Esports betting currently generates around $134m in the US, which is a small and arguably disappointing percentage of the overall handle. Many of the sportsbooks that have entered the market have encountered issues that haven’t encouraged them further.
In particular, there have been headaches surrounding integrity, streaming latency, inconsistent margins and prices, unwieldy tournament formats and the high suspension of betting lines.
But all of that is about to change – and then some. In fact, forecasts we have seen suggest the figure is going to skyrocket to an eye-watering $9.5 bn by 2027, with operators set to invest in a safe and well-regulated space that will benefit all stakeholders. They just need a reliable product in order to do so.
At SIS, we have set out to remove the hurdles currently affecting the product by offering a complete end-to-end esports betting solution that went live for the first time in New Jersey in December. The launch of SIS Competitive Gaming with bet365 in the Garden State was a landmark moment in the history of esports betting in the US, as we became the state’s first-ever nontournament esports provider. By doing so, we overcame the pain points that the tournament-based esports betting events have created for operators.
In creating SIS Competitive Gaming, we leaned heavily on our expertise in creating profitable betting events over the past 35 years and, in particular, the delivery of live, round-the-clock events.
We are the industry’s only end-to-end esports betting solution, providing operators with the entire package: data, ultra-low latency streaming, live commentary from our casters, on-screen graphics with betting triggers, and an extensive range of markets and odds.
WE OVERCAME THE PAIN POINTS THAT THE TOURNAMENT-BASED ESPORTS BETTING EVENTS HAVE CREATED FOR OPERATORS
From the beginning, it was always about serving the needs of sportsbooks and their bettors with compelling, short-form entertainment. Developed specifically for betting, the SIS H2H Global Gaming League hosts over 150,000 events per year.
Within our secure studios for esoccer, ebasketball and CS:GO, we have brought together highperformance operational teams, gamers, officials, and casters that have experience in every aspect of esports.
To enhance our CS:GO esports trading capability, we have partnered with esports betting solutions specialist Oddin.gg to provide odds and trading support to operators. The partnership with Oddin.gg brings with it unmatched uptime, an increased number of live markets and the highest margins for sportsbooks.
Typically, esports tournament-based offerings feature streams that are provided separately through Twitch or YouTube, creating issues whereby a stream might lag behind the real action by anything up to 15 seconds. This causes major concerns for trading teams, with integrity issues arising which no operator wants to face. With SIS Competitive Gaming, our web streaming platform ensures that streams are delivered with ultra-low latency.
IT WAS ALWAYS ABOUT SERVING THE NEEDS OF SPORTSBOOKS AND THEIR BETTORS WITH COMPELLING, SHORT-FORM ENTERTAINMENT
In terms of integrity, SIS has also recently become the first esports betting events supplier to meet stringent new criteria produced by the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC), created to set unmatched levels of integrity and safety in the esports betting industry.
The ESIC Gold Standards is designed to build on its existing principles by setting out a list of standards for tournament organisers, ensuring that events are run to the highest level of integrity and safety for the benefit of all stakeholders.
SPORTS SIMULATIONS IN PARTICULAR ARE AN AREA OF ESPORTS BETTING THAT IS RIPE FOR EXPANSION IN POPULARITY
One particular area of the esports betting landscape we have great faith in is sports simulations. The last few years have brought a huge surge in popularity of competitions featuring FIFA, NBA2K and more, with major sporting organisations endorsing events that have generated vast worldwide audiences.
What is particularly attractive for sportsbooks is that sports simulations have a small barrier to entry, with regular bettors easily able to interpret on-screen action that mirrors the real thing. That is not to suggest that our CS:GO offering is impenetrable for the non-aficionado; on the contrary, it has been designed in a simplified 2v2 format that is easy to follow, and features the sort of betting markets that would normally be found in a regular sporting setting.
The launch of ebasketball in New Jersey with bet365 represents only the start of a journey. We believe that sports simulations in particular are an area of esports betting that is ripe for expansion in popularity, with forecasts suggesting that while this genre currently makes up 12% of total esports GGR, that proportion is set to rise to a 20% contribution by 2027.
Sports simulations are projected to outgrow classic esports significantly across the next five years. In the US – the second largest esports market globally – this trend is particularly apparent.
SPORTS SIMULATIONS ARE PROJECTED TO OUTGROW CLASSIC ESPORTS SIGNIFICANTLY ACROSS THE NEXT FIVE YEAR
There is no doubt that we will look to expand our sports simulation offering to match demand, with the addition of further US-centric disciplines a distinct possibility. This is an exciting time for both SIS and esports betting as a whole.
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