This monumental growth in the industry creates a lot of opportunities for betting. A recent survey found that 52% respondents who identified as “esports fans” are likely to bet on matches (21% had no opinion, and 28% were unlikely).
Compare that to a similar survey of NFL fans that found 31% were likely to bet on games. While there is a decidedly larger fanbase for NFL compared to esports, it is worth noting that dedicated esports fans are willing to spend money on the sport.
The good news for fans that want to bet is that there is a developed and thriving professional esports scene. There are franchise leagues similar to professional sports teams, World Championship tournaments similar to soccer Worlds (or any other sports that hold global tournaments), play-in tournaments, and more.
Professional events boast prize pools and viewership in the millions, demonstrating the complexity and maturity of professional gaming. Given the nature of the space and the dedication of the fans, it is perfectly logical to connect that to professional betting opportunities.
The NFL is already capitalizing on this opportunity. Various NFL teams have partnered with Esports Entertainment Group (EEG), a publicly traded esports gambling company, to establish esports tournaments that focus on fan engagement and participation.
These tournaments, which can be played live in person, or online from the safety and comfort of a desk chair, offer a platform for fans to bet on outcomes, with the participating NFL teams receiving a portion of the profit generated from events.
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