What Is the Relationship Between eSports and Gambling?

Gambling and eSports are not two terms that usually go together. Sure there is betting on eSports, but from an industry and player base perspective, these two don’t have much in common. Or so it seems. These two are more entwined than we might think and they might become even closer down the line. Here we will explore the current relationship between eSports and Gambling and see why these two might collaborate more frequently down the line.  

The Aftermath of the Pandemic 

During the pandemic, tourism dropped rapidly and as a result, the revenue of land-based casinos was decimated. Moreover, there were no sports events which also meant that betting operators saw a drop in activity as well. Yet the gaming industry and online play saw a massive increase during this time. The events that weren’t affected by the situation were eSports competitions, and they only grew in size during this period. 

You might wonder how this situation is connecting these two industries and the answer is simple marketing. A lot of sports teams are sponsored by casinos and betting operators, as they want to attract the audience that attends these events. Now that eyes are turned to eSports and the fact that a younger audience follows these competitions casinos are interested in expanding their influence. Therefore, it’s logical for gambling businesses to pursue this audience through sponsoring the teams or simply organizing events within a casino.   

iGaming Industry is Expanding Fast

If you are browsing the web or playing mobile games, you must have noticed how frequently gambling ads are starting to pop up. More and more states are legalizing online gambling because of its massive revenue potential. Fun fact, in Pennsylvania during 2019 alone the revenue from online gambling was $118 million. This is really impressive, especially when you consider that PA online gambling has been around for roughly 20 years, and during the early 2000s,it wasn’t even that popular. Now there are tons of platforms and they are not necessarily competing too much for the player base. 

Here’s why multiple gambling sites actually share the same users very often. These platforms are designed to reward newcomers and returning players, so it’s in everyone’s best interest to have accounts over multiple platforms. If you go over the guide on online gambling in Illinois, you’ll see there are tons of options to play on in this state alone. If you rely on a single platform you are at a loss, because you can have bonus credits or free spins if you have multiple accounts with different providers.  

Once you start adding eSports events and user base to this mix you end up with an incredible increase in traffic. This is even good for eSports teams as they will have more sponsors and better revenue to throw more spectacular events.  

Gamers are Already Gambling in a Way 

Some casino game design elements have already made their way into the gaming world. If you remember CS GO got into trouble because of their loot boxes, as they were viewed as a form of gambling. Games are designed to reward players but in order to make the game more “grindy” designers add a lot of RNG elements for reward. Admittedly, not everyone is a fan of this, but all players feel amazing when the desired item drops at random, almost like hitting a jackpot.  


It seems that eSports games and casino games can have something in common, but the main issue here is the age of the audience. Although a lot of players are around twenty, there are still those who are under 18, and being exposed to gambling ads will definitely create problems for eSports. It’s going to be difficult to navigate through this relationship especially if there could be legal consequences. After all, this is a brand new industry and sooner or later it will have to tackle these issues and make a decision on how it will do things going forward. 

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