Gambling takes a lot of forms. Some people enjoy to gamble their money in casinos at slot machines or playing poker. There are those who like to take a safer route and purchase lottery tickets in the hopes to win a jackpot, while others prefer betting on their favorite sports teams. In the latter case, there is a certain enjoyment to be had both from the gambling process as well as the match itself with the heightened stakes. For a long time, sports betting was confined to a few sports that attracted the most attention. With the emergence of eSports, a part of the audience’s attention has shifted to these competitive video gaming tournaments.
eSports started to really gain traction in the late 2000s as the technology became advanced enough to allow people around the world to stream these matches on their computers. With millions of viewers, these competitions began to attract sponsors. The audiences of these sports are comparable to some of the most popular physical sports in the world. According to some estimates, by 2019, there will be almost half a billion people worldwide actively watching eSports. The industry is quite profitable as well. In 2015, the revenue for the global eSports market exceeded $300 million, which was expected to increase by another $200 million next year. Now, according to some estimates, the market is worth $1.5 billion.
How are eSports live tournaments arranged?
Although eSports are based on video games, the tournaments occur much like for the physical sports. The participants gather at one location and the matches go on in front of a live audience with referees monitoring the games. There are several large-scale competitions that take place around the world. DreamHack is a Swedish company that organizes eSports tournaments drawing tens of thousands in audiences. Similarly, there is The Gathering taking place in Norway. World Cyber Games, which is an international event has found such sponsors as Samsung Electronics and Microsoft. This demonstrates the popularity of these events. Prize money for the winners in these tournaments could reach several million US dollars.
Nowadays, in most cases people go to these tournaments to enjoy the atmosphere, meet like-minded people and cheer for their favorites. Some of the events, in addition to the matches, also provide live concerts and various forms of entertainment which make it worthwhile for the audience to pay the ticket price.
Gambling and eSports
Gambling companies always try to adjust to the customers’ needs, so it is not surprising that they wanted to offer their services to several hundred million people who are fans of eSports as well. There is no reason as to why the fans of this particular sport shouldn’t be able to enjoy betting much like everyone else does. As a result, many gambling websites started to include eSports in the list of their products.
Nevertheless, there are still many territories where gambling on eSports still has to be legalized. One of the most popular places for eSports is northern Europe and the Nordic countries. In some of these countries, gambling is tightly controlled by the government. Even though the Swedish government is loosening up its regulations, Norway still remains unwavering in its desire to maintain the monopoly of the state-owned companies in the market.
The legalization of gambling on eSports would impact the industry in several ways. First of all, many people who are simply into gambling would be drawn to the sport and the audience would grow significantly. In addition, as online casinos would be making money off of the games, they might be willing to sponsor some of the tournaments which would further contribute to the advancement of the sport. As for the fans, they would be able to enjoy the wholesome experience that fans of many other sports are offered.
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