According to a survey by a US consumer insight group interpret, 52% of esports fans or those that “regularly follow” the scene would be likely to place a bet on a major esports event.
The survey, which asked 9,000 participants about the likelihood of them betting on esports, found that 21% were neutral while the remaining 28% were unlikely. Targeting U.S. residents aged 13-65, the survey had 521 people specifically representing esports followers. Specifically looking at online monetary betting services, the survey did not include in-client betting or skin betting.
While esports sponsorship of events and teams isn’t as prolific as it is in traditional sports, betting has found a way into the scene. Activision Blizzard entered a partnership with Sportrader in 2020 to institute betting monitoring on the Overwatch League and Call of Duty league. While Las Vegas has seen esports betting added to its books in recent years.
Outside the US is where the market seems to be much more open. In Europe, a number of traditional betting sites have added esports markets in recent years, as they look to tap into a younger market.
The dark side of betting
Betting has also been in the news for all the wrong reasons recently in esports. Earlier in 2021, the ESIC banned 35 CS:GO players for breaching the ESIC’s Anti-Corruption Code. This occured after several players were found to have bet on themselves.
The ESIC has five levels of punishment, which saw two of the players have previous bans extended. A further three players were given the highest level of punishment of a five-year bans. Those players are Matthew ‘Jam’ Castro, Alvin ‘Gravinz’ Changgra, and Wilson ‘willyKS’ Sugianto. Most of the remaining players came in at level one, giving them roughly a one year ban. These bans only carry weight on ESIC and ESIC-associated events.
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