The Phenomenal Growth of Esports Betting and Why to Get Involved

By Michael Stevens in Esports on May 9, 2019

10

Minute Read

Esports are gaining more popularity by the year. Millions of people tune into streaming services to watch elite gamers compete against each other.

It’s no wonder why esports betting is also becoming more widespread. Competitive gaming’s ascension means good things for the gambling side as well.

Esports gambling figures to continue growing into the foreseeable future. If you’re not already wagering on the activity, then you may want to consider doing so soon.

Keep reading to see why competitive gaming is experiencing unprecedented growth these days and why you should get involved.

The Reasons Behind Esports Betting Growth

The rise of esports gambling can’t be attributed to just one factor. Instead, a variety of aspects are quickly popularizing this form of betting.

The prominence of esports is an obvious reason why the gambling sector is becoming more widespread. But there are plenty of other reasons behind the growth, which you can see below.

The Esports Industry Is Rapidly Growing

It only makes sense that the rise of competitive gaming and esports betting go hand in hand. The esports industry has done an incredible job of using platforms that appeal to their younger audience.

In particular, esports matches streamed on the Amazon-owned Twitch are doing really well.

Video gaming esports channels are drawing 200 million viewers per day; this figure is expected to hit 300 million by 2020.

Male millennials, who use Twitch a great deal, make up 80% of this audience. Brands are therefore using Twitch and other streaming platforms to reach these viewers with targeted advertising.

With an accelerating fan base and plentiful advertising, esports look poised for major growth in the coming years. It’s almost guaranteed that esports betting will ride the industry’s coattails to success.

Many People Are Still Finding Out About Esports Betting

Competitive isn’t a new thing. In fact, the first professional video game tournament was held back in 1972.

But esports’ ascent is relatively new. Therefore, it’s little surprise that some people are just now finding out that you can bet on pro teams.

Esports gambling uses the same odds and bet types as traditional sports betting. This makes it easy for anybody with regular sports gambling experience to wager on video gaming.

Gamblers Appreciate Esports Betting’s Skill Element

Casino revenue reports suggest that millennials – esports’ core viewing audience – doesn’t enjoy playing slot machines like previous generations.

A big reason why is that they’ve grown up on a steady diet of Xbox, Nintendo, and PlayStation games. Moreover, they’ve collectively competed against other gamers online for over a decade.

In particular, esports matches streamed on the Amazon-owned Twitch are doing really well.Young people prefer a skill element, whether they’re playing video games or gambling.

They don’t, however, like pushing a spin button over and over.

Esports betting offers the skill factor that millennials love while also bringing video gaming into the fold. Those who can’t become a pro themselves, which includes 99.9% of players, can at least use their gaming skills and knowledge to win bets.

Many People Enjoy Competitive Gaming

People worldwide enjoy playing video games, whether they be on consoles, computers, or smartphones. Research shows that over 2.2 billion people currently play games.

Not all of these players care about the competitive side. But you can bet that there are plenty of current and potential esports fans among the 2.2 billion-plus.

The rise of online gaming has produced a number of people who enjoy competing against fellow amateurs. It’s only natural for some of this passion to translate into watching the world’s best face off against each other.

Esports Gambling Is Fresh

Many casino games and other forms of gaming have been around longer than esports betting. Baccarat, blackjack, craps, lotteries, poker, roulette, and sports betting have all existed for centuries.

Esports wagering is just a baby in comparison. Betting on video games has only gained steam within the past few years.

It’s basically the freshest thing in gambling right now. Add in the young fanbase, and you’ve got the hottest form of gaming available.

Legal Esportsbooks Will Be Cropping Up

The overturn of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) has cleared the way for American states to offer legal sports betting.

Such matters take time to get off the ground. But many states are expected to legalize the activity and start rolling out sportsbooks.

Urban Institute’s Richard Auxier believes that around 20 states will offer legalized sports betting in the near future. This bodes well for esports gambling when considering that many bookmakers offer these lines during major events (e.g. Dota 2 Championship).

