Welcome to our guide for esports betting USA-style. If you’ve ever wanted to try esports betting in America, then we’ll show you an easy and fun way to enjoy wagering on games like CSGO, LoL, Dota 2, Overwatch, and much more. Are esports betting legal in the USA and if so, which are the best esports betting in USA? Opportunities are just a few of the questions that we’ll be answering in this article.
To do this, we will highlight our pick of the esports betting sites in the USA who offer you a safe way to make deposits and place your bets. We’ll dwell a bit on the Bovada esports betting options and compare them to what other prominent US esports betting companies have to offer. Plus we will take a look at which games tend to get covered most by esports betting sites in the USA so that you can be sure of getting decent odds for your favorite game.
If you’ve ever wondered this: “Are esports betting in the USA legal?” Then this page has the answer: we will go through the current legislation so that you know exactly where you stand in regards to the law. Plus, with quick looks at things like the biggest American esports teams and matched betting, USA gamers should have everything they need to take a safe and potentially profitable bet on competitive gaming.
Why esports betting in America will be the next big thing
For exciting ways to bet on esports, USA has lots of promise
Esports is one of the defining entertainment trends of the 21st century and it has quickly taken over the entire world. What started in South Korea less than two decades ago has now become a billion-dollar industry, and the USA has contributed a huge amount to this development. The best Esports betting sites the USA has to offer are ideal for video game fans with a keen eye for betting. American players who live in states where betting isn’t legal can still have a lot of fun with the fantasy League of Legends.
With well over 160 million gamers, the USA is the second-largest gaming market in the world. Plus American games developers and publishers like Activision Blizzard, Riot Games, Electronic Arts, and Epic Games are behind some of the biggest hitters in the competitive gaming realm. US esports betting sites were quick to capitalize on the surging popularity of videogames betting and cover all the important games and tournaments.
In addition to this, the USA has a history of sporting excellence with leagues for the NFL, NBA and NHL showing that there’s a massive market of people who could be receptive to esports’ bid to be featured alongside traditional sports. Bovada esports betting USA and other American-facing bookies are already providing local punters with a mix of classic sports and videogames betting. All of which means that esports betting USA-style could easily become a world-beater.
Is esports betting in the USA legal?
What’s stopping the esports betting USA revolution?
Whilst gamers in many European countries like the UK can enjoy a safe and secure experience when betting on esports, US gaming fans have long been frustrated by some fairly restrictive legislation. “Is esports betting legal in the USA?” isn’t the kind of question with a straightforward answer, and that’s because some states allow it while others prohibit the activity.
American online gambling and online sports betting laws are incredibly complex and vary on a state-level. But on the whole, “sports betting” has been prohibited in the USA, and there are very few online bookies who will want to enter the complicated US market. The Esports betting sites USA environment is still populated by only a few bookmakers, as most are still on the fence, waiting for favorable laws.
As esports has been seen as being the same as traditional sports, it means that betting on video games is also fraught with legal challenges. Despite this, it seems that things could soon be changing. This is because the US Supreme Court recently overturned a federal law that banned sports betting and so we could hope to see some legal esports betting sites in the USA soon.
Furthermore, New Jersey allowed esports betting in June 2018 for League of Legends, which set an important and promising legal precedent.
This exciting development still has some way to go before it overrides the archaic Wire Act of 1961, but it looks like the wheels are in motion for allowing a legal and safe way to enjoy some LoL or CSGO gambling. USA gamers should know that for now, there are still restrictions over what kinds of payment methods you can use to make deposits and withdrawals at offshore betting sites. So for esports betting in the USA, legal questions can still cause some confusion, but hopefully, things should be resolved soon.
Where in the USA can I play esports betting?
While most of the States are still struggling to follow New Jersey’s lead, there are several places where you can place a bet on legal bookmakers.
So, while esports in only 100% legal in Nevada and New Jersey, there are states in which you can access regulated esports betting:
These states include Arkansas, Iowa, Mississippi, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington DC, Oregon, Montana, New Mexico, and Delaware.
If you’re looking for more information about a specific state, we’ve created individual guides to make it easier:
What does “regulated” mean?
By regulated, we mean that it is not 100% legal to do so, and very few sites and ground-casinos can offer you the service. This also means that you can only access a few features and get to be poorly protected if you get scammed by an unregulated site or bookmaker.
Our pick of the best esports betting sites in the USA
Great ways to enjoy esports betting USA-style
Due to the slow movements to make esports betting in USA legal, American gamers don’t have access to too many legitimate esports betting sites. We have seen plenty of sites that allow customers to make bets on games like Overwatch and League of Legends, but as these sites don’t have any licensing it means that US customers will get very little protection in regards to their personal details and deposits.
