Four Suggestions for Bookmakers Considering to Enter Esports

As mentioned in a previous post, we sometimes talk to bookmakers, that express concerns about the esports market.

Although some of these concerns may be valid, the market  still has great potential for bookmakers – both now and in the long run.

To follow up on the concerns, here are four suggestions for bookmakers considering esports as their new market:

1. Reduce the Barrier of Entry

There will always be a substantial investment for a bookmaker to cover a new sport. This is also the case for esports. Still,  there are ways to reduce the financial barrier of entry into esports significantly. 

First of all, it is key to find a data provider that has an automated data collecting process as this will ensure they can deliver fast and reliable esports data while still offering a broad coverage. All of these qualities can help bookmakers automate scheduling and resulting processes and reduce human errors, eliminate work hours, and lower turn-around times on markets which allows punters to reinvest winnings faster while expanding market coverage.

Second, staying compliant with the latest regulation can be time-consuming and difficult, so finding an esports solutions provider with services aimed at this will be helpful in the long run. Recent legislation has made it illegal to offer betting on matches where a majority of players are under 18 years old and checking matches  for underage players manually takes time.

Thanks to GameScorekeeper’s data collection processes, we have the fastest, broadest, and most accurate esports data on the market. We cover the large majority of the esports market and are already helping a number of the world’s leading bookmakers with scheduling and resulting. Also, we have developed a Player Age Report service, that keeps bookmakers updated on which matches are safe to offer bets on in age-regulated markets through email, API or Slack.

GameScorekeeper's age report service

2. Identify the Game Titles That Work for you

Depending on the strategy, different game titles may be relevant for different bookmakers. When identifying which games to cover, bookmakers should consider the following:

  • Has the game title been able to sustain and grow its audience over time?
  • Has teams and organisers focusing on the game title been able to attract investments, indicating long-term profitability?
  • Does the game have a structure that makes it a good spectator sport?

Based on these criteria, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, and Dota 2 should be covered by any bookmaker offering esports betting. These three games have passed the test of time by sustaining and growing huge audiences for decades, and they have attracted attention and investments from a wide range of major bands.  Furthermore, their traditional one-side-versus-the-other structure allows tournaments and leagues to work as they do in traditional sports. This makes the games easier to understand for new viewers and easier to cover for bookmakers.

Top 5 games watched on twitch


Newzoo 2020: Global Esports Market Report

To learn more, check out our previous blog post about The Most Attractive Esports Titles for Bookmakers.

3. Offer Something More Than Just Betting Markets

The esports audience wants engaging and creative content, and the most successful actors in esports know this. Every second that you keep a customer entertained on your site increases the value of that customer.

Video content works extremely well when trying to capture the attention of the esports audience. We found this out ourselves as we were able to grow our follower base on Instagram with more than 600 % by switching from image-based contant to video content. For bookmakers, an idea could, therefore, be to compliment their betting offering with live streams and relevant stats.

This is easily done with GameScorekeeper’s Live Scoreboard, which allows you to deliver live streams and in-game statistics on your betting website or application right beside your odds.

A different strategy could be to have, insights, esports news, and tips and guides for esports betting on your betting website. This was Pinnacle’s strategy when they launched their esports hub in 2017. To complement one of the most comprehensive esports offerings on the market, they created an engaging esports universe packed with articles, insights, analysis, and betting guides for esports. Offering something more than just betting markets, helped Pinnacle become one of the leading actors on the esports betting scene. They have already accepted more than 15.000.000 esports bets, and they project that esports will surpass almost all other sports within a few years with soccer being the only exception.

Pinnacle's road to 15 million esports bets

Another great example of creatively reaching esports bettors is Betway’s free-to-play prediction game 4 To Frag. Here, customers predict which players will get the first frag/kill in selected games. Although the game is completely free, it helps Betway reach the esports audience.

Betway's 4 to Frag

4. Market Your Esports Product Right

The majority of the esports audience is between 18-35, and part of a demography that can be extremely difficult to reach. Therefore, it is vital for bookmakers to market their product right. The esports audience is part of a younger generation whose media habits differ significantly from those of previous generations, and as digital natives, the esports audience is less dependent on traditional media. Affiliate marketing, social media promotions, relevant esports content to boost seo and other digital marketing strategies are all potential tools to reach the audience.