Esports Betting Starting to Take Off

For years, “esports is the future” was a trope uttered by almost everyone. However, at this point, we can also say that “esports is the present.” The industry exploded in the latter part of the 2010s and has been on a steady incline ever since.

Many treat esports as traditional physical sports. There are tons of tournaments and leagues around the world consisting of teams and individuals eager to show off their skills and fighting spirit. So, it comes as no surprise that you can also find esports on the menu of many sports betting platforms today.

Esports Betting Starting to Take Off

Popular multiplayer games like Counter-Strike 2, Valorant, League of Legends, and Dota 2 can all be wagered on throughout the year, and with some competitive odds as well.

But how big is esports betting actually? How did it come to be, what fueled its growth, and what does it look like today?

How Esports Betting Started

The potential for esports betting has been there since its inception, but bookmakers held back at first. 

The general thinking was that the market was too niche and wouldn’t attract many new customers. It was also risky for sportsbooks to start offering esports betting as not enough data was available to oddsmakers to produce an edge over bettors. Moreover, many esports fans and even players themselves were underage, which raised the question of morality.

Of course, this didn’t stop shady offshore sportsbooks and Bitcoin betting sites from launching esports betting. The first such sites gained traction around 2015, but very few games and tournaments were offered. Legal mainstream books were still reluctant to engage in this new form of competition.

However, as years passed and esports fans grew older, esports betting started making more sense. The target market was no longer limited to teenagers and young adults, and online gambling itself became familiar to a broader demographic. 

PASPA fell in 2018, and sports betting legalization started to sweep across the United States, which, in turn, allowed it to grow in parallel to esports.

Soon enough, esports found its place on the roster of many sportsbooks alongside football, basketball, baseball, and other popular traditional sports.

How Big Esports Betting Is Today

Betting is a massive part of the esports industry today. As a matter of fact, esports betting is the largest market segment of competitive gaming, with its market volume expected to reach $2.5 billion in 2024.

The sport will likely continue to grow, and with the betting industry showing no signs of stopping either, the numbers are only set to rise in the next several years.

A steady annual growth rate of 7.27% is forecasted for the next four years, which would raise the market volume to $3.3 billion by 2028. As expected, the United States is recording the highest revenue in this sector, with a projected market size of over $700 for 2024 alone.

What Fueled the Growth

Esports started taking the shape of a mainstream sport over the years, which made it easier to integrate with betting.

Live streaming helped expose professional gaming to a broader audience. As more gamers saw the opportunity to make a living playing their favorite games, the leagues and tournaments became more competitive.

This all happened around the same time that legal sports betting spread across the United States. Today, there are over 30 states with legal sports betting, and most of them allow people to make bets on popular esports competitions.

Esports Betting Starting to Take Off

Where Can You Place Real-Money Bets on Esports

With the sport reaching a certain level of maturity, many online sportsbooks have wholeheartedly included esports as a betting option. 

Betway, bet365, FanDuel, and DraftKings are only some of the big betting apps where you can wager on League of Legends, Call of Duty, Counter-Strike 2, Valorant, and other mainstream competitive games.

However, keep in mind that esports betting isn’t available in the whole country. The legality of sports betting in the US varies on a state-by-state basis, and many states still don’t allow sports betting of any kind.

On the other hand, those who are yet to legalize this form of gambling often don’t have laws that expressly forbid wagering over the internet, and this legal gray area allows offshore betting sites like Bovada to attract many American customers. 

If you’re considering laying down a few esports bets, we advise sticking to legal betting sites. You’ll be safer, won’t have to worry about getting scammed, and will stay on the right side of the law.