• eSports is about to turn into a billion-dollar industry.
  • Online sportsbooks online are picking up odds for eSports events.
  • No land-based sportsbooks are taking action on eSports.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – eSports will become $1 billion industry in 2019 with plenty of opportunities to bet it.

Traditional Sports and eSports

The eSports industry is going to surpass the $1 billion point this year. There are many parallels between eSports and traditional sporting events. So much so that online sportsbooks such as BetOnline are picking up odds on eSports.

Depending on the game, competitors join a team or compete individually in a video game. Much like with traditional athletes, eSports competitors train many hours a day to perfect their craft. Then they go out and compete in their respective craft.

Millions of dollars are invested in this. Arenas for up to and over $50 million are built for these events. Teams are sponsored by large companies such as Red Bull. Even Michael Jordan has invested into the eSports team called Team Liquid.

There are plenty of parallels between eSports and traditional sports. But, it is unlikely that US sportsbooks are going allow bookmakers take bets on eSports.

Anyone Can Play

The fact of the matter is, there is no age limit to get involved with eSports. That means people under the age of 18 can be a competitor in eSports. There are many eSports players who are under 18 years old and they are the best at what they do. In 2017, Benedict “MrKCool” became the youngest professional eSports player at the age of 14.

This proves to be problematic for US lawmakers and legal sports betting. No sportsbooks are taking action in low budget minor leagues or high school sports. Part of the reason is that hardly anyone is watching these events. A big part of it is because the athletes are under the age of 18.

To this day, no state in the US has legalized wagering on eSports. Illinois was close to doing so. Lawmakers from the state introduced IL HB 3308 to legalize sports betting. This would have included allowing wagers on eSports.

In the end, the bill did not become a law. IL SB 690 passed with amendments that included sports betting. eSports was not a part of this package.

eSports betting is going to be controversial for lawmakers in the United States. Many do not want wagers to happen during high school events. This transfers into eSports because there are so many young competitors. It is unlikely that eSports betting is going to be picked up by US lawmakers anytime soon. This is despite the fact that there are many comparisons to regular sports. For now, only offshore sportsbooks have action on eSports.

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