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E-sport

E-sport betting in France and around the world

E-Sport is a discipline that includes all competitive video games. It brings together millions of gamers around the world who live their passion for gaming by competing in increasingly high-profile competitions. The e-sport competitions bring together more and more fans who do not hesitate to storm the stadiums to cheer on their favourite teams.

You should also know that France is the number 1 country for e-sport events. Since 2003, French players are ahead (far ahead of the Americans) and are above all true professionals. France is also the country that organises the ESWC (Electronic Sports World Convention), one of the most important events in e-sport, which brings together more than 53 States with numerous competitions.

With this growing fan interest in the sport, bookmakers have decided to take a closer look.

In France, e-sport is not yet established in practice. As for e-sports betting, France does not yet have its own operator approved by the ARJEL (Online Gaming Regulatory Authority). However, this should change soon as many countries with specific online gambling legislation have authorised e-sport betting, such as Belgium, Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom.

At present, the composition of the bets remains only fictitious. It is through corners, like in an arcade machine, that you can make your first e-sport sports bets.

In the law, online gambling on the so-called regulated market is allowed: poker, horse betting and sports betting. And everything that is not on this white list is prohibited.

To date, no French site offers paid e-sports betting, so you have to turn to foreign sites. However, as a French person, it is illegal to register there and some will refuse you.

A possible regulation by the ARJEL should therefore give e-sport a high profile with partnerships and competitions, and above all an official recognition of this sport which is becoming increasingly fashionable.

What about e-sport betting abroad ?

In France, as sports betting on e-sport is not approved by the ARJEL, players go to foreign sports betting sites. It is illegal but at no time on these sites are you asked your nationality or your location, so you can still bet freely. To take an example of a sports betting site that offers e-sport competitions, we have chosen MrXbet. This is a Cypriot sports betting site of international scope that welcomes players through a platform translated into more than ten languages (French, English, Norwegian, Czech, Italian, etc.) and perfectly secured.  MrXbet quickly positioned itself on the e-sport market by offering a wide range of possibilities in terms of competitions and betting ranges. For example, you can bet on FIFA, NBA 2K, League of Legends, e-tennis, Call of Duty, Rainbow Six or Starcraft 2.

In the United States, sports betting on e-sport is authorised by bookmakers in certain States, notably in Nevada, where the government has legalised e-sport in order to limit losses linked to the cessation of traditional sports competitions (NBA, NFL, etc.). Other countries have legalised sports betting on e-sport such as Belgium, Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom. In Belgium, for example, the Unibet.be website offers e-sport in its betting competitions.

It is therefore only a matter of time before the ARJEL authorises French bookmakers to offer sports betting on e-sport.

What about the target and the market of e-sport ?

HOW MUCH DO GAMBLERS BET?

There are a lot of small gamblers. A large number of gamblers bet relatively small amounts:

  • 30% of active gamblers bet less than €30 per quarter
  • 20% bet between €30 and €100 per quarter
  • 22% bet between €100 and €300 per quarter

That is to say 72% of gamblers who do not exceed the €300 threshold bet quarterly. There are few big bettors, but in terms of volume, these very active gamblers bet much more than the crowd of small gamblers:

  • 10% of the gamblers thus represent 74% of the sums bet
  • 1% of the players, the “biggest” bettors, account for 34% of the sums bet.

It is these high-volume gamblers who guarantee a high volume of bets, much more than the multitude of low-volume gamblers. Live betting accounts for 38% of the total betting volume. This proportion varies little from 2018. Live betting still represents nearly €2 billion wagered !

A GROWING MARKET

If bets are increasing on every sport and every competition, this proves the dynamism of the online sports betting market. Here are two figures that prove this good health: 3,443,000 active player accounts were registered in 2019. This is 7% more than in 2018. This trend is even clearer when compared with previous years. In fact, since 2016, the number of online players has more than doubled ! More than €5 billion will be wagered in total in 2019. That’s an increase of 30% compared to the previous year ! In 3 years, the total volume of online gambling has in fact been multiplied by 2.5

PORTRAIT OF THE SPORTS BETTOR 

The average bettor is above all a young man:

  • Male individuals (90%, against 10% women)
  • 71% of bettors are under 34 years old. Only 5% of punters are over 55 years old

In e-sport, the players and fans are mainly aged between 15 and 35 years old so, e-sport could become the next most wagered sport category by looking at the average age of bettors and the average age of e-sport players and fans.

In view of the notoriety of e-sport in France and throughout the world, the ARJEL should not delay in giving approval to bookmakers in order to make sports betting on e-sport available. It is just a question of time.

Julie Nef, Sara Olivier and Hugo Schiano

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