Esports gambling: All you need to know about gambling on esports

As esports has grown as an entertainment phenomenon, there has been a growing number of people who now enjoy taking a bet on the outcome of the matches. Just as you might enjoy a bet on a game of football, tennis or basketball, betting on esports like CSGO, LoL or Dota 2 offers just as much excitement and the potential for some seriously impressive profits.

But is esports betting legal, and how do you go about gambling on esports in a responsible and stress-free manner? Here we will take a look at the main issues and concerns that surround esports betting so that you can quickly see what you should be thinking about. Plus we will investigate some of the most popular esports gambling websites in order to help you work which sites could be the safest options for your esports bets.

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Why bother gambling on esports?

For most gaming fans, the sheer spectacle of watching esports provides them with more than enough entertainment. However, there are plenty of fans who also like to add a little adrenaline to their viewing by taking a bet on the gaming action. Whether they are live betting on a smartphone at an esports tournament, or are wagering via a laptop at home whilst watching a live stream on Twitch, it seems that more and more people are starting to enjoy esports betting.

Of course, by successfully predicting the outcome of an esports match, you could also stand to make some decent profits. Whilst esports tournaments are notoriously unpredictable, the standardisation of rules and leagues has meant that a few gaming fans have managed to achieve some consistently good results with their esports bets.

Obviously, there’s plenty of room for the occasional upset, but if you are willing to gamble responsibly, do your research and find the best odds, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to make some profits with your esports bets.

Is it safe to try esports gambling?

Before you rush to lay down your first esports bet, it’s worth taking the time to think about the risks involved with esports betting. Just like a traditional sports bet, there’s always the potential for losing your bet, and this is why you should always treat esports betting as mere entertainment, not as a way of making money.

It’s also a good idea to do plenty of research into the esports gambling websites that you are thinking about using. There are plenty of esports gambling sites out there who operate without a license and this means that they are not only operating illegally, but it also means that you might not get protection over how they treat your personal details and deposits.

This issue becomes even more amplified when it comes to skin gambling and esports. CS:GO gambling in particular has become synonymous with skin gambling where gamers bet with ‘skins’ such as in-game items like weapons and armour, rather than real money. By attempting to trade these skins in for cash, you might be opening yourself up to an unlicensed betting site, so always check to see a website’s licensing first, and if in doubt, bet with real money at one of the approved bookmakers on our shortlist.

What kinds of esports gambling options are there?

As esports betting is similar to traditional sports betting, then you should find plenty of options for betting on your favourite game. However, there are a few important differences to be aware of, and so here are some of the different ways that you might be able to wager on esports.

Betting on esports matches with real money

Real money betting is the most common and safest way to wager on esports. Most bookmakers give you lots of different options for real money betting on games like CS:GO, LoL betting, Overwatch, Dota 2 and much more. In order to place a real money bet, you will have to fund your account via payment methods such as credit cards, debit cards, e-wallets or prepaid cards. From here you just have to lay down your stake on the esports odds offered by the bookmaker, and if you win your bet, your winnings will be placed in your account, and then you can withdraw them.

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We should also mention that some betting sites also allow you to make deposits and withdrawals with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. But just to be on the safe side, we’d recommend using traditional payment methods such as Visa and MasterCard for the most reliable way to fund your esports betting.

Is skin gambling worth your time?

Skin gambling follows a similar pattern to real money betting. As skins for in-game items like CSGO weapons can be traded between players, they can be treated as a kind of currency. This means that you could deposit a skin at a skin gambling site, gamble with it, and then receive additional skins if you manage to win your bet. From here you can either trade these skins with other gamers, use them in your game, sell them on the Steam marketplace for other in-game items, or even exchange them for cash at a third-party site. However, this last option is widely frowned upon as it has been linked with many troubling cases of underage gambling. As a result, we have been seeing a crackdown on skin gambling and wouldn’t recommend this method of esports betting.

What about fantasy esports betting?

We have also seen how the fantasy betting phenomenon has been successfully applied to the world of esports. This means that you enter competitions where you build your own esports team roster that has to comply with a fixed salary cap.

Your roster will then gain points according to each player’s performances in real-life tournaments, and if your team manages to get more points than the other competitors, you could stand to win a variety of cash prizes. Such an approach may seem a little more complicated than a basic match winner esports bet, but it’s an increasingly popular way to get a little closer to your favorite esports stars.

