Lately, we have covered a lot about esports and how it is becoming an active part of online betting. The digital age is offering lot many lucrative business opportunities and esports betting happens to be the one.
With esports markets now reaching a staggering $1 billion worldwide, the industry is shaping into a sustainable and reputable business model. More and more online gambling websites are incorporating esports betting in their offerings.
The growth of esports has been phenomenal in the last 3 years. Since 2017 the viewership of esports has been increased double-digit globally reaching around 455 million by the end of 2019.
In a time when online gambling is under the hammer due to painful legislative impacts that are declining its total gross gambling yield, the growth of esports viewing figures and participation at exponential rates is promising.
Does this mean esports is the near-term future of online gambling?
Let’s find out.
The Market Report Insights
The annual growth if esports for the last four years has fluctuated but it has never gone below 13.8% in this period which is impressive.
The viewership for esports events in 2019 grew from 385 million from 2018 to 454 million, that’s a whopping 15.1% annual market for that period.
As per market gurus, this upward trend is expected to continue for the near years too. According to reports, the esports market is expected to grow at a compound rate of 9% annually between 2019 and 2023.
By the end of 2023, the global esports audience is expected to grow by nearly 650 million, that’s double the size just six years ago. The uptick in the viewership is a combined result of the increase in the number of casual fans as well as true enthusiasts.
This dramatic and exponential growth is thrusting the whole industry. This has also brought the attention of the online gambling industry into the mix. This is getting more level of interest and investment from various stakeholders and key players in the industry.
A recent investment push to a major London-based esports betting startup by the same capitalists who invested in the daily fantasy football app Dribble. The startup has raised over $2.5 million in funding from several strategic investors with venture firm Makers Fund at the head of this list.
The investments for esports startups have increased and this surge is driven by the market forecasts for a sustained yearly growth along with the fact that wagering on esports is expected to reach a staggering $12 billion by the end of 2020.
There’s a valid reason for gambling industry insiders to keep a finger on the pulse of the esports industry. Online gambling and esports betting have amazing potential together which is why the industry continues to gain strength. In 2018 alone $7billion were wagered on esports.
Over the course of the next four years, sponsorship is also expected to increase multifold and the esports market will become increasingly lucrative, gradually growing towards the consumer mainstream markets.
Future of Esports
While it is true that the market growth opportunity for esports betting is enormous, but it is not easy to predict the long-term status of the market.
For instance, most of the online sports betting site treat esports as just another vertical in an ever-growing market when the nature of esports betting is unique as well as the viewers represent entirely new customer base as well.
This is why esports betting entities entrench themselves into an entertainment platform where live viewing can be combined with unique betting markets to create a distinguished immersive experience.
In short, the future of the esports betting is based on combining the real-time viewing with wagering in a cohesive single platform.
The beginning of a massive market
Esports startups are playing a critical role in popularizing the industry across the globe by ensuring that there is a way to capitalize on its dynamic nature and monetizing the fast-paced action.
With esports betting it is possible to make available unique range of betting markets that will help new platforms to acquire a different set of audience that will showcase investors that there is potential to make money and the industry deserves to grow.
This move will also help regularize the market by marginalizing rogue operators who are offering a disproportionate amount of esports betting opportunities in an immature and largely unregulated marketplace.
Although we have discussed the positive points about esports gambling, the industry faces some significant obstacles as well. The future of competitive gambling is not guaranteed, but there are significant other challenges as well.
Let’s have a closer look at what challenges are these.
Only major tournaments are covered
Esportsbooks are entirely focused on serving to the video game bettors, but most of the gambling sites focus on more than a dozen markets.
As a result, most of the esports bettors still use the traditional sportsbooks when betting on some of the major esports tournaments such as The International.
The problem that arises here is that the sportsbooks to entice more bettors need to make a wide range of sports available from baseball to football. This is why these sportsbooks cannot cover a vast amount of esports available.
Most of these sportsbooks usually cover only 4 major sports leagues along with a few more markets and then certain esports or events.
At present, the large online bookmakers surely make decent money from a limited selection of esports, but the betting site will not truly get big until the biggest sportsbook bring variety to the bettors. Until then it is best to place wagers with the dedicated esports betting sites to get the best odds and choices.
Asian market booming
In the US and the European countries, esports gambling has been slow to take off as most people do enjoy watching the action, but they are yet not convinced enough to begin wagering on it.
The Asian countries like Japan, China and several other continues to become more and more prominent. This is why Asia still remains the biggest hub for esports betting with host events such as League of Legends and Dota 2.
The esports in Europe and North America is still finding its bearing to reach the same level as its competition in Asia. For the competitive gaming betting to really take off, it has to grow on these continents.
For this the participation of the gamers on these continents is important. The esports vendors also need to do their part to make games and competitions popular among the players.
Brick and Mortar
Nevada operators are very keen to offer esports gambling as we have previously mentioned that they wish to see the industry flourish alongside the casinos, but they still need oversight of the video gaming industry before they make a move forward.
Some might argue that the esports industry is bigger than just the Nevada and we agree. However, if the premier sports betting destination of the world is not seemed to be interested in esports betting than it says a lot about the industry as a whole.
There are encouraging signs of the growth that the investors and prominent Nevada regulators witness considering the construction of the esports arena at the Luxor. Although at present the growth of the esports betting in Nevada is not deep-rooted many believe that there’s an unmatched potential for dedicated brick and mortar sportsbooks.
Taking account of the current esports boom and the ever-expanding potential of online gambling, the idea is not outside the realm of possibilities.
While the potential for the growth of esports gambling at brick and mortar level is immense, but for now Nevada operators still want to see more of a regulatory and industry development before they think about investing in the industry.
The rise of esports betting in the near future is not absolute but there are several indications that as a form of gambling it will become a lot bigger in the coming years.
As competitive gaming is gaining global attention, more and more stream esports events are being contested every day. Also, the viewership for esports is on an exponential rise.
According to Statista, there is going to a significant increase in betting activity and the total value of bets on esports will reach $23.5 billion by the next year.
Sandra Douglass Morgan of the NGCB has indicated that the people of Nevada are plenty interested in esports gambling. That implies it’s just a matter of time before you are able to place your esports bets at your favourite Vegas casino.
Esports betting might not become the sole future of online gambling, but it certainly will be a larger piece of the puzzle.