Best eSports Betting Websites 2018

Breaking news!  The US Supreme Court lifted the ban on sports betting in May 2018, leaving each of the 49 states (Nevada already legalized it) to decide whether to make it legal in their jurisdiction.   This will have a huge impact on eSports betting as the gambling and eSports universes converge.

Let’s be clear. eSports betting is betting on competitive video games, not physical sports. And this industry is growing leaps and bounds with some estimating a market value over $900 million.  There are single and multiplayer games, like Fortnite, League of Legends, Warcraft, Dota 2, Counter-strike: Global Offensive, PUBG, and Overwatch, to name a few.

Many online gambling websites already have a section reserved for eSports – right after poker, keno, racing, bingo etc.  For the most part, these websites are based outside of the United States, limiting access to millions of players.

Breaking breaking news:  CBS Sports launched a new show Sportsline Edge, dedicated to sports gambling. It’s available on CBS Sports HQ and is a free 24/7 streaming service, hosted by oddsmakers and sports experts. Sportsline provides fans with projections and predictions using metrics-driven analysis for pro and college football and major league baseball.  Could esports betting be in the distant future for not only CBS but for other media power players? 

Stay tuned for updates on legal eSports betting in the US!  But for now, read on to see which eSports betting websites grabbed our attention!

 

CompanyRankingRatingPriceDescription

LOOT.BET

1st9.6 out of 10Varies

LOOT.BET Review

This new eSportsbook offers pre-match and live bets for over 12 eSports game titles; and banking solutions for four currencies, including Bitcoin.Full LOOT.BET Review »

Betway

2nd9.5 out of 10Varies

Betway Review

Despite a wavering eSports selection, popular game titles are often represented; and you can take advantage of a special cash out option, as well.Full Betway Review »

Bet365

3rd9.4 out of 10Varies

Bet365 Review

While eSports game titles and special offers are limited, you can play on the go with secure access and enjoy great cash out options.Full Bet365 Review »

ArcaneBet

4th9.3 out of 10Varies

ArcaneBet Review

ArcaneBet started in the right direction by offering a boatload of games, a handful of deposit options, and multi-language support.Full ArcaneBet Review »

Unikrn

5th9.1 out of 10Varies

Unikrn Review

Trusted by the community and 100% legitimate, Unikrn lets you enjoy betting on your favorite eSports with all of the ease and none of the worries.Full Unikrn Review »

Unibet Lottery

6th9.4 out of 10Varies

Unibet Lottery Review

Unibet Lottery doesn't differ a lot from the competition when it comes to their lottery game offers, but they do have other games to help pass time.Full Unibet Lottery Review »

Betsafe

7th9 out of 10Varies

Betsafe Review

Pre-match and live bet options, a reliable registation process and a secure mobile app balance out Betsafe's limited support for eSports game titles.Full Betsafe Review »

Ladbrokes

8th8.6 out of 10Varies

Ladbrokes Review

Ladbrokes provides an adequate betting service with great customer support; and though its eSports section is limited, it does feature uncommon games.Full Ladbrokes Review »

Pinnacle Sports

9th8.4 out of 10Varies

Pinnacle Sports Review

This is a truly beginner-friendly eSports betting website; with many learning resources provided, and a good selection of popular game titles.Full Pinnacle Sports Review »

William Hill

10th8.2 out of 10Varies

William Hill Review

Good customer support and live betting make William Hill a hit, especially for the European market. It's not very user-friendly for beginners, though.Full William Hill Review »

GG.bet

11th8.1 out of 10Varies

GG.bet Review

GG.bet offers more than just eSports, and they have the latest games in the industry. They do have conditions that are less than customer-friendly.Full GG.bet Review »

EGB.com

12th8 out of 10Varies

EGB.com Review

At EGB.com, you not only get your eSports betting fix, but also get to join promos and activities that allow you to earn points--and even real money.Full EGB.com Review »

10Bet

13th7.9 out of 10Varies

10Bet Review

You will enjoy great service and the typical sportsbook comforts here, but seasoned eSports fans may find a lack of specialized and updated content.Full 10Bet Review »

NetBet

14th7.9 out of 10Varies

NetBet Review

As a sportsbook, NetBet has strong foundations, but is still growing--and its inclusion of eSports seems to not be fully realized and streamlined yet.Full NetBet Review »

