When the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018, they opened the door for states to individually begin legalizing betting on sports. It is probably unlikely that they were considering esports in the list of sports that you would be able to bet on – the focus was mainly on the big four and college sports – but the sportsbooks and fans didn’t make the same oversight.
Since 2018, states across the country have been passing laws to legalize sports betting in person, online or both for sites like cbsongs.com. At this point, most states have either legalized some form of sports betting or have legislation currently under review. In order to cater to this new market, sportsbooks have been starting up or branching out to cater to the US market. Bet365 is one of those sportsbooks.
Just as betting on sports is a growing industry, so are esports. Now that they are finally being taken seriously as competitive events, interest in betting on them has grown as well. Some of the most popular esports games are Rocket League, PUBG, Valorant, CS:GO, Dota 2, Fortnite and of course, League of Legends.
There is very little overlap between the people who remember being able to bet on sports (it was legal until the early 1990s) and the people who know a lot about esports (most of whom were born in the 1990s). This article will explain a bit about bet365 and then discuss what hurdles there are standing in the way of bet365 rolling out esports betting across the states. It will also consider why a full rollout would be a great idea for the company and its customers.
What is bet365?
Bet365 is one of the top sportsbooks in the United States. They are a British company that has been on the scene since 2000. The company started out with brick and mortar betting shops but quickly realized that the market was moving online and made the jump.
They were one of the first sportsbooks to begin operating in the US after the fall of PASPA. It is always reassuring when a company has partnerships with well-established brands – bet365 partnered with the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City and were therefore able to get a good foothold in New Jersey to build their US brand and reputation.
Bet365 has a good bonus program and also accept a variety of payment methods, making it very convenient to get started. They offer odds on a range of traditional and esports – everything from the NBA and NFL to Australian rules football and darts.
Why does it matter?
Esports aren’t just an exciting and engaging way to relax, they’re also big business. The prizes offered at the big tournaments are in the hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. Sponsorship deals are also introducing esports celebrities to a wider audience – once you’ve made it onto a box of Cheez-Its, you’re definitely a star.
For sportsbooks such as bet365, offering odds on esports events is a great opportunity to tap into a growing market and increase revenue. The other positive of rolling out esports betting across the country would be consistency and name recognition. People tend to be loyal to brands and they also like when things aren’t needlessly difficult. Being able to place bets with the same sportsbook, no matter where you are in the country, answers both of those needs – you don’t have to try to find different sportsbooks that you trust and you can just use one app.
What’s preventing them from going national?
With so many positives, the question becomes why hasn’t bet365 – or any other sportsbook or betting company for that matter – rolled out a national esports betting campaign? It would benefit both the company and consumers, so there must be a very good reason why it hasn’t happened yet.
There is a simple reason – online sports betting hasn’t yet been legalized in every state. It has only been four years since legalization was made possible, so it’s understandable that many states have not yet had time to change their laws. Also, some states, including Washington, only allow in-person betting. These limits make it impossible for a truly national esports betting campaign to be implemented.
The other reason is that many of the states that have legalized sports betting have done so on a limited scale to begin with. Some have only granted licenses to a very small number of operators. Since bet365 is a respected company, it is likely that they will become licensed in every state once the industry becomes more established.