The United States of America is one of the countries that have legalized sports betting. This means that from coast to coast Americans can now bet on their favourite sports. Despite this, many people still don’t feel comfortable doing so. There are still a lot of restrictions when it comes to the legal betting in the country. The good news is that things are changing, and it will be possible to do match betting in the US in the near future.
While there are no set dates for when this will happen, it’s reasonable to assume that once the US government officially recognises esports as a real sport, it will be possible to make regulated matches betting available in all 50 states.
This will mark a turning point in the history of esports in America. It will give the country the opportunity to host international competitions, as well as produce a professional league. Furthermore, it will open up a whole new world of opportunities for esports players, managers, and fans.
Why Has Legalized Sports Betting Been Permitted In America?
The United States of America is one of the most populated countries in the world. It is also one of the wealthiest, if not the wealthiest. All of these factors add up to one thing: opportunity. The government in the country has recognised that allowing people to bet on the outcome of sporting events is an excellent way to generate extra revenue and encourage interest in sports.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a professional sports bettor or simply enjoy watching games, betting on sports has never been easier. The fact that it’s now legal to do so in America makes it clear that the country’s leaders recognise the advantages that sports betting can bring.
The Evolution Of Esports In America
The modern-day evolution of esports in America can be traced back to 2012. That’s when the first Major League Gaming (MLG) event was held, as well as the launch of the “League of Legends” (LoL) Championship.
It’s interesting to note that even back then, esports were seen as a threat to traditional sports by some, so much so that the executive director of the North American branch of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said that the organisation was “very worried” about esports. This seems rather absurd now that we know how big of a role they play in popularising sports.
Since then, esports has grown in popularity immensely. In 2019 over 21 million Americans watched the popular “Fortnite” tournament streamed live on Twitch, while the industry’s value is expected to hit £147 billion by next year.
The question now is: will the legalisation of sports betting in America open up new opportunities for esports, or will it cause the industry to lose some of its charm? Let’s take a look.
Will Legalised Sports Betting Improve Traditionally Bad Viewing Figures?
The first question to answer is whether or not legalised sports betting will improve the traditionally bad viewing figures for American sports. It’s fair to say that in the past, live sports viewing has been rather unsuccessful in the country. In 2019 only around 12% of Americans reported to the American Institute of Stress that they regularly watched sports on TV.
However, the same poll also showed that 55% of respondents regularly followed sports news, which indicates that there’s still plenty of interest in sports in the country. Furthermore, 49% of respondents reported that they used social media to keep up with sports news and analysis, which shows that a lot of people are still making use of social media in their fandom.
With legalised sports betting being available in all 50 states, it would be an excellent opportunity for American sports fans to bet on their favourite teams. If more people start doing this, it could improve the viewing figures for American sports. It’s also worth pointing out that since bets can be placed online, it removes many of the physical barriers that have traditionally kept people away from sports betting. This may encourage more people to get involved in the hobby, particularly given the fact that some states in America have fairly liberal casino laws.
What About The Integrity Of The Games?
The second question to ask is how legalised sports betting will affect the integrity of the games. Sportsbooks and bookmakers have always been a target for hackers, and since many of these sites have now been opened to the public, it would be naive to think that this has not happened. However, it’s important to remember that most of these hacks happen overseas. Due to the increased security measures that have now been adopted by online sportsbooks, it would be surprising if a significant chunk of attacks did not happen at home.
There are a few examples of where sportsbooks have been compromised in America, most notably the now-infamous “Stash-Busting” heist in 2016. That year, cybercriminals stole over $40 million from 24 different sportsbooks, leading to a $14.8 million IRS bill. While that was a rather large-scale heist, it’s still just a drop in the ocean compared to what happens overseas. For example, Pinnacle Sports and Casino, a European-based company, reported having over 30 million customer accounts stolen in 2018, with more than 14 million of those being from the United States.
It would be good to see more companies taking steps to protect their customers, but unfortunately Pinnacle did not respond to inquiries about the hack. The fact that so many security breaches have happened overseas, particularly in places like China, shows that the integrity of sportsbooks is still rather poor. However, these incidents have not stopped American sports fans from participating in legalised sports betting, and it would be a huge missed opportunity if these breaches did come to define the industry.
Will America’s Newfound Love For Sports Bring New Opportunities For Players?
The third question to ask is whether or not American fans’ newfound love for sports will bring new opportunities for players. While many people may have considered esports to be a ‘lesser’ form of sports, its massive popularity in America could mark a turning point in the industry. Since the 2020 Olympic games will be held in Tokyo, an excellent opportunity exists for American esports players to represent their country, and march across the stage in triumph.
That’s not to say that esports will replace traditional sports altogether. It’s important to remember that there will always be a place for “Old-school” sports in America. What the legalisation of sports betting in America does is provide more opportunities for players, as well as fans. It also opens up a whole new world of betting opportunities, which can only be a good thing.
It’s an exciting time to be a part of esports in America, and it’s only a matter of time before the country takes the world by storm. Once the government finally gives the green light to sportsbooks, it will be possible to put money on virtually any sport event, with the possibility of getting back your winnings plus some.