Is Sports Betting Important To The Future Of Esports?


Betting is important for the growth of esports, but esports companies aren’t eagerly jumping into gambling-related ventures, according to recent research from global payments technology company Nuvei. 

Nuvei recently surveyed over 100 esports companies (teams, publishers, tournament organizers, and more) about a variety of topics, including how sports betting may factor into the future of esports. The esports companies indicated that sports betting is important to the future of esports, as 77% of respondents deemed it of at least moderate importance. Interestingly, however, only 34% said sports betting was important to their particular business. 

The industry professionals surveyed seem more bullish on the potential future relationship between sports wagering and esports compared to the current connections between the two industries. Concern about gambling in esports was split between survey participants, as 25% of respondents said they weren’t concerned about wagering being part of esports, while 15% were very concerned. The other 60% of respondents fell closer to the middle. 

It’s worth noting that 67% of esports companies currently involved with wagering said a major barrier to growth is that betting is often a restricted sponsorship category by leagues and publishers. Respondents pegged that as the top barrier for growth for sports betting in the esports industry. 

Between sponsorship restrictions, state regulations, and competitive integrity, there are enough concerns to stifle sports betting growth in the esports industry. But that could change over time. 

The future of esports wagering

It remains to be seen if the sports betting world is ready for esports. There’s general interest in esports, and there’s interest in mobile sports betting, but will esports wagering ever take off in the U.S.? 

No wagering breakthroughs are expected when esports betting is allowed more frequently at Nevada sportsbooks about a month from now.

— Las Vegas Review-Journal (@reviewjournal) October 31, 2022

It hasn’t yet, and it’s unclear if it ever truly will. There’s some belief that operators are waiting to see esports catch on more before making a push to list esports markets, especially since the rise of esports is still relatively new. Perhaps if esports leagues become more mainstream, customers of sportsbooks will ask more frequently for related wagering opportunities. 

Nuvei’s survey shows that those within the industry believe sports betting could impact the future of esports, but there’s still a disconnect between future possibilities and the present-day reality.

Photo: Shutterstock

Author: Ryan Gonzales