It is no secret that video games and esports are huge industries with large and dedicated fan bases. Considering the millions of people who enjoy playing and watching video games, it is no surprise that wagering on video game outcomes is likely to prove to be a significant market.
Online gaming and streaming platforms have made it easier than ever for people to follow and participate in competitive video game tournaments, which has further stimulated interest in video game wagering.
States like New Jersey and Nevada have already started down the path of regulating video games and esports, with several more states to quickly follow.
As the video game and igaming industries continue to grow, evolve, and merge, it is highly likely that wagering on video games will become mainstream.
THE NEED FOR REGULATIONS
Without proper regulation, the dangers of unregulated gambling on video games can manifest in a number of negative consequences, including a lack of fairness in games and potential manipulation of outcomes.
Unregulated wagering can lead to disputes and dissatisfaction among players and bettors, creating an environment of corruption and misconduct. Additionally, without important safeguards in place, such as responsible gaming measures, customer support, and dispute resolution procedures, players and bettors may be left unprotected.
Real money video game companies that neglect to comply with regulated gaming laws and regulations are likely to incur severe repercussions. Of paramount concern, non-compliance can attract legal penalties and fines, which can inflict significant financial and reputational damage on the company.
Another outcome of failing to take regulation seriously will be a lack of trust and confidence among customers and players, which will ultimately hurt the company's bottom line.
It is crucially important to protect problem and underage players from video game betting because they are particularly vulnerable to its negative effects.
It has been shown that gambling elements, such as loot boxes, random outcomes, and 'slot machine' mechanisms, can be addictive and can negatively affect mental and financial well-being, and children are more likely to develop gambling-related problems due to their mental and emotional development.
Children may also lack the maturity and judgment to make informed gambling decisions, and may be more susceptible to advertising.
ESPORTS VS TRADITIONAL SPORTS
It is difficult to say whether esports will eventually overtake traditional sports in popularity, as it ultimately depends on a variety of factors.
While esports have grown rapidly in recent years and have a dedicated and growing fan base, traditional sports such as football, basketball, and baseball have long-established fan bases and cultural significance and also have the support of major media companies and sponsors.
In the short term, both esports and traditional sports are likely to thrive and coexist, with each having its own dedicated fan base.
However, expect to see video games and esports overtaking sports as the country's favorite pastime in the next few years, establishing its own cultural significance and traditions that will continue for years to come.
ESPORTS PATH TO PROFITABILITY
While there are several successful and profitable esports companies in the United States, the esports industry is still young and has not yet reached the level of mainstream popularity and profitability seen in Asia and Europe.
For American esports organizations, skill-based video game competitions that out pay real money will prove to be a profitable source of revenue.
Esports companies licensed by regulators can offer their own betting platforms or partner with established betting companies to take a cut of wagers placed on their matches and events, or offer their own betting platforms.
In the long run, wagering-affiliated esports events and tournaments can support esports companies' profitability and sustainability through sponsorships and advertising deals.
This method of reliable revenue has been one of the missing elements for esports organizations in the US.
As gaming changes, partnerships between video game companies and gambling companies will prove to be beneficial for both.