ESports Betting…Could it Really Be a $1.8 Billion Business?
Does e-sports betting really have the potential to be a $1.8 billion business over the next five years? That’s the conclusion of a new report from Eilers Research titled, eSport Betting: It’s Real, and Bigger Than You Think.
The aptly titled report suggest that this year alone, esports betting will generate revenue of around $24 million from 2.3 million players off of $315 million in wagers.
Eilers goes on to say that the industry is poised for nothing short of explosive growth over the next five years. They’re predicting that eSports betting will balloon to $1.8 billion in revenue on $23.5 billion in wagers from 19.4 million players by the end of 2020.
Casino affiliates who aren’t familiar with the eSports world might find these numbers a bit on the optimistic side, but for anyone who’s familiar with games like League of Legends and Starcraft, they’re not so far fetched.
According to a variety of sources, including GeekWire.com, audiences for eSports events compare to or, in some cases, exceed those of other major sporting events. For example, Monday Night Football’s average US audience comes in at around 13.3 million viewers. The League of Legends 2014 final clocked in at around 27 million viewers.
Even better for anyone looking to make a few bucks on eSports betting, the audiences at these events are comprised mainly of males in their twenties and thirties, a prime spending demographic.
That said, affiliates and operators should not that not all eSports betting is for cash. In many cases, players win in-game prizes (like new weapons) instead of traditional cash.
The potential eSports betting boom has already grabbed the attention of traditional bookmakers like William Hill and Paddy Power are expected to get in on the market withing the next couple of years.