The Rise Of Esports In The Casino Industry

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An esports team concentrating on their computers
BetMGM Jul 14, 2023, 11:20 AM

Esports has become increasingly popular over the past few years, with several million viewers logging on to watch championship events and tournaments. The activity can trace its roots back to a time when friends organized LAN parties, where they played video games late into the night. 

Esports has grown into a full-fledged industry with a broad network of professional gaming events, tournaments and different leagues. The esports betting industry is growing in a similar manner, providing players with opportunities to place bets on matches as a part of online sports betting

This article will shed light on the meaning and history of esports, as well as the rise of the activity in the casino industry and its impact.  

Given that most of the esports audience has to resort to streaming matches to keep up with their favorite teams, being able to bet on said matches certainly makes the entire experience even more fun. If you love esports and placing bets on online gambling sites, BetMGM provides the best opportunity to do so safely and in the comfort of your home. Register today to take full advantage.

History of Esports

Esports, or electronic sports, is a term used to refer to competitive video gaming where players, mostly in teams, compete against each other in tournaments. Game developers usually organize these events, which can be based on gaming titles like Counter-Strike, Valorant, Call of Duty, League of Legends, Apex Legends and more. 

Esports date back to 1972, when home gaming consoles were popular. The first ever Space Invaders competitive tournament took place in 1980  with an attendance of over 10,000 spectators. A year later, the first Donkey Kong tournament was held, which is also popular among gamers. 

Professional tournaments for other gaming titles like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat became rampant in the early 1990s, and by 1998, the inaugural StarCraft 2 event took place. This popular event had more than 7,000,000 participants as well as 50 million viewers in attendance. 

The modern esports industry was established in the late 1990s with the introduction of first-person shooter games like Counter-Strike and Quake. The World Cyber Games and Electronic Sports World Cup also significantly contributed to the growth of the esports industry. 

The Rise of Esports 

The popularity of gaming titles like CS:GO and Dota 2 significantly increased the inflow of money into the esports industry, which has, in turn, provided more opportunities for betting and gambling to thrive. Multiple esports tournaments and events boast substantial prize pools, which has also contributed to the popularity of the activity. 

For instance, Dota 2’s The International 2017 holds the record for the largest prize pool in esports history at $24,787,916. Other esports events with impressive cash prizes include League of Legends, which amassed $4,596,591 in its 2017 season World Championship. 

Due to how mainstream the activity currently is, multiple online gambling sites have popped up in the past years, allowing enthusiasts to bet on esports tournaments and events similar to how they would a football, baseball or basketball game. These matches are usually played on games like Dota 2, CS:GO, League of Legends and others. 

The Effects of Esports on the Online Casino Industry

While several industries had to undergo a number of changes in the past years as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the esports and iGaming sectors have continued to thrive despite the numerous challenges.  

As the two activities most suited for an online audience, the rapid growth of the esports betting industry is no surprise. The global esports betting market was valued at $5.5 billion in 2020 and is expected to surpass $13 billion by 2025. On the other hand, the online casino gaming industry was placed at over $75.41 billion by 2021 and will likely surpass $92 billion by the end of 2023. 

Some of the best casino online betting sites offer esports casino gambling opportunities for interested players in addition to regular casino gaming sessions.  

Esport Contributions

The esports betting industry’s rapid growth has also significantly affected the online casino industry in areas like finances, growth and others.  

Contributed to a More Active and Competitive iGaming Space

Although online sports betting was active long before esports became mainstream, most gamblers placed bets for fun, with little motivation behind it, very much like gambling at a casino should be, despite the differences between the two. The introduction of sports betting and multiple tournaments and events has entirely transformed the sports betting industry into a more competitive and active space. 

The rise of esports betting also encouraged gamers worldwide to come together and organize gaming events and tournaments on which fans could place wagers. 

Attracting a Younger Audience to the iGaming Industry 

Sports betting has always appealed to the older demographic, regardless of whether the activity occurs in brick-and-mortar venues or online gambling sites. With the introduction of betting on competitive video gaming and esports, which has a primarily younger audience, the iGaming industry is finally being pushed into another exciting growth era. This feat would have likely taken much longer to achieve with an older audience. 

More Financial Opportunities

The esports industry is currently valued at well over $15 billion, a chunk of which comes from the online betting sector of the esports market. Gamblers can expect even more money to be made as esports and online betting continue to grow. 

The rise of esports betting also provides even more significant financial opportunities for online casino players to make real money. Several online casinos offering esports betting provide players with impressive betting odds during major esports events. 

The iGaming industry has evolved in several other areas due to the introduction of esports betting. For one, the activity has led to a more secure and safer online gaming space, encouraging online bookies to invest more time and money in their security.  

Overall, esports betting has proved to be an exciting and lucrative form of gambling and will likely create new opportunities for both the iGaming industry and gamblers in the future.  

When starting your esports betting journey, it’s advisable to register with a trusted live mobile casino. This will provide a safer and more secure environment, allowing you to place bets freely. 

Actress Vanessa Hudgens flipping casino chips next to the text "The King of Casinos"
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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.