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Sports Books Prep Up for eSports Betting Revolution

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eSports betting is a fast-emerging trend in the gambling world right now. Most gambling aficionados are still stuck playing mobile slot game or traditional sports betting. Competitive video gaming or eSports is gradually increasing in popularity.

eSports is considered the next big thing in sports since it covers a younger demographic – an opportunity for sports books companies. eSports betting has arrived to transform ordinary gamers into avid gamblers. Is this a good thing for sports betting market?

“This is the future of sports, and we have to focus on that so we don’t get left behind. We just need to put ourselves in the shop window a little more.” said Adam Smith, spokesman for Sky Betting.

eSports Betting is Still an Unregulated Market

esports betting

Sports books have already offered eSports betting outside of the United States. Yet there have been a number of underground eSports sports books sites that aren’t regulated. Video game developer Valve has taken action against these betting sites that are using it software as a means of currency. The largest unregulated sports book called CSGO Lounge have been shut down. This will also result into eSports gamblers to play in legal gambling houses.

“We see this as a major opportunity,” said Moritz Maurer, head of e-sports at London-based Genius Sports, which provides odds, live data feeds and integrity monitoring services to its clients. “If you want to invest in e-sports gambling, this is the time.”

The eSports gambling market which relies on a virtual currency called “skins,” has been predicted to reach around $7.4 billion this year according to Eilers & Krejcik Gaming and Narus Advisors. This is 12 times higher than the eSports bets at legal and regulated sports books.

“Not all of that money will migrate — the total includes underage users and people who have been playing in black markets like the U.S. About $2.2 billion of those wagers translate easily to the regulated world”, Maurer said.

How Sports Books are Positioning eSports Betting

esports sports books

It’s a fact that eSports betting has a specific target audience. Sports books such as Sky and Danske are aware that marketing these eSports offerings means that they need to reformat their conventional approach.

It’s a younger demographic that needs to be fed in a more innovative and social approach. Danske Spil has reformatted its eSports book in order to entice gamers. It now features chat functions, team rankings, and eSports analysis.

“We can’t approach them the same as our normal bettors, because the e-sports bettors are a group for themselves. Instead of trying to make them traditional sports bettors, we’re giving them their own playground.” said Kasper Nemeth, Dankse Spil’s e-sports manager.

Is eSports the New Face of Sports Betting?

These sports books anticipate a $2.2 billion from their eSports offerings. The key here is that they offer security for bettors. Most importantly, Danske and Sky are regulated sports books that include age verification and detection software to assess online behavior of bettors.

eSports betting might be another gambling trend; but as the world becomes more social, millennials can be converted into online gamblers. Will eSports be the new face of sports betting? Will anti-eSports groups arise as well? Are authorities already establishing appropriate regulations?