Esports betting is a rapidly growing industry within competitive gaming. While it is still a predominantly male-oriented activity, this demographic is shifting.
Several studies (Gainsbury et al., 2020; Greer et al., 2023a; Hing et al., 2022a) have found a link between esports spectatorship and esports gambling. However, age verification and responsible gambling measures remain a concern.
What is Esports Betting?
Esports is a competitive gaming industry that hosts professional leagues and tournaments with prize pools in the millions of dollars. The games require strategy, quick reflexes and teamwork to excel in. Top players compete for a chance to win the grand prize, and the tournaments draw audiences in the tens of millions.
Despite the rapid growth of the industry, it is still in its early stages. As a result, it is experiencing increased scrutiny from regulators and anti-gambling advocates. The industry also draws a younger demographic, raising concerns about problem gambling and addiction.
Unlike traditional sports betting, which relies on data collected manually, esports betting is run on machines and can produce vast amounts of low-latency information. This allows for more accurate pre-game odds and in-play betting odds that update by the millisecond. It also frees the bookmakers from the constraints of manual data collection and allows them to offer new betting experiences. Several studies have investigated the characteristics of esports bettors, including their demographic profiles and gambling behavior.
The Evolution of Esports Betting
Esports betting is a fast-growing industry that provides bettors with a dynamic and engaging wagering experience. From match-win bets to accumulators and handicaps, bettors can choose from an array of betting options that suit their preferences. In addition, live betting allows bettors to react to unfolding events in real-time, adding an extra level of excitement and immersion to the overall betting process.
Moreover, bettors can research teams and players to find out their previous performance in specific video games. Using this information, bettors can make more informed decisions on which team or player they should support in an upcoming event.
Several studies have found that esports spectatorship and gambling are positively related. For instance, Gainsbury et al. (2020) found that esports spectatorship is a significant predictor of esports cash betting and Macey and Hamari’s (2018a, 2021b) study showed that most esports gamblers are also esports spectators. Additionally, some bookmakers offer a range of niche prop bets based on the unique characteristics of each game.
The Future of Esports Betting
Esports games are played at a dizzying pace and can be thrilling to watch. This translates to betting that happens at a similar speed, making the wagering experience exciting and rewarding for bettors.
ESports Betting Communities have also emerged that offer bettors a platform to connect with each other and discuss their strategies. This creates a fun and collaborative environment, further increasing the appeal of the betting experience.
However, the rise of Esports betting has brought about its fair share of challenges. One of the most significant concerns is the potential for match-fixing and integrity breaches. The digital nature of the betting ecosystem makes it vulnerable to unscrupulous individuals that seek to manipulate match outcomes for financial gain. It is essential that the industry works alongside regulators to ensure that all bettors are treated fairly and responsibly. This can be achieved through transparent and enforceable regulations. In addition, it is crucial to address negative perceptions and stigma around the betting industry.
The ‘Bet-On-Yourself’ Platform
The Bet-On-Yourself platform is an exciting new development in esports betting. It allows gamers to place wagers on their own skills and aims to make the experience more fun and interactive. It’s projected to be a big hit, especially with younger players.
‘Skill betting’ is expected to grow significantly as more gamers become interested in the competitive gaming scene and its many possibilities. It will also create opportunities for operators to attract more customers.
While the growth of esports betting is exciting, it is important to remember that it is still a form of gambling and therefore should be treated responsibly. Existing research has shown that esports consumers tend to be younger and score higher on problematic gambling measures. This suggests that more work needs to be done to develop measures to protect youth from the harmful effects of esports gambling. This could include regulations for responsible gambling. It might also require more education for esports gamblers and a greater focus on responsible gaming.