How eSports Has Created a New Online Gambling Market

esports gambling

With the online gambling industry growing at a rate of approximately 9% year-over-year, it would be normal to expect that industry would be one of the fastest growing industries in the electronic gaming world. The truth is eSports is ruling the roost right now.

Over the past 5-6 years, video gambling for outrageous prize money has taken the adult gaming world by storm. Recent estimates put the industry’s rate of growth at somewhere around 32% year-over-year with the possibility of that number going higher by 2021. This is what an economist would call explosive growth.

About eSports

eSports features video game playing at the highest level. Throughout the world, there are literally hundreds of thousand of players playing at a professional level. A majority of the players fall into the 21-35 age group with about 75% of the players being male. The favorite video game genre for both the eSports leagues and tournament play are first-person shooter and multiplayer online battle arena games.

The industry’s ecosystem includes the players, tournament and league sponsors, advertisers and the game developers. Due to the growing popularity of eSports, top game developers are now developing games specifically for this industry. Financially, it’s a $7.0 billion industry and growing. As a point of reference, the top-ranked video Esports player in the world raked in a brilliant $4+ million in the last 12 months. The top-ranked team has won in excess of $10m. Note: There’s additional earnings coming in from sponsorships.

Esports Gambling

Given the popularity of the eSports phenomenon, it makes sense that the gambling industry would seize on the opportunity to allow gamblers to bet on league games, tournaments and special events. The opportunity to do this is greatly enhanced by the availability of data and statistics from the top leagues and organizations in the industry.

Current estimates put eSports viewership at around 400 million people, expected to reach 500 million by the end of this year. That’s a lot of young people who might have an interest in betting on their favorite players or teams.

Current eSports gambling revenue estimates for 2019 sit at about $7.0 billion. With the US online sports betting market starting to open up in states across the country, that number could double over the next two years. As a point of interest, fantasy eSports leagues are starting to form on gambling sites all over the world. If this catches on, the eSports gaming revenues for a single year could rival sports like the NHL and MLB.

The Future of eSports Gambling

While the popularity of eSports gambling is on the dead rise, there are issues with which the industry is going to have to deal. Professional gamblers rely heavily on data for handicapping before placing wagers. While there are stats available, it’s not as easily accessible as one sees with other major betting sports. That has to be corrected. Additionally, player and team integrity will always be put under scrutiny. Professional eSports players can make serious money playing video games, but the temptation of easy money from gambling will always be a problem. This is something the leagues and tournament directors are going to have to address in the future.

Putting those two issues aside, the online gambling industry has barely scratched the surface of what’s possible. The real thrust is going to come from exposure. With cable channels now broadcasting events from all over the world, the popularity of eSports as a viable spectator and gambling sport only figures to continue exploding throughout the world.

Alex Co

Father, gamer, games media vet, writer of words, killer of noobs.

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