May 6, 2020
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The 40% growth in esports betting volume between 9 March and 19 April was fuelled by two sports-based esports titles, FIFA and NBA 2K, which accounted for 80% of the total.
That was one of the key findings from The State of Esports Betting Report 2020, launched this morning by B2B provider EveryMatrix to “empower bookmakers with up-to-date insights on how esports can become an enduring growth strategy”.
The report estimated that total wagers for esports could reach between $12 and $15 billion by the end of 2020, up from just over $5.5 billion in 2016. It said that in just one week (9 March to 16 March), the share of esports players climbed from 2% to 27%.
Digging deeper into the impact of the live sports absence, the report found that 65% of active bettors between 17 February and 9 March had stopped placing bets in the lockdown period of 16 March to 6 April. Using the same dates, 10% of players who were real sports bettors before have made the transition to being esports bettors.
And, still sticking to the those two three-week periods, the average player turnover for real sports has dropped from €930 to €733 – a median slide of €67 to €45. Meanwhile, average turnover per player for esports is up from €159 to €473 – a median climb of €8 to €29. The average gross gaming revenues (GGR) per player for esports is now €31, up from €13.
Within all of this, sports-based titles are playing an increasingly prominent role because users familiar with regular sports can easily switch to the new form of entertainment.
There are also clear similarities to popular bet types on both traditional sports and esports titles. The report found that 76% of FIFA turnover was for Over/Under markets, while more than half of the turnover for NBA 2K (52%) can be attributed to Asian Handicap betting.
While the report stressed that sports organisations were no strangers to esports before the pandemic, it has brought about an increase in tournaments and leagues backed by official bodies – for example the NBA 2K Players Tournament.
Ebbe Groes, Group CEO of EveryMatrix, said: “The last eight weeks were quite dramatic. Esports entered the scene with a bang, from being a niche or small sub-segment of sports betting without receiving many considerations from operators, to being today a very large part of the offering available on the market.
“Operators who already had esports or who were able to integrate them quickly, are ultimately the ones making the most out of the current lack of real-life sports events. The ones who were not so agile, are unfortunately seeing massive losses.”
However, he concluded: “It is not too late to jump on the esports bandwagon, especially since predictions show that betting on esports is here to stay. Ultimately, the aim is to maximize sportsbook revenue and diversify the offering.”
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