The Early Days of Esports Betting
Since esports’ early days, audiences have been interested in betting.
In the mid-2010s, “skin betting” was internationally popular at grey-market bettings sites. Skin betting is when players bet in-game cosmetic items on the outcome of an esports match.
Games like CS:GO were particularly popular, as the items from this game could have real-world money values worth hundreds of dollars.
While skin-betting is still an option, we wouldn’t recommend it. Thankfully there are now more legal and safe options for esports bettors.
Esports Betting in the US
Since then, esports betting in the US has seen real money esports betting become increasingly more available.
While esports betting might have begun in grey-market online sites, in the last few years, numerous states in the US have made esports betting partially or fully legal.
- 2017: Nevada
- 2019: Tennessee
- 2020: Colorado, Virginia, Washington
- 2021: Arizona, Connecticut, Louisiana, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, Wyoming
Online casinos, sportsbooks, and other online betting sites have rushed to expand and appeal to potential customers. All because they have realized the size and potential of the esports enthusiast audience.
This is great news if you’re into esports betting – you now have more safe, legal options and more competitive odds than ever before.
iGaming, Online Casinos, and Twitch
Online casinos and iGaming software suppliers have also capitalized on a recent trend on Twitch.tv, a popular streaming service with a focus on games, esports, entertainment, and creative content.
One of the most recent popular trends has been slots, where several streamers have been playing the newest and most popular online slots in front of thousands of viewers.
Some casinos have sponsored streamers, while more recently, there has been controversy surrounding ‘fake’ slot streamers being sponsored by shady online betting sites.
Twitch recently announced a new policy that unlicensed gambling sites could not feature within these streams in an attempt to protect itself, its audience, and its own streamers.
Nevertheless, the popularity of online slots, poker, and other casino game streams is extremely high. This makes it unlikely for Twitch to ban online gambling streams entirely, at least not of their own accord.
iGaming Software Providers
Reoccuring iGaming software providers have a lot to gain from esports audiences too. The same esports audiences that enjoy Twitch and esports betting are likely to enjoy their online slots.
In particular, Hacksaw Games slots have featured prominently in many slot streamers’ videos.
It is unclear if Hacksaw ever formally sponsored streamers, but streamers may well have chosen these high-quality slots entirely off their merit.
More recently, an older and more established titan of iGaming, Pragmatic Play, has begun to take its first steps into the world of esports. The provider has published sponsored articles on a number of websites, but most notably the renowned esports news site https://esports-news.co.uk/.
Understanding they have potential customers in the esports audience, Pragmatic Play’s article is a beginner’s guide to online slots with a focus on their world-class products, highlighting their video, jackpot, progressive, 3D, and classic slots.
What’s the Future of Online Esports Betting, iGaming, and Streaming?
We fully expect the US esports ecosystem and its audience to become increasingly entwined with online casinos and sportsbooks.
It’s clear gambling companies are aware of the appetite for their products, whether that’s esports betting or online slots. For them, it’s just about reaching the audience effectively.
The most recent Twitch update shows that some betting sites will likely make mistakes along the way for a quick cash grab.
However, other betting sites and iGaming providers will grab a huge slice of a largely untapped market. But only if they do so engagingly and responsibly.
Soon, we expect to see plenty of crossovers and sponsorships as the iGaming world rushes to take advantage of the new legal options available in the US.
In theory, this should be a win for all parties involved – but only if all parties involved manage to do so in a safe way for potential customers.
Our Final Advice and Tips
However things pan out, if you’re an esports fan thinking about playing at an online casino or sports fan thinking of getting involved in esports betting, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
- Always check where you’re playing – play at safe, secure, and trusted online casinos and sportsbooks.
- Play responsibly – Play for fun and only bet what you can afford to lose.
- Look around at competitors – you’ll find some great welcome bonuses and welcome promotions.
- Do your research:
- If you’re new to online slots, read our reviews and play the demos for free before deciding what you’re playing!
- New to esports betting? Check out our guides to make sure you know enough about the game and what betting options are available.
If you keep these tips in mind and all you’ll need is some luck to win some serious cash!