The passion for Esports is global. The worldwide Esports audience in 2022 amounted to 523 million people, and by 2025, there are expected to be over 640 million viewers around the world. In the United States, this growing trend has led to the emergence of professional video game competitions, with tournaments and leagues that can be watched live on channels such as Twitch and YouTube Gaming. In this sense, Esports has become an industry that generates huge profits not only for the video game market, but also for online bookmakers.
NEW YORK, A BOOMING ESPORTS MARKET
Back in 2019, for example, the U.S. Esports market approached USD 1 billion per year for the first time, with a year-on-year growth of 26.7%. Another recent study by Action Network shows that New York ranks No. 4 in terms of states with the highest Esports earnings, after California, Texas, and Pennsylvania.
Although this virtual sport is not yet at the level of sports leagues such as the NFL and the NBA, during 2022, the Esports market was estimated to be worth USD 1.38 billion globally. By 2025, this segment is forecast to expand to USD 1.87 billion globally, according to data from Statista.
WHICH GAMES ARE THE MOST POPULAR IN THE CITY?
New York has hosted many Esports events and tournaments held at Madison Square Garden or the Barclays Center, where ESL One, one of the largest annual tournaments in the world, generally takes place. More and more professional gamers from all over the world gather at these events in New York to compete for cash prizes and become famous on their digital channels. In addition, there are several gaming leagues where teams go head-to-head throughout the year.
Some of the most popular and professionally recognized games in New York are League of Legends (LoL), Fortnite, Call of Duty, DotA 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), SMITE, Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone, and Overwatch. All of them have competitions, events, and streamers in the city, and fans can enjoy fighting games like Super Smash Bros. to sports simulations like Madden NFL.
ESPORTS REGULATION: CAN YOU BET ONLINE IN NEW YORK?
New York is a state where Esports are regulated and certain rules and regulations apply to them. So they are by no means illegal per se. However, online Esports betting has not yet been fully legalized there, although sports betting and Daily Fantasy Sports are available in the state and there are nine sportsbooks and sports betting apps in New York that offer these services.
When considering the whole United States regulation, Esports betting is completely legal in four states: Nevada, New Jersey, Tennessee, and West Virginia. What does that mean? That if you want to bet on Esports, a good alternative is to go to a neighboring state.
WHICH BOOKMAKERS OFFER ESPORTS?
Operators and sportsbooks are constantly working on integrating Esports betting into their offers. DraftKings, Betway, FanDuel, bet365, William Hill, LeoVegas and Pinnacle are some of the operators currently offering Esports betting to their customers in the United States.
Regarding New York, the Esports section will most likely not yet be available if you live in the state. Therefore, we recommend that you download the apps to your smartphone, create an account and go out of state to bet on Esports that is geolocated in New Jersey. Esports betting is legal there after receiving approval from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE), and you don’t have to be a resident to enjoy it. Please notice that FanDuel Esports’ betting section is limited to offering betting markets on League of Legends (LOL) tournaments only. LOL markets can be accessed through your fantasy sportsbook.
DAILY FANTASY SPORTS: A PERFECT ALTERNATIVE TO ESPORTS
DFS or Daily Fantasy Sports are legal in all states where you can bet, so it’s a good option if you miss betting on Esports. Companies like FanDuel and DraftKings, for example, allow you to bet on DFS in 45 US states, including New York, with the exception of Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Washington.
These are real competition games (NFL, NBA, MLB) in which you will have to create a virtual fictitious team by mixing real players that do not play in the same team or franchise of the league. To win, the performance in real events of each player is taken into account and, therefore, your team will accumulate points depending on statistics such as goals, assists, baskets, etc.