As the esports industry becomes an increasingly ‘significant enterprise’ in the US, interest in betting on virtual competitions has also soared.

What is it?

In the latest episode of the Carlton Fields podcast – ‘Wanna Bet? Gambling in Esports’ – industry experts and esports enthusiasts discussed the legalities of betting on esports and how the frameworks vary on a state-by-state basis.

Who is it?

Steve Blickensderfer, Attorney at Carlton Fields

Nick Brown, Associate Attorney at Carlton Fields

Carlton Fields is a provider of legal and consultative services to a broad spectrum of business clients.

What is being said?

When asked if gambling on esports is legal by the podcast host Brown, Blickensderfer, who also co-chairs the firm’s Esports and Electronic Gaming Practice, responded: “That’s an excellent question – and timely. Generally, the answer is no. It’s not legal to gamble on esports. To understand why, we’re going to have to talk about gambling generally. There are enormous exceptions to that rule and some that are big enough to drive a truck through. But you have to be careful about when, where and how you do it.”

He continued: “Basically, one thing to take home is that only a few states allow it, or at least are clear that they allow it. But even so, it’s already a very significant enterprise. It’s estimated to be a $1.5 billion dollar industry. According to the analyst, it’s experiencing a 30% average year-on-year revenue increase, which is enormous, but kind of consistent with what we’ve seen from the esports industry in general over the past few years.

“We mentioned New Jersey allows sports gambling, but the law in New Jersey prohibits esports betting by putting esports in the same category as high school sporting events, which you can’t bet on in New Jersey. However, the exception to that is events that are international and where more than 50% of the players are over the age of majority, 18, then they can have esports betting on that exception.

“One famous example is in November 2019, New Jersey allowed betting on the League of Legends world championship which is one of the frequent fliers here.”

Why should I watch it?

To gain an insight into the legal frameworks upholding esports betting in the US and the different states across the country.

Where can I see more?
Source: Carlton Fields YouTube Channel

How has esports betting become a ‘significant enterprise’ in the US?