ESports betting is set to become the next big thing. It’s already one of the five most popular sports for punters across Asia and Europe and for some betting sites it’s in the top two. Many bookmakers are now rushing to offer markets on this sport, but there are a few things that need to be taken into consideration by any gambling sites looking to do this.
It Covers a Huge Number of Games
ESports betting markets are much more diverse and complicated than traditional sports, because technically the eSports sector covers many different sports and they all differ. There are sports games (FIFA, Madden), where the betting market reflect the sports that they are simulating; there are first-person shooters (Counter-Strike, Call of Duty), where it’s all about winners, losers and “kills”; there are card games (Hearthstone), where strategy is the key and both teams and players can compete; and there are battle arena games (DOTA 2, LoL) which combine many elements and potential bets.
And that’s not all. There are many niches, many sports and many potential betting markets. There are also new games appearing all of the time, enticing new audiences and new players and causing a scramble amongst the bookmakers.
All of this variety is great news for the punters, but it can be confusing and hard to keep track of for the sports betting operators.
The Punters are Different
There are two certainties concerning every demographic of sport fans. The first is that there will be a lot of crossover, which is to say that a lot of soccer fans will also bet on rugby, pool fans will bet on snooker, and most sports fans will bet on boxing. The second is that a large percentage of fans will have some experience of gambling and will understand the terms and the processes.
ESports is the exception. There are a huge number of eSports fans that have no interest in any other sport, and many of them have never gambled before. This makes the process of marketing and acquiring new customers very different.
It’s Not as Tightly Regulated
ESports are relatively new and it’s also a wide-open industry, which can be cause for concern for betting business. It means that the industry may be more exposed to illegal activities. You also have to consider that a number of players are amateurs and may only play in a single tournament following qualification. These players may not undergo the same verification that professional players undergo, which increases the risk of those players betting against themselves or using their insider information to bet.
The fact that they are not professional and have not been informed about certain policies and regulations mean they are also more prone to discussing potential insider information with fans, friends and family.
Some have also argued that many of the players are below the legal gambling age. In actual fact, this is not a huge concern, as the same could be said for many soccer players.
ESports may seem like a complicated sector, and it’s enough to give even the most experienced of betting sites a headache. But it’s what the customers want, it’s where the future is heading, and once you look past the potential issues and complications you begin to see it for what it is: one of the most exciting prospects this industry has ever faced.
It’s something every site and operator should embrace.