Of course, many states can already use offshore bookmakers to place bets. But legalized options will bring esports wagering into the light and make it more attractive.

Esports Betting Is Expected to Continue Rising

The reasons covered above show potential reasons why esports wagering should keep growing. But what about some hard evidence of this upcoming trend?

According to an Eilers Research paper called eSports Betting: It’s Real, and Bigger Than You Think, the esports betting industry is expected to earn bookmakers $23 billion by 2020.

This is an impressive figure when considering that the industry is far from maturing. It offers promise that esports gambling could be far greater than what we see today.

Most bookmakers currently offer esports betting in some capacity.

But the lines thin out when there’s not a major tournament taking place.

Nevertheless, esports gamblers still have plenty of lines to choose from across a variety of games. And unlike athletic sports, competitive video gaming never really has an offseason.

The number of year-round betting opportunities should increase greatly as video gaming pays bigger dividends.

The Case for Getting Into Esports Gambling

It’s easy to overlook esports wagering if you’re not already involved in it. After all, traditional sports betting still dwarfs the esports market.

But arguments can be made for why you should take this style of gambling seriously. Below are some reasons to consider for getting involved with esports betting.

You’ll Be Ahead of the Curve

Casino games, lotteries, and sports betting have existed in some form or another for centuries. Esports betting, on the other hand, has been available for less than a decade.

Console and PC games are relatively new in comparison to other technologies. The competitive side of gaming has only recently begun attracting attention.

Esports betting is also in its early stages and should see plenty of growth as time goes on. Getting involved with esports gambling now means that you’ll be ahead of the majority.

While hundreds of millions may watch competitive gaming, they’re not all betting on the action. This gives you an opportunity to start learning the ropes now and become an early expert.

You Can Win Long Term Profits

Not many gambling opportunities give you the ability to win long-term profits. Esports wagering is one of the few, because it has an obvious skill element.

You need to use your knowledge of the game, teams, and players to handicap matches (discussed later). The better you are at doing so, the stronger chance you have to earn profits.

An esportsbook only takes juice (vigorish) from the losing side of bets. Most often, this juice only ranges between 3-5% of the total betting action. You can earn profits in the long run, provided you can win enough bets and beat the juice.

Lines Are Softer than Major Sports

Making profits in established markets like the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and English Premier League is hard. These are highly popular leagues/sports, and oddsmakers take extra care in crafting sharp lines for them.

Esports betting – although gaining in popularity – is still not at the same level as traditional sports gambling. Therefore, oddsmakers don’t spend as much time on them.

This enables you to find soft lines that can be exploited to your advantage. Combining smart handicapping with these favorable lines can lead to big profits.

You Can Start Off with a Bonus

Most esportsbooks offer welcome bonuses to first-time players. These bonuses either consist of a free bet or a deposit bonus.

A free wager allows you to recoup your money in the event of a loss. For example, losing a $25 free bet gives you the chance to earn back the $25.

A deposit bonus matches your first deposit up to a certain percentage. For instance, depositing $50 under a 100% match bonus would see you play for a $50 bonus.

The only catch is that you must actually earn the money by meeting terms and conditions. Check out the terms and conditions behind any esports bonus before going for it.

Is Esports Betting Difficult?

Much of my argument for taking up esports gambling stems around the fact that it’s relatively new and offers soft lines. But does this mean that it’s easy to make money with?

Not entirely. You still need a good grasp of the fundamentals required to succeed in esports wagering, or any other type of gambling.

Some challenges that you may face include the time investment needed to learn esports gambling, fewer markets, and fewer available strategy resources.

The amount of time you must invest largely depends upon if you have previous sports betting experience. After all, esports gambling uses the same bet types and odds as traditional sports wagering. Even if you’ve gambled on regular sports in the past, you still need to work on learning the esports teams and players.

Esports betting doesn’t offer as many markets as sports gambling. The latter is filled with dozens of games, ranging from basketball to table tennis.

