The esports betting market has seen a huge lift in the UK this year, according to new data released by the Gambling Commission.
For esports betting in the UK, the gross gambling yield – revenues taken by gambling operators not including operating costs – stood at £1.5m in March 2020. This represents a whopping year-on-year rise of 2,922%, up from the £50,000 spent on esports betting in the UK in March 2019.
Then, in April 2020, this rose 124% month-on-month, with £3.4m spent. And in May, some £4.6m was spent.
This data may not even paint the full picture. The Gambling Commission’s report covers around 80% of the online gambling market, so it could be even higher than that. The report was covered by Forbes and Luke Cotton from Code Red Esports.
The rise can of course be attributed to the lockdown situation around the COVID-19 pandemic, with more people staying at home watching esports – and gambling on it.
Some sports that had a pause, including football and F1, saw a lift on the esports side. Events like the F1 Virtual Grand Prix Series and the FIFA ePremier League Invitational generated a lot of interest, with both pro gamers and sportspeople taking part.
The esports betting market has advanced in recent years, with new companies like Luckbox being set up to enter the space, alongside traditional bookies which have tried to take a slice of the burgeoning esports market.
Related article: Interview: UK’s first pro gamer Sujoy Roy on joining Midnite, how esports betting can lift grassroots esports and how the lockdown has impacted the industry
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.