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How will Legal USA Sports Betting affect Esports?

How will Legal USA Sports Betting affect Esports?

‘Chiu on This’ is a short and regular opinion blast

On May 14, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Sports Betting. This is good news for a lot of esports organizations as NA is a huge market and sports betting has increased the pure potential money that could be gained from sponsorships. I’ve mostly seen positive feedback on the ruling as it’ll give the scene more sponsorships, allow people to bet and be more invested in esports, and possibly grow the viewing audience depending on how it is done.

I did see one comment from Mr. Bitter, head of events at NYXL, that he was worried for its implications. He’s essentially worried that the scene isn’t mature enough to handle it yet. Now, I personally have no experience or much knowledge of sports betting or what it entails. Perhaps I’m just more positive because I know that esports betting already exists in Europe for years (Darkforce made a killing in SC2 for instance), and there weren’t any incidents I can remember where allowing well run regulated sports betting companies has led to scandal.

On the reverse end, we have seen a lot of match fixing from places that have it outlawed, most notably Korea. Perhaps it’s just correlation without causation. After all, the esports pros there are usually from poor economic situations and KeSPA didn’t (or couldn’t) incentive them with enough money to necessarily stop it from happening. On top of that, they have military service, so they are a bit more desperate to get money.

This is something that isn’t as bad in the bigger esports I follow like CS:GO, Dota 2, LoL, or Overwatch. Players are paid much better and there is less incentive to match fix (though this cannot be applied to scenes with less money or the competition in the tier 3/4 of the various games).

 

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