Despite this, there are a handful of offshore betting sites that now accept US gamers. Whilst the lack of legal esports betting sites might not make it easy to try out some matched betting, USA’s gaming fans should still be able to make some decent money with their bets. So if you want a quick, easy and stress-free to enjoy some LoL or CSGO gambling, you could try out international betting sites like Unikrn which offer special modes for esports betting USA, like the Unikrn UMode, where you will be able to bet on yourself.
Exclusive Unikrn UMode Bonus for US residents
We actually have an exclusive welcome bonus for US residents: players in the US can start with a free $10 to play, plus a x3 deposit bonus. Find out more in our Unikrn bonus review.
Nevertheless, there is a local alternative. While esports betting is still not legal in the US, Fantasy esports betting is perfectly legal and some people have it to be more fun than traditional match betting. Following this idea you can play fantasy CSGO or build your Rocket League fantasy and place as many bets as you like on your team’s performance.
Both UMode and Fantasy Esports are legal because they are not considered as gambling but rather skill’s games.
DraftKings : A Valid Alternative to Betting for US Fans
Esports betting in USA isn’t legal in most states, which has a deterring effect on esports fans who want to spice things up by placing a bet. Those who don’t want to break the law but still want to enjoy the spirit of competition are likely to get their thrills at Draftkings esports. The leading fantasy platform has a fully-fledged module for League of Legends fans, with daily and season-long competitions. These are the second best things to esports betting as they cover the top esports tournaments, including the LCS.
Participants are invited to assemble the best LoL draft possible to outshine their peers. Besides, you can play other Fantasy esports, such as CSGO, eNascar and Fantasy CoD. On the other hand, Statistics and useful facts are provided in real-time and updated to reflect the latest changes that occur in the LCS. There are also Draftkings promotions rewarding players who make a deposit using one of the payment methods featured. Since fantasy esports games are legal, players from the United States also get the peace of mind, while they enjoy the excitement of large-scale competitions.
What are the most popular games for esports betting in America?
If you are into Overwatch, LoL or CSGO gambling, USA has lots to offer
If you want to bet on esports, USA gamers have a massive range of options. Here are just some of the biggest esports that you should be able to enjoy a bet on.
League of Legends is probably the world’s most popular esport, and it’s great to see how this Riot Games title has taken hold of the US imagination. The 2016 edition of the League of Legends World Championship was held in Chicago, San Francisco, New York City, and Los Angeles, and with peak concurrent viewership of 14.7 million people, it shows that US gamers have taken this battle arena title to heart.
This classic first-person shooter is showing no signs of slowing down, and it’s easily one of America’s most popular esports for betting. We’ve seen massive Counter-Strike tournaments like the Intel Extreme Masters come to Los Angeles in the past. But no matter where you are in the States, there’s a good chance that you’ll find some great esports odds for your CSGO betting.
For many years, the world’s biggest Dota 2 tournament, The International, was held in Seattle. Whilst it has now moved overseas, that hasn’t stopped this battle arena game maintaining its position as one of the USA’s most popular esports. And thanks to its staggering prize pool of over $25 million, it’s clear that it’s the tournament that gets gamers and bookmakers most excited.
Overwatch is a relatively new esport developed by the US games developer, Blizzard Entertainment. The company have also set up the hugely popular Overwatch League that has the bulk of its matches in Los Angeles. The Overwatch League has wisely taken its tournament structure from traditional sports leagues like the NFL to make sure that it’s easier for fans to get familiar with the top teams and players.
Some of the other top esports for American betting fans
There’s a massive range of esports to bet on and more and more titles are getting added each month by betting sites. Recently we’ve seen a real trend for battle royale games like Fortnite and Apex Legends. But regardless of whether you want to wager on a first-person shooter like Call of Duty or a sports simulator like NBA2K, there’s sure to be a betting site who will offer you decent odds. Esports betting USA operators try to cover all the popular genres, but the focus is on MOBA, FPS, and RTS games.
Available bets for esports betting USA
While the market is still expanding, there is a wide variety of esports. In this regard, different games also mean different ways to put your money and luck to test. So, here is a small list of the type of bets you may find when gambling on esports by genre:
MOBA (LoL, Dota2, HOTS)
- First Blood
- First tower
- Match winner
- Total kills
- First dragon
- Race to “number of” kills
- Race to “amount of” gold
- First Team Fight win
- First double, triple, quadruple and Pentakill
FPS (CSGO, CoD, PUBG)
- First Blood
- Match winner
- Total kills
- Race to “number of” kills
- First map
- First double, triple, quadruple and Pentakill
- Race to “minutes” of time survived
- Best score
- Most headshots
- Round winner
Car racing (iRacing, eNascar, GT)
- Lap winner
- Best lap-time
- No bumps
Other games such as Magic, Hearthstone, and Pokemon GO just fall for Match winner and Round winner bets. Nevertheless, they don’t lose excitement. Anyhow, these are only some of the betting options that you can find out there. As you may have noticed, the bets depend on the specific game type and title, giving betting sites a wide variety of space to play with new betting options as the games develop.
