The video game industry has an ever-growing fan following as more and more people queuing for latest games and gaming consoles in the recent years. It also gave rise to esports competitions since the early 1970s. The late 1990s saw professional video gamers foraying in the tournaments, and that introduced a byproduct, perhaps the most important, for it called esports betting. Since the initial days, esports betting began getting higher popularity among children and youth. Currently, it grew as a sizable industry with some of the popular tournaments saw spectators of nearly 45 million. It is good to know more about the growing popularity of esports among youths and the recent trends in the industry.
In the initial days of esports betting, people were mostly engaged in skin betting – betting using virtual goods. The consistent growth of fan base in the betting prompted big betting houses to create their space in esports sector. However, during the initial days, the bookmakers were not making great returns due to the average betting volume. Also, the punters were able to know more about games and upcoming matches compared to bookmakers. In 2000, the South Korean government recognized esports for the first time. The later years saw many Western countries joining the league.
Introduction of Real Money and Surging Popularity
The popularity of esports betting among the youth went up after real money introduced in it. Compared to skin betting, the real money betting was more reliable. Since the betting operators in the real money betting world are licensed by authorities and controlled by institutions, they had to follow various regulations. The operators started offering upgraded betting offers including expansion to new betting markets and introduction of new games. Interestingly, by the year 2017, the skin betting is almost banned around the world.
The Growth of the Internet and the Taste of Youth
The principal reason for the growth and success of esports betting is the growth of the internet. When the telecommunication technology got revolutionary changes post 2000, it fueled the popularity of esports as well. People from across the world started viewing esports tournaments and learning the techniques of betting in it. Another major reason for the success is the taste of youth. The millennials actively enjoy video gaming, and the decade-old online gaming is an ever-growing industry now. The affection of young generation for video games naturally turned to esports betting as well. For them, it becomes an option to enjoy the spirit of video gaming in a much better and engaging way.
Per the reports from Newzoo, a leading market intelligence provider, the total number of viewers of esports rose to 385 million in 2017, and a large majority of the spectators were millennials. Since the South Korean government actively encouraged it, the country became the mecca of esports in the recent years. Since 2015, large bookmakers started putting their foot in the esports betting industry. While the initial days allowed betting only on who wins the match, people can now bet on the number of maps or rounds the gamers play before they win the game as well.
The recent estimates confirm that esports would generate a revenue of $1.5 billion by 2020. Samsung, Amazon, American Express, Alibaba, and many other global players started their investments in esports. Even mainstream TV channels started realizing the potential of esports and started telecasting the tournaments and events. All these factors give a clear advantage to the betting in the industry. However, controlling the unlicensed betting sites and restricting people under the legal age of 18 are two important factors the players and governments should put the immediate focus.
Since the millennials are interested in video games compared to casino games, the option for the betting houses is clear. The strategy of betting houses, especially in engaging the millennials through diverse options, will decide the destiny of the sector.
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