ESports betting sites "fall short of expectations"
By Gareth Bracken
eSports betting market has not performed as well as anticipated, according to new sector research.
Market intelligence firm SuperData says that eSports betting and fantasy sites have "fallen short of expectations" by earning only $56m this year, despite investment of over $150m in new platforms.
The reports states: "Fans remain more comfortable wagering virtual gaming content over cash, causing real-money sites to gain traction slower than anticipated."
According to one analyst, the news is "not surprising".
Mark McGuinness, digital betting director at Mainstream Marketing and Communications Ltd on the Isle of Man said: "The proclivity for eSports betting is still embryonic and therefore in growth phase, and has been clouded by fervour almost akin to another dot.com boom and bust."
SuperData's eSports Market Update 2015/2016 forecasts that online gaming sites will propel eSports to a market value of $1.9bn by 2018.
The report, which estimates the 2015 eSports market to be worth $748m, says the major increase will be driven by "the growth of direct revenue sources such as betting sites and amateur tournament platforms".
McGuinness added: "Europe and Asia are the market hotspots for eSports betting, with certain operators reporting average stakes on eSports in three- and four-figure bets”.
In August, Eilers Research projected that the eSports betting market will exceed £23bn by 2020, up from an estimated $250m in 2015.
ESports viewership is also set to soar, with Juniper Research forecasting that viewer levels will reach 313 million by 2020, up from 133 million this year.
Juniper believes eSports viewership will surpass NFL by 2020 and close in on Formula 1 racing.