Esports wagering does give you the opportunity to wager on leagues/tournaments across more than a dozen video games. But it still doesn’t come close to offering the same amount of variety seen in sports betting.

As for strategy, you won’t have as many articles, handicapper picks, and overall advice to choose from. Esports gambling’s relative newness means that it offers fewer strategy resources than sports betting.

Nevertheless, you can still get off to a decent start when wagering on competitive gaming. Here are some key areas that you want to concentrate on in the beginning.

Handicapping Skills

Handicapping can refer to one of two things:

  • The process of bookmakers assigning odds to each team involved in a bet.
  • Your process for finding the true odds of each team in an esports wager.

The latter is important with regard to you making informed bets on a consistent basis. You need to look at a variety of factors to determine which team’s odds are offering more value.

These factors include matchup histories, teams’ recent performances, injured/ill players, and home/away records.

You won’t always make expert picks, even with a good handicapping effort. But you’ll at least improve your chances of winning bets with these skills.

Take It Slow

Earlier I covered how the esports industry doesn’t offer as much variety as traditional sports gambling. But you’ll still have plenty to choose from with regard to the different games, leagues, and tournaments.

Many beginning esports bettors make the mistake of placing wagers across a variety of games.

They’ll bet on anything that they’ve played before.

While this may be fun, it doesn’t give you a chance to master wagering on any specific game. A better approach is to specialize with a handful of games.

You should thoroughly learn the players and teams in 1-2 esports before expanding your knowledge. The goal is to master betting on these games and avoid spreading yourself too thin.

Manage Your Bankroll

Bankroll management is a great place to begin with esports betting. This process forms the building block for successfully managing your gambling funds and avoiding the temptation to bet too much.

The first order of business is to figure out what you can afford to lose. Obviously you don’t want to think about losing everything, but you also want to prepare for the worst.

Go through your monthly income and bills/expenses to determine how much disposable income you have. Then decide how much of this amount you feel comfortable putting towards esports betting.

The next step is to set a unit size (i.e. average bet) to make your betting funds easier to manage. Here’s an example:

  • You have a $500 bankroll.
  • You want to divide your bankroll into 50 units.
  • 500 / 50 = $10 unit size
  • You decide to never bet more than 1-2 units per contest.
  • This prevents you from risking too much on any single bet.

Esports betting bankroll management helps you be responsible with your money. It also prevents you from blowing your bankroll too quickly.

Record Your Results

Far too many esports gamblers place bet after bet without any idea on how they’re doing. Keeping records is a great way to avoid this problem and determine your success rate.

The idea is to record key pieces of information that’ll help you figure out your wins/losses and where you can improve. Here are examples of what to track:

  • Date
  • Teams involved
  • Odds
  • Amount wagered
  • Result
  • How you felt about the bet (e.g. strategy, confidence)

You can review these records from time to time to get a feeling for your progress. You may find that you’re doing fairly well or that you need to improve in certain areas.

Whatever the case, the key is that you at least have some info to reference. I suggest tracking your results through either a word processor or Excel sheet.

Conclusion

Esports have been growing rapidly for the past several years. Based on this growth, competitive gaming only appears to continue its upward slope in the future.

The industry growth bodes well for esports betting, which has also increased in popularity.

Forecasts show esports gambling becoming a $23 billion industry by 2020.

Assuming you’ve ever been interested in betting on esports, now’s a perfect time to get involved. The industry growth means that there’ll soon be more betting opportunities than ever before.

Reasons, why esports betting is growing, include its relative newness, the skill element, competitive gaming’s popularity, and more legal gambling options.

Reasons, why you should consider getting involved now:

  • Soft lines.
  • Chance to win long-term profits.
  • Plenty of esports betting bonuses.

But be sure to learn something about strategy before getting started. You should improve your handicapping skills, specialize in 1-3 games, in the beginning, set up a bankroll plan, and keep records.

Esports betting is just like anything else in that you stand a better chance of success with hard work. And the industry growth gives you a strong chance to capitalize on the fruits of your labor.

Michael Stevens

Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016.

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