Our recommendation is DraftKings – number 1 website for Fantasy esports in the USA.

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Taking your first steps in esports gambling

If you have bet on sports like football or basketball before, then you should have little problem in wagering on esports. But if you are new to esports gambling, then here’s a quick rundown of how to take your first esports bet.

Picking your bets for esports – CSGO gambling, LoL betting and more

Firstly, you will need to think about which esport you want to bet on. The easiest way to land a winning esports bet is to only bet on those games, teams and players that you know best. Most betting sites will cover a broad range of esports. CSGO gambling is hugely popular, as is wagering on other iconic titles like LoL, Dota 2 and Overwatch. But regardless of whether you are into new titles like Fortnite and Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, or niche games like Rocket League, World of Tanks or even Artifact, we think that there’s a good chance that there’s a betting site out there with odds for your preferred esport.

Understand the importance of responsible esports gambling

Next you will have to think about how much you want to bet. Whilst some gamers get lucky and land a big win every now and then, it’s important to remember that it’s only by being sensible and betting with small stakes that you are going to be able to last the distance. This is why it’s essential to set yourself a responsible betting budget. By sticking within your means, you will avoid making those risky bets that are based on emotion, and even if you lose your bet, then you can still survive to enjoy more esports betting in the future.

How to pick safe esports gambling sites

Once you’ve set your budget and decided which tournament you want to wager on, then it’s time to investigate which betting site has the most competitive odds for the esports contest. You will need to create an account and make a deposit at a betting site before you lay down your bets. But before you sign up, make sure that the site has all of the relevant licensing from an organisation like the UK Gambling Commission or the Malta Gaming Authority in place. It’s also a good idea to check to see what kind of customer support facilities the betting site has just in case you need help with your esports bets.

Some of the most popular esports gambling websites

Nearly all of the best online sportsbooks and casino sites will include some esports betting options. Here is a quick look at the range of betting sites that could help you win big on your favourite esport.

Traditional sports bookmakers like Betway

Sports bookmakers have been quick to realise the immense potential of esports betting. As a result, you will find a good range of esports bets at bookmakers like Betway, bet-at-home, 10Bet, Mr Green, 888sport, TonyBet and Redbet and much more. Whilst some of these bookies fail to cover some of the more niche esports tournaments, for the bigger contests like The International, DreamHack or the Intel Extreme Masters, then these classic sportsbooks could give you a great price for your bets.

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Popular dedicated esports gambling sites

But if you want a little more choice in your wagering, then it could be worthwhile checking out one of the many dedicated esports betting sites that have hit the scene recently. Brands like ArcaneBet, Rivalry, GG.Bet, Buff88, esportsbetting.com, EGB and Betspawn have done a great job in covering a wide range of tournaments and can still give the larger sportsbooks a run for their money. What makes many of these sites especially popular is the fact that they include cool features like free live streaming so that you can enjoy all of the in-play betting action whilst watching the on-screen carnage.

The rise of offshore sites like Bovada esports gambling

Depending on where you are based, then you will get to access a varying range of esports betting sites. This is because all betting sites are only licensed in certain areas and some bookies like 22Bet and Bovada’s esports gambling service might be currently available for UK gaming fans. But before you give up on using sites like the Bovada esports gambling website, it’s worth remembering that these companies are always looking to upgrade their licensing and so the current situation could change soon.

A quick word about esports betting bonuses

When you sign up to an esports betting site, then there is a good chance that you will see that you will be eligible for a welcome bonus. These can come in the form of matched deposit deals, losing bet refunds, or matched bet offers. Whilst the offers often advertise themselves as being free bets, you will usually have to make a qualifying deposit or bet before you gain the extra betting funds. Be aware that some bonuses also include some wagering conditions that determine how you are allowed to use the extra bets before you are allowed to make a withdrawal of your winnings. This is why you should always read through the small print of these deals so that you know exactly what you are signing up for.

Where does gambling on esports go from here?

As esports grows in popularity, we can expect the betting industry offer odds on more gaming tournaments. A recent report by Newzoo has suggested that the esports industry could be worth $1.7 billion by 2021 and this is sure to bring in plenty of interest from the betting world. The increasingly dynamic marketplace should mean that customers can take advantage of evermore competitive odds to receive larger winnings. With innovations like in-play betting and live streaming becoming commonplace, it seems that esports betting is only just getting started and it’s going to be fascinating to see where it goes from here.