Esports cash betting to reach $10bn by 2018

Esports cash-betting is expected to turn over $10 billion by 2018 and $24 billion by 2020 said esports executive Borislav Borisov at G2E Asia.

Annual competitive events and prize pools have been nearly doubling since 2012, with over 16,000 annual tournaments offering over 65 million in prize money this year, said Borisov, chief operating office of UltraPlay.

Esports betting is a concept by which a punter can bet on the outcome of an esports game (professional-level video game tournament).

Esports can be divided into three betting types, said Borisov: Cash-betting, skin betting and fantasy league, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

Europe-facing UltraPlay saw 310,000 bets in 16Q1, said Borisov, and the breakdown of betting may surprise some.

Unlike traditional sports betting today, esports betting is mainly conducted on desktop computers said Borisov, compared to just 10 percent on mobile. Furthermore, 60 percent of bets are in the form of single bets compared to combination bets, and 67.2 percent in pre-match, with only 32.8 percent in in-play betting.

Out of the esports games played, 44 percent has been bet in CS:GO (a 5v5 first person shooter), 34 percent in Dota2 (a 5v5 action strategy game), and the rest in League of Legends and other titles.

The typical punter, as expected is a 18-24 year old male, he said.

When covering the question of whether esports is merely hype, or a real opportunity, Borisov pointed out that the millennial generation which, unlike the older generation, is now growing up with video gaming and esports. It’s highly accessible, no matter what age, gender, or physical limitation.

“Denying esports is denying this generation… It has the potential to become the “soccer” of the post millennial generation,” said Borisov.