The digital sports betting conference, Betting on Sports Europe has not specifically mentioned standard regulation for eSports. The event discussed the legal perspective of the growing e-sports betting market but no real regulation had been discussed. Without mention of other activities in the betting industry such as the downloadable apps for online casinos, i.e: xe88 apk, the intent of the conference is to help shape the future of sports and betting as a whole.
Association and industry representatives underlined the importance of transferring the new betting format into a regulated framework. However, it is not always clear whether and how this can happen.
E-sports betting has enormous potential
Raffaela Zillner, General Secretary of the Austrian Association for Betting and Gambling (OVWG), emphasized the increasing economic importance of electronic sports in Austria in connection with the discussion about the future of e-sports regulation. This was shown during the corona lockdown.
While sales in the sports betting industry have declined by up to 80% due to the failure of traditional sports competitions, interest in betting on esports has increased significantly, according to Zillner:
“The providers’ shares in e-sports have grown from the small single-digit range to well into the double-digit range. E-sport has proven to be relatively resistant during the crisis (…). “
Even if some events were canceled due to the Corona crisis, e-sports enjoyed the decisive advantage that competitions could have taken place on the Internet.
Johannes Nijboer from the gaming company Kindred Group confirmed the growth of e-sports from a provider perspective. Kindred brands have been offering e-sports betting since 2014. Since then, the market has grown year after year and has taken on an even more important role with the Corona crisis.
Legal development not foreseeable
While sales for e-sports betting are growing in Europe, only a few countries are currently finding clear regulations for the market. France is an example of a country with specific regulations. Many other states have so far remained inactive.
Esports expert Stuart Tilly stated that the regulation of esports betting in Europe is still fragmentary. The new betting format would have this in common with traditional sports betting. Tilly ruled out that e-sports betting could be regulated quickly in Europe.
Experience over the past 20 years has shown that in countries where sports betting is still not clearly regulated, no exception is made for e-sports betting. In addition, it is unlikely that there will be a uniform regulation on an intra-European level.
E-sports have to solve these challenges
Preventing match-fixing in e-sports is currently a relevant task, said Johannes Nijboer. Suppliers would also have to work to ensure the integrity of the competitions. This requires close cooperation with the active participants. One means is the education and training of players.
Game and betting manipulation in e-sports has been reported repeatedly in the past. Just recently, a game in the e-sports tournament series “NBA 2K20” was suspected of having been manipulated.
However, there is no significantly greater risk for providers than in other disciplines. As in traditional sport, it is important to know teams and players, emphasized Stuart Tilly. In the end, the risk management strategy is the same as for the rest of the offer.