence as traditional sports bets.
Here, as in many ways, esports betting is practically identical to traditional sports betting online. You can fund your account and cash out from your account using just about any major financial instrument. Players like this method because of the ease of use and built-in security. The downside comes for American Express customers , who often find themselves shut out of being able to deposit by credit cards.
There may also be relatively low deposit limits or restrictions on how many deposits you can make within a certain time frame. Not universally, and not at many of the major, established online sportsbooks bitcoin esports betting is possible. But there are some smaller online sports books, some of which specialize in esports betting, that do allow BTC deposits and cashouts.
The growing popularity of competitive gaming makes it difficult to assess precisely how popular esports betting is. Any numbers that are researched are likely to be superseded almost immediately. However, there are a handful of significant figures we can look at to judge the size of esports betting.
OddsMatrix reports that there are at least million esports fans worldwide. Bettors only represent a portion of that number, but esports gamblers are high-rollers when it comes to significant events. OddsMatric also reports that up to 15 billion dollars will be wagered on esports matches in Viewership numbers for big esports events have exploded over the past few years, with totals that rival traditional sports leagues.
Part of this is due to accessibility. Most esports tournaments are available to watch for free in HD, and many of the games themselves are free to play. The esports industry is more eager than ever to create betting opportunities. NewZoo estimates that there were million esports fans in and million in They also believe that the number of esports fans will increase to million by This year alone, the esports market has generated over 1. While esports betting is growing more and more popular worldwide, some regions have taken to it with more enthusiasm than others.
This is due to different laws regarding betting and accessibility and the varying popularity of esports worldwide. As far as popularity goes, Southeast Asia is the biggest market for competitive gaming. NewZoo reports that Latin America and the Middle East are the fastest growing regions in terms of viewership, which will naturally lead to a higher volume of betting from those countries.
There are several different video game genres in esports and not every bettor bets on every game. The most popular esports to bet on generally fall into two categories; sports simulation titles and the Big Three. Traditional sports bettors appreciate these titles for their similarity to real sports.
They use the same ruleset and oftentimes the same controllable players as their respective sports leagues. The Big Three refers to a trio of dominant esports titles that make up the core of the esports industry; Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, and League of Legends. There are a variety of different ways that you can wager on the outcome of esports competitions or even on specific outcomes within an eSport competition.
The majority of major online bookmakers now offer at least some amount of esports betting, although the quality and quantity of the offering can vary greatly by each individual sportsbook. Two traditional sportsbooks that have embraced esports betting are Pinnacle and bet This genre of betting is especially popular in the United States, where access to quality online sportsbooks is limited by laws and regulations. Where traditional betting generally has to do with the outcome of a match or a specific event within the match, fantasy esports generally sees opposing players build lineups their fantasy team for major events — just as one would do with fantasy football or baseball.
The lineup that performs the best of the course of the predetermined event or series of events is the winning lineup. Claim Now! Most gamers will enjoy watching streamers on channels like Twitch. But did you know that you can also bet on streamers?
Recently we have seen a growing number of esports betting sites feature some streamer betting options, and it looks like this could become a big new trend in esports betting. But how does betting on streamers actually work? Simply put, an esports betting site would have live streams embedded on their websites, and they would serve up a constantly changing selection of odds for you to wager on. If you go to an esports betting site like GG. Bet , you will get a good idea of how streamer betting works.
This means that you should always be able to find some decent streamer betting odds to wager on. Sites like GG. Bet state that their streamer betting service serves up fresh odds every 90 seconds. Betting on streamers also has the potential of allowing you to wager on a greater amount of esports. Rather than only being able to bet on the big team-based esports such as League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, you should have the freedom to bet on streamers playing popular new titles like Fornite and Apex Legends.
There will always be gaming fans who want to bet in the most famous esports teams, but betting on streamers adds an extra dimension to how you can bet on esports. So if you are ever waiting for a big esports tournament to kick-off, be sure to try some streamer betting. Item betting is a general term for betting — sometimes formal, sometimes informal — that takes place within or alongside marketplaces for in-game items.
Cash requires little explanation. The market for cash gambling on esports works identically to the cash-based market for traditional online wagering, such as sports betting or online casino games. Skins require a bit more explanation. While a number of games employ some sort of skin system, CS:GO skins are the dominant currency in the skin betting market, accounting for over 80 percent of total wagering activity. Players can opt to replace that stock knife with unique skins of the knife that change the appearance of the knife, as shown in the images to the right of the stock knife.
Note that the skins do not improve the functionality or power of the knife. The skin only changes the appearance of the knife. Skins play a purely cosmetic role. CS:GO skins can be easily transferred between players the same is not true for all games. That condition allows skins to act as a quasi-currency — something like a casino chip. Right now, skin gambling is far more popular than cash betting, but a crackdown on skin gambling activity by CS:GO publisher Valve could fundamentally undermine the ability of skin gambling sites to operate.
Sports betting represents the most popular product among esports fans. Betting on esports is more or less identical to betting on traditional sports, with the caveat that the esports betting product is far less developed than the traditional sports betting product.
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