Why payments hold the key to the esports betting revolution

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Published on: 05/11/2018

Esports betting has become one of the surprise spin-offs of the competitive gaming revolution. Whether it’s going to a traditional sports bookmaker to put down a real-money bet on a CSGO tournament or even using a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin to wager on a LoL clash via a dedicated esports betting site, there’s never been a greater range of ways to put a bet on your favourite esports teams and players.

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© Riot Games

But despite the incredible growth of the esports betting industry, it is clear that there are still many significant barriers to helping everyone enjoy a seamless way to bet on esports. And whilst there’s an ever increasing number of gaming tournaments to bet on all over the world, it seems that it’s regulations over payment systems that could be holding things back.

The current state of esports betting

At the moment, if you head to most decent esports bookmakers in the UK, you will find a fair range of payment methods for adding funds to your account and withdrawing your winnings. These tend to be traditional credit and debit card brands like Visa and MasterCard, as well as e-wallets such as Paypal, Skrill and Neteller, and there are often options for prepaid cards like Paysafecard or even making a standard bank transfer.

However, this range of payment options isn’t shared equally all over the world. Regardless of whether you want to bet on esports in Germany or the US, you will commonly find that government regulation will inhibit the range of payment options that are available to you. Despite the promising rollbacks on online gambling regulation in the US, there remains a huge amount of red tape that stops individuals using a credit or debit card to bet on esports.

Whilst cryptocurrencies have often been seen as giving individuals a flexible, anonymous and instant way to move their money around, they have yet to be embraced by the traditional betting industry. As a result, there have been efforts made by several promising payment brands to try and integrate different payment methods that could provide customers with a seamless way to wager on anything from esports, to traditional sports bets to online casino games.

Read Also: Why bookmakers investing in the industry can be beneficial to esports

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Payment brands looking to simplify esports betting

Just like there have been many dedicated esports betting sites that have sprung up to meet the needs of gamers, we have also seen a surprising number of innovative payment brands like WorldPay aiming to offer a smoother and simpler way to bet online.

The brand aren’t just restricted to offering you a chance to bet on esports, as they recently stated that they want to include everything from casino gaming and traditional sports betting in their services. Recent interviews with the WorldPay managing director, Joseph Pappano, have revealed how the brand are looking to take advantage of deregulation in the online gambling realm in the US to give both customers and payment providers a much more seamless experience.

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© WorldPay

Earlier this year the US Supreme Court countered the federal rule that banned sports betting, and whilst the rollout of this deregulation has proved to be frustratingly slow, it’s clear that brands like WorldPay are already looking hard at how a massive new marketplace could benefit from online payment technologies.

Pappano stated that whilst traditional bricks-and-mortar casinos have tended to operate in cash, the rise of online casinos, digital sports bookmakers, and esports betting sites cater to a younger generation who require instant and flexible ways to make a bet. But with many digital payment systems still being thwarted by a huge amount of red tape, it’s evident that there’s much more work to be done to help esports betting, casino gaming and sports betting converge into a single market.

Key trends in online betting

As the esports betting phenomenon has provided us with evermore games to wager on, it has also grown hand in hand with many innovative ways to fund your betting. Whilst skin gambling is fraught with many problematic aspects that have yet to be overcome, it’s clear that the use of loot boxes for wagering isn’t going to go away, and there have been many attempts to give individuals an easy and safe way to use these for esports betting.

Similarly, there’s a growing number of esports betting sites who now include a decent range of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin amongst their accepted payment methods. Whilst the take-up of cryptocurrencies has been frustratingly slow across many industries, the fact that Bitcoin betting for esports is now commonplace shows just how much demand there is for instant and anonymous payments.

And with the Seattle-based esports betting brand, Unikrn, gaining an Isle of Man gambling license, it looks like a gamers in a handful of US states could soon even enjoy making a bet on their own gaming endeavours with a good range of safe and secure payment methods.

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Author
Sam - "SamForr" | Esports News Writer

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