How to Bet on Esports in the US

Figure 1 Esports gaming – and betting – is big business

There are a lot of Star Wars games that we enjoy playing. But we’re guessing that you don’t just restrict yourself to the Rebel Alliance when you’re gaming. But did you know that you might be able to bet on some of the games you enjoy playing and watching?

Read this guide to the wonderful world of esports – and esports betting – to discover whether you can make wagers, as well as where to find the best sportsbooks.

What are Esports?

You may not have even heard of the term ‘esports’. But it is likely that you have heard of some of the games that fall under that umbrella. The esports industry is worth billions worldwide, offering millions in prize money to the best gamers.

International tournaments are held in the biggest cities in the world to determine the champions – and there are entire leagues devoted to some of the titles. The betting industry has begun to sit up and take notice now and you can now find betting markets offering odds on the games.

Although the world of ‘video games’ has changed remarkably in the last few decades, with the introduction of interactive play and online gaming, there are is a select number of titles that fall under the esports moniker. They include:

  • Dota 2
  • League of Legends
  • Call of Duty
  • FIFA
  • Fortnite
  • Overwatch

You are probably very aware of these games – and probably spend hours playing them yourselves. But some people are earning a lot of money for competing – and others are using their knowledge of these esports to win betting on the events.

Fortnite is a popular esport and can be played online on desktop computers

Figure 2 Fortnite is just one game popular with esports bettors

Where to Bet on Esports

The gambling industry in the US changed dramatically in 2018 when the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA). That decision allowed individual states to decide – and vote on – whether they would allow betting on single-game sporting events.

Not all states have changed their laws, but there are more and more looking into the possibility of that all the time. The change in sports betting laws also made it possible for some states to allow betting on esports. 

For legal betting purposes, esports are classified in the same section as regular, traditional sports. The sportsbooks realized the opportunities and interest in betting on esports and now you can place your bets in the following states:

  • Colorado
  • New Jersey
  • Nevada
  • Tennessee

How to Bet on Esports

The actual process of betting on any of the esports we mentioned above is very easy. As long as you are in a state where it is legal to do so, you just need to find a sportsbook offering markets and explore the options.

Many of the betting options are similar to ‘traditional’ sports betting. There are moneyline odds where you can predict the winner of an event, as well as game-specific markets covering the details of each separate game.

There are also over/under totals bets available on some games where that is applicable. You will also find sportsbooks offering prices on the winner of the big events where the best players in the world compete.

What’s the Future of Betting on Esports?

There are more states that allow sports betting but are dragging their feet when it comes to including esports. The situation is changing all the time, so it is probably a good idea to keep your eye on the political situation in your own state to see when you will be able to get in on the action if your state wasn’t listed above.

The betting companies know that there is money to be made in esports – so it is very likely that more people will have the chance to place wagers on Dota 2, League of Legends and Overwatch very soon.