China, S. Korea top eSports tables as gambling hits mainstream

eSports, once the preserve of eager young video gamers, is crossing into the mainstream to become one of the fastest-growing sectors of the online gambling market. Boutique research house, Eilers Research, recently estimated the size of the global eSports gambling market at more than a quarter of a billion dollars this year. It expects that figure to balloon to more than $23 billion by 2020. “eSports is an extremely hospitable environment for real-money online wagering. Penetration of eSports betting into the gamer community and general growth of eSports betting has each been dampened to date by structural barriers that are now weakening,” California-based Eilers said in a note. “eSports” is a term describing the competitive playing of online video games. The most popular games played in these contests feature gun battles, monsters, wizards, and warriors. Commonly these contests involve teams consisting of five eSports athletes on each side. The most popular genre at...

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