The fact that eSports betting is the “next best thing” is nothing new in the world of the online gambling industry. However, back in 1996, when the first online casino and sportsbooks launched, no one could predict that eSports would become one of the fastest-growing industries only 2 decades later. It’s not that the world wasn’t already familiar with gaming competitions. In fact, these started many years before the first online bet was made.
The first official competitive computer gaming event was held in 1972. And even though it only gained more and more popularity as years went by, it hadn’t been considered appealing enough for bettors worldwide. But, the rise of Internet technology changed everything.
The Rise Of The Internet Technology
The way we perceive betting and gambling today is very different from the way people placed their bets or played casino games in the late 20th century. Firstly, the only way that people were used to doing this was at brick-and-mortar casinos or sportsbooks. So, naturally, it took some time to get used to the new option that was via the computer screen. Unimportant to the gambling industry at the time, another industry was completely changing due to the rise of Internet technology. A new door opened for gamers and developers around the world, who didn’t need to be physically next to each other in order to compete. Also, this also paved the way for the creations of different MMOs that are now the core of the eSports industry.
The New Generation
With home-computers and Internet connections available to a great number of people, our world began rapidly changing. Because of that shift some twenty years ago, bettors today are able to enjoy the benefits of, for example, Michigan sports betting app on the go, instead of visiting a land-based sports betting venue. Online casinos and sportsbooks made it easy for players and bettors to entertain themselves no matter where they might be. As the gambling and sportsbetting industry was expanding into this new online market, video games have slowly shaped a new generation of players. Generation Z, or people born at the late 20th and the beginning of the 21st century, has officially become the first generation that doesn’t know the world without an Internet connection. They were shaped by online games and trends, as well as virtual socializing and game-playing. As this generation came of age, so did their interests, like eSports. The booming industry has already had multiple events around the world, and millions of viewers by the time it caught the attention of the gambling industry. But, it wasn’t until recently that the true potential of eSports became obvious to the entire world.
The Great Break
At the beginning of 2020, the world has already accepted eSports as a permanent member of many online casinos and sportsbooks. The main issue was that the visitors who were interested in betting on eSports were mostly those of 25 years and younger. It seemed as tough the older generation was unwilling to learn more about eSports and would rather stick to traditional sports and casino games. And then the pandemic broke out.
The pandemic caused land-based bookies and casinos to close their venues, and focus on their online operations. However, the main problem was that all sports events had been canceled as well, so sportsbooks were left with only one option – eSport. The only competing branch that was unaffected by the need for physical distancing. This also made many bettors, who have until then only wagered on traditional sports, to give this new trend a chance. Esports had begun to grow rapidly attracting more visitors, viewers, and betting fans, than ever before. The gambling industry has also seen the potential of eSports events and decided to back them up. What is more, the number of eSports events tripled in 2020. Now, this is a booming industry and more and more betting fans have decided to keep on placing wagers on eSports even after the pandemic ends. In 2018 the eSports industry made a revenue of $869 million. And it’s expected that by 2022 their revenue will triple.
As time changed to did the sportsbetting industry. By recognizing eSports as a valuable part of their business, the gambling industry is also opening its arms to a new generation of bettors. But also, they are leading the traditional bettors into the new age of virtual sports and next-gen online betting opting.