USA odds to UK odds
As you may not live in a state where esports betting is already on the table, here is a small guide for you to convert odds if you make your betting on a site that does not offer the quick conversion.
As you may know, US odds work with a “+” or “-” sign in front of the odd. Being that the team with the “-” is the one which has more chances to win the match. Furthermore, the number represents the money you get when betting 100$.
So, if a team has +110 odds, it will probably lose the match, but if you bet 100$ and they win, you get 110$ in return. The “-” works differently, is the same team had a -110 odd, then you would have to bet 110$ to get 100$ in return.
UK odds work differently; they appear as fractions such as “3/1”, for example. These numbers represent the money you can get based on the bet you make. So, if you bet 1€ on a 3/1 odd, you get 3€. On the other hand, the higher the winning ratio, the fewer chances you have to actually win the bet.
By knowing this, you can easily surf the odds of any esports event and find a match in which placing your bet is not so risky.
If you want to bet on esports, USA teams like these should be noted
The biggest names in LoL and CSGO gambling USA-style
If there was any doubt about enthusiasm for esports in the USA, then you just need to take a look at some of the top American esports organizations. Here’s a quick overview of some of the best US esports teams in the business. Their players are sought after by fantasy esports fans, as they can greatly enhance the quality of any LoL fantasy draft and increase the odds of winning.
This awesome Los Angeles-based team was founded in 2012 and they’ve proven to be a safe bet when playing anything from classics like LoL and CSGO, to newer titles like Overwatch and Fortnite. Most punters will remember Cloud9’s incredible victory at the 2015 Heroes of the Storm World Championship, but it’s clear that Cloud9 is a force to be reckoned with at just about any esports tournament.
FaZe Clan has long been associated with their awesome achievements in Call of Duty tournaments, but they have diversified their talents in recent years and represent a tough challenge for any team competing them in anything from CSGO to Overwatch, Fortnite and even FIFA. With over 67 million subscribers for their YouTube channel, it’s clear that FaZe Clan are one of the heavyweights of the current esports scene.
This Dallas-based team is one of the oldest esports organizations around, and they have lost none of their thirst for gaming excellence. OpTic Gaming are another team that have earned plenty of acclaim for their formidable Call of Duty skills, but they also boast solid teams for other esports like CSGO, Gears of War and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
We can’t talk about American esports without mentioning Evil Geniuses. Founded in San Francisco in 1999, this great team have pioneered competitive gaming in the USA. As a result, they’ve had many notable successes in many of games ranging from League of Legends and Warcraft, to Halo and Rainbow Six. However, their greatest achievement has to be their triumph at the International 2015 tournament that saw them receive an incredible $6 million in prize winnings.
Important developments in esports betting in America
Could Las Vegas kickstart American esports betting?
The USA is well known for innovation and this extends to esports betting. As the state of Nevada has enjoyed more liberal gambling legislation, it’s no surprise to find that many of the state’s legendary casinos are spearheading the esports betting revolution. The Esports betting sites USA are frequently working with land-based operators and this trend is only expected to gain further strength in the future.
In 2018, we saw the new Esports Arena unveiled at the Luxor Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas. This has been joined by many other massive esports stadiums in places like Philadelphia and Arlington. A definitive answer to the question is esports betting legal in USA still evades us but the future looks bright.
We can’t forget that fantasy sports first really got started in the US, and with other innovations like matched betting, USA esports fans can hope for an easy and legal way to enjoy wagering on their favourite game soon. It is only a matter of time until US esports betting will be legalized in most American states and the top bookmakers want to be ready for this moment.
What can we expect from esports betting in America in the future?
For a bet on esports, USA gamers have plenty to look forward to
If you want to enjoy esports betting in USA, legal considerations mean that it might not be quite as simple as in other countries. Despite this, things are changing in relation to online gambling legislation so it’s only a matter of time before you can legally place bets on games like LoL, CSGO and Overwatch, or even enjoy some matched betting. USA gamers should know that there are a handful of offshore sites like Bovada who provide a safe and easy way to bet on esports. And with positive signs emerging about a change in the online gambling laws, we can expect an American esports betting revolution very soon.