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  • Xavier Cullen

As esports betting grows, US states begin to open their arms

BetMGM partner Entain moved into the esports world by purchasing Unikrn. Grand Photo: Brian Gyss/Flickr

Esports betting has quickly become a multi-billion dollar market as esports have grown in popularity over the years, and several US states have taken notice.

According to Betting USA, only 11 states explicitly allow betting on esports. However, several state lawmakers are looking to expand esports betting to its constituents. In Massachusetts, state representative Andy Vargas showed his support for bringing this rising market into the Bay State.

“Sports betting presents a new and exciting opportunity for Massachusetts to bring in over $60 million dollars in revenue per year,” Vargas said in an email to GosuRabbit. “Esports betting is likely going to play a major role in the sports betting market in the near future. As someone who grew up playing games like NBA 2K and Call of Duty, I know the esports industry will continue to grow exponentially.”

The Massachusetts House of Representatives approved Bill H.3993 in a 156-3 vote on 23rd July, 2021, and it is waiting for a vote from the State Senate to be passed into law. Betting sites are desperate to get into esports betting, but with so many states not allowing it, many Americans have not been able to place bets.

However, that’s not stopping the industry’s expansion. Entain, an international gambling and betting company, purchased esports betting company Unikrn for £50 million in the company’s first expansion into esports, according to The Times.

This could be a huge turning point for the betting industry, as more traditional and mainstream companies look to bring esports betting into the foray.

According to a press release by Entain for its Investor Day on 12th August, 2021: “Skill-based wagering for casual esports gamers is emerging, but existing operators lack scale providing Entain with a clear opportunity in a new area related to our core expertise. […] We estimate that together the esports wagering and social casino related markets could add an incremental $20bn+ in addressable markets for us by 2025.”

As billions of dollars gets pumped into esports betting sites by companies such as Entain, and as more esports viewers start betting on the games they love, American lawmakers should feel a bigger push to allow betting and gambling into their states.

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