eSports Betting is Going Mainstream
eSports betting is now making its way out of the underground and into the mainstream as bookmakers are getting themselves ready for a major influx of business from the competitive gaming community.
Betting on competitive gaming is nothing new. Recently however, Valve closed all the unregulated outlets. According to Eilers & Krekcih Gaming and Narus Advisors these sites were estimated to bring in $7.4 billion in 2016, if they had not been shut down .
As the unregulated sites have been mostly uncovered and shut down, it is expected that more bettors are due to move into the regulated market. Moritz Maurer, the head of eSports at London-based Genius Sports -- a sports data company that provides “data-driven solutions to sports, media and regulated betting market" -- estimates that the industry will reach around $2.2 billion.
Now that competitive gaming is growing into the mainstream with help from such companies as TBS, Maurer believes it's time to start taking notice.
"We see this as a major opportunity," Maurer told Bloomberg.com. "If you want to invest in eSports gambling, this is the time."
Danish gambling site Danske Spil is taking the investment seriously and customizing their betting opportunities for eSports enthusiasts. The company's eSports manager Kasper Nemeth told Bloomberg about the difficulties involved in such operations:
"We can’t approach them the same as our normal bettors, because the eSports bettors are a group for themselves. Instead of trying to make them traditional sports bettors, we’re giving them their own playground."
This means that options will be included for both betting on overall matches as well as live betting for in-game situations that are constantly changing in real time.
As regulated eSports betting becomes the primary option for gamblers, sites will look for new ways to entice the audience.
"This is the future of sports, and we have to focus on that so we don’t get left behind," spokesman for Sky Betting Adam Smith told Bloomberg.com. "We just need to put ourselves in the shop window a little more."