If there was ever a perfect moment for eSports betting, this is it! The popularity of eSports betting gradually caught on during the lockdown as traditional sporting events remained postponed or canceled in the wake of COVID-19. Although the prospect of wagering on a competitive event sounds exciting, if you’re living in the US, you might have to double-check the legalities in your state before signing up for eSports betting.
The US is yet to a collective stand on eSports. Since the historic Supreme Court ruling of 2018 putting an end to PASPA, the states are now in complete control of all sports betting laws within their jurisdiction. While eSports gambling technically falls under its purview, video games are yet to be classified as a sport. If you prefer iGaming and would like to stick to table games, follow this link to the most popular online casino site in your region.
Why isn’t eSports Betting Classified as Sports Betting?
Sports and eSports wagering shares a lot in common, from the type of odds to the wagers and the betting process the similarities are stark. But one area where eSports vary is the inclusion of minors, which is a key reason for the debate. Kids and teenagers are among the primary demographic of video games and most professional players are below the age of 18.
While the eSports management gladly accept underaged players if they’ve got the skill, most states are against the idea of wagering on children. The situation demands an extra layer of security cover in every state. New Jersey, for instance, formed complex legislation in the matter. Betting on eSports is legal within state borders as long as none of the players are below 18 years of age.
Regulated vs. Unregulated eSports Betting
Another major challenge that the punters have to face regularly is the murkiness of the unregulated market. Some people think wagering on online games is illegal in most states, and while they aren’t wrong, eSports betting operates out of a grey area in the US.
While the punters are generally free from prosecution even if they violate the law, the operators aren’t as lucky. The ideal way to gamble on online video games is to practice from a legal and safe environment. West Virginia, Tennessee, Nevada, and New Jersey are a handful of states that allow legal eSports wagering, while Arkansas, New York, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and Oregon is yet to regulate the market.
What Does the Future Hold for eSports Betting?
While eSports betting is currently a thriving business in the unregulated market, legalizing the activity would be beneficial for the overall growth. As more of the big fish step into the game, investments will follow along with advertisements through mainstream media channels.
The future is currently uncertain as the regional authorities haven’t stated their intentions clearly yet. If you’re hell-bent on wagering on eSports today, signing up on an off-shore platform is the only way forward if you reside outside the states listed above. However, that might not be the smartest move and we strongly suggest otherwise.