888sport

15th7.7 out of 10Varies

888sport Review

Its extensive responsible gaming policy, live betting options, clean web interface and mobile app make up for a severely limited eSports selection.Full 888sport Review »

Sky Bet

16th7.5 out of 10Varies

Sky Bet Review

For a sportsbook, its eSports selection is not bad; and despite limitations, Sky Bet still provides consistent service and great customer support.Full Sky Bet Review »

Nitrogen Sports

17th7.3 out of 10Varies

Nitrogen Sports Review

Nitrogen Sports offers a specialized eSports betting experience; as it utilizes Bitcoin, a digital currency, to accept wagers and pay out winnings.Full Nitrogen Sports Review »
Also, here are some important things we looked at for our rankings.

Is eSports Betting Legal?

Simple answer, it depends. It’s best to do your homework to see if your state or country allows gambling and in what form:  

  • Gambling - some states (Utah) and countries (United Arab Emirates, Brunei) ban any form of gambling; others allow pretty much everything like our friends across the pond in the UK.
  • Sports betting - European countries have embraced this form of gambling, mainly for soccer.  In May 2018, the United States Supreme Court struck down a federal law that bans sports betting, leaving each of the 50 states to make their own decision to allow it.  Many states are crafting bills that will also allow for mobile and online betting options.

The Supreme Court ruling is exciting news for eSports. eSports is a fairly new form of competition.  Betting on eSports exists and operates in plain sight - somehow a bit under the radar for gambling regulators. The big players in the eSports world are probably sitting quietly on the sidelines  to see how they’re going to capitalize on this developing story.

 Variety of eSports Games

Some websites are primarily eSports specific only, like Loot.bet and GG.bet. Other traditional gambling sites,  like Pinnacle, Betway, and Bet365, offer a limited roster of video games and tournaments along side soccer, greyhound racing, tennis and cricket.  For dedicated eSports gamers, adding gaming sites to your bookmark bar gives you the opportunity to place pregame bets as well as bet on live tournament matches.

The best eSports betting websites have links to Twitch streamers and YouTube gaming channels.  Click on the links and you can follow the most popular professional gamers and teams as they play solo or in team tournaments.

Reputation and Security

Reputation is everything in the online gambling universe.  Though it’s much harder these days for criminal operations to exist, it pays to Google search any eSports betting website.  Often a few simple mouse clicks will reveal reviews in forums, social media (Twitter and Facebook) as well as in review sites like Comparakeet.  

Deposit and Withdrawal for eSports Betting

As with any gambling website, it’s best to check out the fine print in the Terms and Conditions section. Here are some factors to consider before placing a bet at any eSports betting website:

  • What are the payment and withdrawal options - credit card, debit card, bank transfer, PayPal, and Bitcoin. Some websites will allow credit back to a Visa card but not to Mastercard.
  • Do they charge commission on winnings?
  • What are the minimum deposit and withdrawal amounts?
  • How long does it take for a deposit or withdrawal - immediate, hours or days
  • What are the time limits on a cash out?

Multi-languages spoken here

The world of eSports has gone global with professional gaming tournaments live-streamed from different countries.  Access to websites in different languages is a major plus, especially when betting comes into play. There is even talk about including eSports as an international Olympic sport in the future!   

Mobility

I would wager that the majority of gamers on eSports betting websites can be classified as “millennials” and “Gen Xers”.   The mobility-obsessed millennial generation would agree that mobile apps are a necessity. Mobile features can make the gamer experience and betting as seamless as sitting in front of your customized Alienware Aurora R7 computer!

Gamers today can play a game, watch a game and bet on a game on multiple devices. The first option is best played on a gaming PC.  Professional players in the 2017 Intel Extreme Masters Katowice definitely did not play on a smartphone or tablet!

However, the ability to view and bet on a game on an iOS or Android device is just plain convenient. Not all the eSports or traditional gaming websites have a mobile option for betting.  This probably has to do with gambling restrictions placed by government regulations.

Bonus and Welcome offers

Pay a visit to all the eSports betting websites we reviewed for “free” offers.  Most sites offer a free welcome bet or a welcome deposit bonus. This can be a good opportunity to try out the website before depositing some big cash.

