Betting in general and esports betting in particular are big money – and it’s going to get even bigger. New numbers from Valuates Reports suggest some pretty incredible numbers. Not only do they estimate that by 2026, esports will reach 186 billion USD, but also that there will be a 15.1% compound annual growth rate between now and then.
Valuate Reports is being conservative with their numbers – Market Insights puts the sums even higher, expecting as much a $207 billion by 2027, with a CAGR of 13.1% during the forecast time. That’s some pretty incredible numbers – but it’s really no surprise given that esports and espoerts betting have become incredibly popular.
With the 2020 lockdowns, a lot of betting fans moved away from traditional betting and sports betting because, well, there was no sports to bet on for some time. Instead they turned to something new – esports betting! There were already considerable numbers of esports betting fans before the pandemic, however when suddenly esports events were some of the only ones that happened, new fans came in.
Things snowballed and in no time at all, esports betting became so popular that a lot of online bookmakers started offering esports odds when they hadn’t previously. The Valuate Report said this: “The increasing popularity of video games is expected to drive the esports market size. The online gaming market is growing at a healthy pace due to factors such as increasing acceptance of advanced gaming technology, evolving customer entertainment preferences, rising income levels, and increasing demand for mobile gaming. Furthermore, the growing mobile penetration and increased internet access are expected to fuel the esports market size.”
Betting, gaming and streaming
Of course, with more and more people turning to esports due to lack of other hobbies that were available in 2020, new esports betting fans also flooded in from that angle, and people who never really cared about betting before started getting interested. A popular angle of this is the skin betting that a lot of players start with. Of course, real money betting in esports started to gain popularity as well.
At a similar rate, live streaming gained huge amounts of popularity, and even touched onto politics – with popular US reps Ilhan Omar and AOC taking part in a charity Among Us stream with some popular streamers in 2020. That year, more than 27 billion hours of esports content were watched on Twitch, YouTube and Facebook. Just for comparison – a century only has 876000 hours. In total, some 3 million years of content were watched in 2020.
It’s a truly mindboggling number of hours consumed – and of course, it goes a long way in explaining the 126 million USD that the esports betting market numbered in 2020 according to Market Insights. Whether the numbers will stay consistent until 2027 remains to be seen, however so far, trends seem to point only in one direction – up!