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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Esports Betting: Why Market Regulation Should be Taken Seriously

The esports industry has gained significant momentum over the last few years, amassing millions of players and fans across the globe. Even football clubs are paying close attention, seeing esports as a way to generate interest in their respective clubs. Back in 2016, West Ham United Football Club become the first football club in the UK to sign an official esports player, Sean Allen. 

Along with its newly found popularity has come a surge in esports betting with the outcome of tournaments and matches attracting hefty wagers from seasoned and novice gamblers alike.  In fact, it has become a must-have for sportsbook operators, establishing itself as a revenue-generating sector in its own right, with the global esports betting market estimated to reach $23.76 billion by 2028.

However, with all the excitement surrounding esports betting comes mounting concerns over market regulations that protect consumers against fraud and other forms of unfair gaming practices. Despite its growing demand, esports betting is still a relatively new industry, which means there’s a wide learning curve most major bookmakers seem to be behind the bend on. 

Newcomers are often surprised by the industry’s lack of a parallel to the betting markets of traditional sports. Additionally, esports betting owes a lot of its popularity to advancements in technology which constantly impact the industry. 

Granted, responsible gambling and market regulation are usually aspects one associates with online casino providers, in particular those offering customers no deposit bonuses. We’re here to debunk this idea (or at attempt to do so), because regulatory frameworks also need to be followed within the esports betting scene. Failure to do so may result in unwanted consequences which could have been otherwise avoided.

Wagering against your favorite esports teams is all fun and games until somebody’s pockets get hurt. In this article, we will tackle the importance of market regulations in esports betting and how they can safeguard your money and enhance your earning potential. 

Age Restrictions

As esports betting continues to be introduced into mainstream markets the industry will continue to grow which calls for the demand for further education to ensure customers make well-informed betting decisions.

Market regulations are there to help combat destructive gambling behaviors brought on by global quarantines when esports betting first peaked. Additionally, due to the nature of the industry esports betting tends to attract a younger demographic which is something regulators need to consider to ensure responsible gambling practices are taking place and that there are no opportunities for underage play. 

Within esports betting, this is not just the age verification of the bettor but the age verification of the competitor taking part in the esports competition. In fact, many esports betting providers are looking for solutions to combat this ongoing issue with Game Scorekeeper, launching the Player Age Service which lowers the risks of taking bets on events where the majority of participants are under 18. 

While regulations surrounding this issue differ depending on the region, Spain and Sweden are especially strict in this regard. Both countries have introduced laws banning betting on players under the age of 18 or on teams where the majority of players are under 18. 

Authorized Games

Not only do operators need to look out for age restrictions, but depending on the region some games may not be permitted. Italy does not permit betting on games that simulate war which has resulted in the hugely popular game, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive being banned.

While India’s esports market has taken a hit due to the country’s stance against PUBG Mobile and PUBC Mobile, along with another 118 Chinese apps due to rumors that data was being compiled and sent to servers in China.  The ban was not aimed at specific games but rather if the games developed by Baidu, Taobao, and Alipay.

Final Thoughts 

The consumer and corporate interest in esports is undoubtedly increasing. This has not gone unnoticed by policymakers and regulators. While they continue to examine this emerging trend, it is important that operators remain aware of the various market nuances and ensure they are compliant.  

In reality, esports betting carries the same amount of risk as traditional sports betting when it comes to underage play and match-fixing. As such, operators should not shy away from the booming industry for fear of the unknown, as is the case with Germany. 

Much of the growth within the esports industry will depend heavily on the regulatory framework that develops which will help consumers gain a better understanding and establish a greater trust within the industry.

David Wojnicki
David Wojnicki
"He who licks knives will soon cut his tongue."
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