But bargain hunters beware!  Read the FINE PRINT. There can be expiration dates and contingencies placed on promo codes and bonuses. Nothing in life is free. Here is a table of 3 eSports betting websites and their promotional offers:

  • Betway’s offer - £30 Welcome Free Bet
    • Fine Print: A minimum of £10 or customer’s currency equivalent must be deposited
  • Ladbrokes’ offer - Bet £5 get £20 in Free Bets
    • Fine Print: Only for UK and IRE new customers; cannot “cash out” free bet
  • EGB’s offer: Enter promo code  “Summer” for doubling up in bonus up to $100 - until the end of August 2019
    • Fine Print:  Bonus amount cannot exceed the maximum amount set out for this promo code

How to Bet on eSports

Before betting on eSports, each bettor has to understand the game. This goes without saying. You don’t want to place a bet based on a gamer’s personality.  Make sure they have the skills to win.

You must play the game yourself before betting on it. Research the team and individual members, watch past tournaments, understand the format of the tournament, and how do they determine a winner.

Every eSports betting website or bookmaker has their own set of odds and bets. It might be a good idea to place bets on different eSports websites to see which one you are most comfortable with.  Some websites, like Pinnacle, have guides to help you place a bet.   

Here are the basic steps to place a bet on eSports:

  • Open an account
  • Deposit money
  • Select a game to bet on - do you prefer FPS or MOBA games?
  • Click on the odds to be added to your bet slip
  • Place your bet
  • Check and confirm your bet

One cannot talk about eSports betting without mentioning skin betting. Skins are collectible goods that gamers can earn, trade, sell or buy to outfit their character, change the appearance of a weapon, etc. Some websites allow gamers to gamble with their skins to win more valuable ones and to place bets with their skins.  These skins can potentially be sold and turned into real cash which in essence is unlicensed gambling (according to some).

Responsible Gaming

Video games are a form of entertainment - fun to play, a social outlet for many and appealing to all ages. Some statistics estimate that the largest group of video game players in the United States are under the age of 18.  It’s very likely that these numbers hold true for many European and Asian countries as well.  

The endorphin rush of playing Pokemon Go has now been upstaged by the popularity of the battle royale game of Fortnite - the “it” game of today for younger gamers.   Cartoon-like visuals, buying a Battle Pass for V-bucks to get character skins and other bonuses for this free game has proven to be very attractive for gamers as well as lucrative to their creators. That grey area between video gaming and gambling has become more blurred.  Parents need to control the amount of time and money their kids devote (or sneak) to online gaming.

Addiction to video games starts young but there are warning signs similar to addictive behavior in adult gamers.  Here’s a table of missed activities for adults that Limelight Networks compiled:   

 

Daily activities missed due to playing video games

 

With the growing popularity of the eSports industry and the lifting of the ban on sports betting in the United States, there is a potential for an uptick in gambling disorders.  In fact, there is a growing belief globally that excessive video gaming can be classified as a “gaming disorder”.   

Responsible gaming has many facets - prevent underage gambling, protect the vulnerable, and treatment. Gambling addiction is real and there are resources to recognize and treat this disorder.  

Customer Service

Support comes in many forms - 800 #, live chat, email, FAQ, and betting guides.  Some of the best eSports betting websites have an active social media presence - Ladbrokes offers a Twitter feed Ladbroke Care.

 

Featured Articles

Is eSports Betting Legal?

Online gambling can be a tricky field to walk—more so if you’re betting on eSports. The eSports betting world is still mostly uncharted territory, not least of all because of tricky legal questions and issues of jurisdiction. If you’re looking to place some bets on your favorite eSports teams, you might be wondering if that’s […]

Read More

Why Are eSports Betting on Cryptocurrency?

Esports are on fire right now, with the industry projected to hit almost $1 billion in 2018. Your favorite Twitch stream’s jaw-dropping viewer numbers aren’t a fluke, either: market research from Newzoo shows the global esports audience growing to 380 million people this year, of which 165M are expected to be hardcore fans. Opportunities abound […]

Read More

7 eSports Cryptocurrencies Gamers Should Watch

Have your eye on a hot new gaming token? Every month seems to bring a new cryptocurrency program or platform aimed at gamers. We’ve already looked at why gaming and cryptocurrency make for promising bedfellows, and we’re obviously not the only ones who’ve noticed. More and more projects are cropping up to explore the fertile […]

Read More

No Comments... Yet!