Earlier this year, Las Vegas sportsbooks began taking wagers on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive pro games.
CSGO is a well-known game that has a very strong following. There are entire leagues dedicated to the game featuring teams who are known across the world. However, this wasn’t the first time that esports have been granted such access to gambling opportunities in the United States. In 2019, New Jersey allowed temporary betting on the 2019 League of Legends World Championship final.
With technology such as giant streaming platform Twitch allowing gamers across the world to compete, competitive video games are trending in a positive direction. Sponsorships, revenues, and opportunities in esports are more accessible every year.
On top of this, online gambling has found a way to integrate its odds into competitive broadcasts.
For these reasons and others, we are seeing numerous states potentially lean towards making esports more accessible in online gambling. Instead of live sports, the virtual world has taken over. So when will other states follow suit, and how soon will they come around?
There are currently 21 states that allow legal sports betting. Among those 21 states, there are 17 that have some form of legal sports betting launched. These states were losing out on tax revenue that was generated by professional sports and the best sports betting sites when live sports were curtailed earlier in the year.
We can likely assume that we will see more states allow the use of betting on esports until live sports are back in full swing. We could go on further to say that since there are no fans in attendance, this would be a great way to attract more interest in live sports. But are esports competitions popular enough to work?
Are esports worth your time? Absolutely. If fans can check a sports prediction app to find a live score of a real game, there is going to be appeal for watching their team’s players perform. Take for example the NASCAR series. The eNascar iRacing Pro Invitational Series Event that took place in late March drew nearly 1.3 million viewers. The first NASCAR Invitational Series event of the season attracted 903,000 viewers. That’s a pretty strong following.
It’s clear that fans are turning their sites to virtual sporting events. With live sports still in a lurch, we can expect more events from the esports community to be in the spotlight, and we should also expect more states to allow the use of betting in esports.