Are you an aspiring esports bettor who wishes to start an online esports betting journey? The road to becoming an expert isn’t easy, and there are many hoops you’ll have to jump through. But before you learn how to bet on esports, you first need to ask yourself is esports betting legal where you are.
Fortunately, due to the rise in popularity, esports betting is not nearly as restricted as it once was, and many countries accepted it as a legal activity. Yet there are still some countries where the legal situation is unclear. Hopefully, this article will help you better understand the situation as we cover everything you need to know about the legality of esports betting in Europe and across the world.
Is Esports Betting Legal – Current Situation
Even though esports is a massive industry, it’s still a relatively new concept in the online gambling world, especially in comparison with traditional sports betting and online casinos. So it’s no surprise that many online bettors either don’t believe in esports betting or have no experience in it.
Nevertheless, if the developments over the last few years are any indication, esports betting is not only here to stay, but it’s bound to emerge as one of the biggest gambling industries. To put it into perspective, the market size raised with a 13.1% CAGR between 2020-2021 and has since not stopped growing.
There is a massive demand for esports betting, and it didn’t take long for online betting operators and regulators to recognize that, ushering in much-needed legislation for online esports betting. Nowadays, most countries have decided to legalize esports betting, including the majority of the Eurpean nations, Canada, and even Asia, as the industry continues to attract new bettors.
Sports Esports vs Esports Betting
Esports and sports betting are somewhat similar, and while they’re treated differently in some areas of the world, that largely isn’t the case anymore in Europe and the United States. The most obvious example of that is the Gambling Commission’s (UKGC) decision to treat and regulate sports and esports the same way – a decision that greatly helped the industry grow.
Thanks to the UKGC, you’ll find a plethora of traditional licensed sportsbooks offering esports betting besides its sports offer. Moreover, it helped many new esports bookmakers, such as Midnite, to open their doors to meet the demand for platforms where you can bet on electronic sports.
Notably, the UK is one of many countries to have considered esports betting the same as betting on sports. Many other European countries, including France, have put in place the required regulations to allow for legal and safe esports betting on licensed betting sites.
How To Legally Bet On Esports?
If you want to bet on esports, you must make sure you do it legally for your safety and avoid any legal repercussions that might come with shady activities. However, as we’ve established, betting on esports is nowadays regarded as legal by many countries and many regulators, so it’s easy to find a betting website where you can bet lawfully.
Before you start your esports betting journey, you should first make sure that it’s allowed by your local laws. Even though this step doesn’t apply to most bettors, some countries have implemented restrictions, largely because the competitive esports scene consists of underage players.
Still, while some countries have restricted esports betting for that reason, the majority of betting sites can offer legal esports betting, namely esports bookmakers in Europe. Moreover, many prominent traditional sportsbooks, such as Bet365 and William Hill, offer esports betting and are widely used by esports bettors seeking legal esports betting platforms.
Besides ensuring that the country you’re from has sorted the situation with the legality of esports betting, you should also use only safe, legal, and licensed betting sites. Only this way can you ensure that your money and personal information will be safe.
Since there are thousands of bookmakers, there are bound to be some that are either shady, don’t have the required license, or own a sketchy betting license. But it’s not that hard to find a legal esports betting site.
There are two great ways to recognize solid esports betting websites and bookmakers that will offer a solid online betting experience. The easiest way is to read reputable online reviews to see what betting experts have to say about the esports bookmaker and what other users think about their experience using the bookmaker.
Besides ensuring that the esports betting site you intend to join has a solid online reputation, it’s also critical to check whether it has a valid betting license. All legal esports betting websites should have the logo of the regulatory body that issued it a betting license in the footer of the website. Or, at the very least, it should have a link to the verification website, where you can check if the esports betting platform owns a valid gambling license.
Is Esports Betting Legal?
As we’ve established, esports betting might be a relatively new concept, and many countries were much quicker to accept it than others. But as of 2022, esports betting is regarded by many regulatory bodies as equal to sports wagering and is generally legal.
Is Esports Betting Legal In Europe?
Most European countries have made betting on esports legal and available, but there were some differences in how they approached it. Since the UKGC recognized and regulated esports betting, every European country which uses the UKGC license allows betting on esports.
Other countries, like Sweden, followed suit, albeit under a different gambling license – the Malta Gambling Licence (MGA). So while European nations approached making esports betting legal in different ways, most of the countries have accepted esports, turning the European online betting market into one of the largest esports betting markets in the world.
Is It Legal To Bet On Esports In Brazil?
Yes, it is legal to bet on esports in Brazil, the same way you are allowed to explore sports betting markets and wager on traditional sports. Although the country has very restrictive gambling legislation, it is only restrictive on operators and not the bettors.
Brazil’s online betting laws – which include betting on esports – have always been very strict, but never on the bettors. Notably, the government has tried to ban online gambling in Brazil over the last decades but was largely unsuccessful in its attempts.
While the legal situation of online betting in Brazil remains complex and the country has yet to fully legalize esports betting, it’s safe and secure for Brazilian punters to bet on esports, namely on licensed offshore bookmakers and European online betting sites.
The Situation Of Esports Betting In The UK
The UK was one of the first countries to recognize betting on esports as a legal activity, and the UKGC didn’t need long to include esports in the category of sports betting.
Known as one of the world’s most reputable and stringent gambling regulators, UKGC included esports under the same umbrella as traditional sports betting. This, in turn, made esports betting legal on all betting sites licensed and regulated by the UKGC – including most of the world’s biggest and most reputable bookmakers.
It is important to note that if you’re from the UK, you should never use overseas betting operators that offer betting on esports if they don’t hold the UKGC license. Although offshore esports betting sites might have a legit and valid license, the strict restrictions in the country state that UK bettors can use only UKGC-licenced betting sites.
Future Of Esports Betting
Betting on esports has become widely accepted worldwide, and it is likely to remain so. Even though we can’t say for sure what the future will bring and how the online betting world will develop, it certainly seems like betting on electronic sports is not only here to stay, but it’s also set to keep growing, slowly catching up to sports betting.
Many regulatory bodies across the globe have already set the wheels in motion to make betting on esports more accessible, and we might even see the introduction of new forms of betting become more acceptable – including skin betting.
Betting on esports will slowly but surely become legal in every region that has already accepted sports betting – the only question is when. But if you live in a country that has already legalized betting on esports, then you can freely start placing esports bets – just make sure you use legal and safe bookmakers!
Is esports beting legal?
Before you place your first bet on esports, you should ask yourself if esports betting is legal, yet the answer will vary depending on where you live. Nowadays, betting on esports has become regarded as equal to sports betting; hence it’s legalized by most nations; granted, some countries still have yet to set the needed framework to legalize betting on esports.
How old do I need to be to bet on esports?
The general rule is if you’re old enough to bet on sports such as horse racing, you are old enough to place esports bets. Even though betting on horse racing and esports is quite different, there is no difference in the age requirement for placing bets. For most countries, the age limit is set at 18 years.
Is esports betting legal on sportsbooks?
Before you can place your first bet, you need to answer: is esports betting legal in the country you’re in. If the answer is yes, then you should be able to wager on esports matches on most online bookmakers, including dedicated esports bookies and traditional sportsbooks. But you should ensure that the bookmaker is safe and legit and has a valid betting license.