Revenue from gambling on esports is estimated to double to $14bn worldwide in 2020, according to new research.
Research from global consumer research agency 2CV and market researcher ProdegeMR suggests the popularity of betting on esports, which generated revenue of $7bn in 2019, will rise as players look for alternatives as sports betting is laregely suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak.
A survey of more than 1,000 gamblers in the UK found 59% had reduced their spend on gaming, with 32% saying they have looked for new things to bet on.
The research found 36% of players have wagered on esports in the past three months, with 30% starting within the last month; 62% of those who haven’t yet invested in esports say they need more information.
The research also found that, by 2022, the number of esports viewers is estimated to rise to 644m worldwide, up from 454m viewers in 2019.
2CV Technology and Entertainment Research Director, Martin Bradley, said: "The COVID-19 pandemic has led to many forms of sports associated with gambling being cancelled or postponed, but is also a big opportunity for esports to get in front of this audience.
"Short-term growth is likely to come from sport-based games, but there are huge opportunities to make this more long-term; as long as consumers are educated properly on esports and what it can offer, as well as considering which kinds of events are best suited to a particular audience.”