Esports betting: Where is it legal, who are the key companies and how big is the market?

With streaming becoming more and more popular among gamers and gaming enthusiasts and with esports competitions gaining so much of the world’s attention, it was only a matter of time before this activity became a major point of interest for the betting industry.

in debt esports

The question is often asked (and there are conflicting viewpoints on this) about whether esports betting will ever overtake traditional sports betting...

The biggest sports

The most popular esports that have gained the interest of the betting industry are Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, Fortnite, Valorant and FIFA. Other such games that are gaining popularity among bettors are Blizzard’s Hearthstone, Overwatch, StartCraft and StarCraft II. Meanwhile, race esports such as eNASCAR, basketball games like NBA 2K and shooters like Call of Duty and Valorant are proving to be hits. 

The biggest esports companies

Operators and sportsbooks are constantly working on integrating esports betting into their offers. DraftKings, Betway, FanDuel, bet365, William Hill, LeoVegas and Pinnacle are some of the operators currently offering esports betting to their customers.

Bayes Esports is one of the go-to official live esports data providers for operators and bookmakers providing esports betting on its websites. Other esports companies include the Kambi-owned Abios, GG.Bet and Data.Bet.

Where is esports legal in the US?

Esports betting is 100% legal in Nevada, New Jersey, Tennessee and West Virginia; however, some states offer players regulated access to esports betting.

The states where this activity is regulated are Arkansas, Delaware, New York, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Rhode Island, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon and Pennsylvania. Being regulated means that players are allowed to have access to this type of betting, but specific rules and restrictions apply.

DraftKings, Betway, FanDuel, bet365, William Hill, LeoVegas and Pinnacle are some of the operators currently offering esports betting to their customers

Esports betting in Nevada

The Nevada Gaming Control Board has approved betting on several esports, including League of Legends Europan Championship (LEC), League of Legends Championship Series (LCS), the Overwatch League (OWL), CS: GO and eNASCAR events.

Esports betting in New Jersey

Customers living within the borders of New Jersey can currently place wagers on games such as LCS and LEC, CS: GO, Call of Duty Rocket League and eNASCAR.

Players not wanting to wager online can visit brick-and-mortar locations such as the Borgata, where they can make bets for big tournaments, including ESL 11 (CS: GO) or the League of Legends World Championship.

Esports in West Virginia

This state allows players to wager on numerous esports such as CS: GO, DotA 2, League of Legends, Overwatch, Rocket League, Call of Duty, Valorant, FIFA, NBA2K20, Hearthstone, Apex Legends, Rainbow Six Siege, Street Fighter, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite.

Unlike most states where players have to be over the age of 21 to be legally allowed to gamble, West Virginia allows customers over the age of 18 to enjoy this activity.

In terms of audience, the worldwide esports audience in 2022 amounted to 523 million people and, by 2025, there are expected to be over 640 million viewers around the world

Esports betting in Tennessee

Since gaming was legalised in 2019, 13 licences have been issued for various betting sites in the state, and several of those also offer esports betting to their customers.

As of right now, DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM are the ones currently offering esports betting in Tennessee. 

Esports betting around the world

When it comes to Europe, there are several active esports betting markets, such as the UK and Germany.

The worldwide esports audience in 2022 amounted to 523 million people – and by 2025, there are expected to be over 640 million viewers around the world.

On a global scale, Asia and North America are currently the largest esports markets in terms of revenue, with China alone accounting for almost 20%. 

The question is how much of this will translate into esports betting volumes in the long term...

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