UNLV researchers are leading this revolution, exploring ways to best integrate eSports into casinos while investigating whether it could help combat match-fixing and raise integrity standards in traditional sports.
Studies have revealed that esports gamblers and skin gamblers differ demographically from video gamers and those not engaging in this form of gambling, including people not involved in either. Furthermore, Gainsbury and Hamari (2019b) found associations between esports gambling and problem gambling behaviors.
Esports, or electronic sports, has quickly grown into a billion-dollar industry despite being relatively young in age, boasting millions of fans, lucrative sponsorship agreements, tournament winnings, lucrative financial rewards and international recognition as an international phenomenon that showcases gaming’s global appeal while giving rise to an entirely new generation of gamers.
While esports has some work to do when it comes to diversity (for instance, managing boards of eSports associations are predominantly white), they have managed to foster strong social ties that transcend traditional notions of gender, race, or nationality – especially with young gamers such as millennials who make up the highest concentration of avid competitive video gamers.
These connections and video game popularity have led to the creation of unique events at eSports venues and casinos that celebrate gaming achievements with each other, such as speed runs where participants race against time to complete an eSports tournament or achievement fests, where fans celebrate their gaming achievements together.
Integrated Virtual Realms
Esports and casino gaming make for an exciting combination of skills, strategy, and chance that has the potential to create unique synergies as technology advances and more players enter the scene.
eSports, or competitive video gaming, has quickly become a global phenomenon since its birth as a global entertainment genre in 2002. Its explosive growth can be attributed to several factors, including accessibility and streaming platforms’ exponential rise.
As gaming has evolved from its solitary beginnings, its social nature has broadened into an international gaming community. These vibrant communities often form around shared interests and passion for immersive virtual worlds; many share a similar love for competitive games with unrivaled skills, creating powerful bonds among generations of gamers. Furthermore, these communities are supported by responsible gambling initiatives which raise awareness about betting limits and prevent gaming addiction; these measures ensure that eSports betting remains responsible and enjoyable experience for all.
Digital money has revolutionized the gaming industry, enabling players to purchase in-game items and transfer them between games easily and safely. It helps ensure fidelity and security while providing developers with an opportunity to monetize their products; additionally, this ensures player’s in-game assets maintain value outside of gaming and aren’t easily hacked away from.
Esports and cryptocurrency have combined to add an exciting element to gaming. Many players are turning to Bitcoin casinos in order to place bets on esports competitions; its exciting gameplay and cash prizes have attracted an abundance of avid punters.
Bitcoin’s decentralized nature aligns perfectly with the principles of fairness and transparency in eSports, making it the ideal currency for betting virtual competitions. Furthermore, its faster transaction speeds and reduced fees make it attractive to global audiences while additional features such as blind signatures, zero-knowledge proofs and encryption provide extra levels of protection and privacy for gaming industries.
Online technologies enabling contemporary esports have also facilitated gambling related to video game play, from established products such as sportsbook betting to emerging virtual in-game items and currencies, new practices like fantasy gaming and loot box purchases (Macey & Hamari 2019).
One study compared the profiles of esports bettors to traditional sports bettors. Esports bettors tended to be younger and male; more likely to speak a non-English language at home and more likely employed with higher educational levels and household income than traditional sports bettors.
Esports bettors engaged in more diverse gambling activities than their sports-betting counterparts, including cash betting, ESB and SG. A higher proportion of esports bettors also engaged in private betting for money, electronic gaming machine (EGM) playing, horse/dog race wagering, buying scratch tickets and Australian lotteries – these activities often form the backbone of betting on esports events.