Esports Betting Is on the Rise in the Time of COVID-19
June 17, 2020
By Brett Vinokur
Most, if not all, humans are creatures of habit; they live by their routines. One of those routines is the desire for competition and the intrigue of chance. You can look just about anywhere, across all facets of society and through all walks of life, and you’ll see people competing in singing, cooking, survival, design, sports and a host of other contests.
For every sports competition that exists, there is generally a way to include audience participation: March Madness brackets, Super Bowl prop bets, fantasy baseball, and online gambling, just to name a few. These games of chance are a multi-billion-dollar mega-industry. In Q1 of 2019, COVID-19 disrupted everyone’s way of life—all of our routines changed. All of the regularly scheduled competition content seemingly disappeared overnight. Gone were the days of checking in on your bracket or fantasy team and getting a group of friends together to physically go to the racetrack or OTB.
However, much like telehealth is having its moment during this pandemic, this could also represent a sea of opportunity for the industry of esports. While social distancing guidelines disrupted even esports live events, esports competitions can easily transition to online broadcasts. An audience craving competition can now engage at their computers from the safety of their homes, and with this engagement comes a new opportunity to wager.
As the often-described “new normal” takes shape, esports viewership and related audience involvement continue to grow. New viewers will likely continue to flock to the medium; as they learn the lay of the esports land they may even look for new ways to engage. Online gambling organizations are definitely taking note.
This also represents a tremendous opportunity for allied professions, such as networks, sponsors, broadcasters, journalists and so on. This also includes the trusted business professionals found in every other sector: accountants, lawyers, bankers, and insurance agents. So esports and the related wagering sector appear to be worth keeping an eye on.