Esports Betting Sites UK 2020
Esports was previously regarded as the most popular sport that you have never heard of. However, this is no longer the case, with Esports being perhaps the fastest growing sport on the planet. It therefore comes as no surprise that Esports betting is now big business too. Esports matches surround multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) and first person shooter (FPS) games in most cases, however other options are available. The UK has taken to Esports in a big way, with many bookmakers now accepting bets on organizations, teams and players. This page will outline exactly how Esports betting works in the UK, including the best sites and its legality.
Betting Sites UK 2020
Esports betting allows punters to stake on organizations, teams and players in professional events. Real money betting is the most popular form of Esports betting, however some operators offer both skins and fantasy betting too. It is real money Esports betting in which we will be focusing on, as this is heavily regulated in the UK. Bets can be placed with traditional bookies and specialist Esports operators, with popular games including CS:GO, League of Legends and Dota 2.
Esports Betting in the UK
The UK has played a major role in the development of Esports, including when it comes to betting. Fans in the UK enjoy watching Esports matches, as well as betting on them, with the most popular markets surrounding FIFA, Overwatch and Fortnite, as well as the titles mentioned above. Punters in the UK are in a position to bet on both regional and international Esports events, which are also known as major and minor tournaments.
Those offering Esports betting markets must be licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission, meaning that it is mainly well-known bookies which are available. Based on figures from the Gambling Commission, some 8.5% of adults in the UK have placed a bet on Esports, 88% of which have been placed using real money. 58% of Esports betting customers in the UK are male, while 42% are female, demonstrating just how popular the industry is across the board.
Which Esports Events Can Be Bet On in the UK?
The list of available Esports betting markets in the UK is growing quickly. While previously punters were restricted to major events surrounding CS:GO, League of Legends, Dota 2 and Starcraft, matches from FIFA, Overwatch, Rocket League, Hearthstone, NBA 2K, Pro Evolution Soccer, Valorant, World of Tanks and Rainbow Six are now found on most betting sites too. Some bookies place a greater emphasis upon Esports than others, however the biggest names cover a large number of games and events.
What are the Most Popular Esports Betting Markets in the UK?
The number of available Esports markets will vary between betting sites. However, most will offer a host of pre-match, in-play and outright markets, including match winner, map winner, total maps, over/under maps, total kills, first blood, handicap and correct score. Those placing outright bets can bet on the winner of a specific event, as well as potentially which region the winner will come from. As with other sports markets, single and multiple bets can be placed, with an Esports accumulator being hugely popular too, requiring all selections to win in order for your bet to be successful. Meanwhile, when it comes to in-play Esports markets, odds are updated constantly, with many betting sites making it possible to watch the action live.
Is Esports Betting Legal in the UK?
The simple answer to this question is yes. However, in order for an operator to cater for the needs of punters in the UK, they must be licensed by the UK Gambling Commission. Some offshore bookies will not be available to customers in the UK, due to the fact that they do not hold such a license. It is generally clear as to which licenses a bookie holds, with the relevant logos appearing at the bottom of their betting site. Despite Esports being a somewhat unique betting market, it still falls under the same category as other events in terms of UK gambling laws. The Gambling Act of 2005 sets the rules in this area, which was developed by the Gambling Commission. Meanwhile, some operators offering skins betting are not regulated, so we recommend steering clear of these.
Best Betting Sites for Esports Betting Customers in the UK
While there are a number of appealing Esports betting sites for punters in the UK, there are some operators which stand out from the crowd, which generally come in the form of traditional bookies. If you know anything about betting then you will know of Bet365. The bookie was one of the first to add Esports markets, with their market coverage, competitiveness of odds and live streaming opportunities making them very attractive to potential customers. The Bet365 mobile app is also one of the best around, while those signing up can claim up to £100 in bonuses.
Betway is another excellent option for punters in the UK, with the bookie having a dedicated Esports page. Betway has developed a number of sponsorship deals within the industry, while they also offer promotions specific to Esports. CS:GO, League of Legends and Dota 2 feature heavily, however other games are covered too. Betway is perhaps the best operator when it comes to live Esports betting too, with excellent value to be found by those with a good knowledge of the teams involved.
Finally, another well-known bookie that has taken well to Esports is William Hill. The historic bookie offers a good number of Esports markets, while they also have Esports-specific promotions from time to time. William Hill has a fantastic reputation within the UK, with feedback being nothing but positive when it comes to security and payouts too.
How to Select the Best Esports Betting Site
For customers in the UK, there are a number of factors to consider before signing up at an Esports betting site. With operators offering a host of markets and features, it can be difficult to separate the best from the rest. However, our recommended Esports betting sites generally score highly in the following areas:
Markets – The best Esports betting sites cover both major and minor events from a host of titles. Fans of CS:GO, League of Legends, Dota 2, Starcraft are generally catered for, however those looking to bet on Rainbow Six, FIFA, Overwatch, Valorant and other games should also find what they are looking for. Pre-match, in-play and outright markets are available in total, with some matches coming with 50+ different options.
- Odds – The odds found at Esports betting sites will effect how much punters in the UK make when placing successful bets. While fractional odds are the preferred option for most customers in the UK, decimal and American formats are available too.
- Legal – As we have mentioned already, any Esports betting site targeting punters in the UK must be licensed by the Gambling Commission. On top of this, operators must also have a host of security measures in place, ensuring that customers are safe when betting.
- Streaming – Esports streaming is hugely popular, while it can be hugely beneficial to betting customers too. The top Esports betting sites stream the vast majority of matches live, with a qualifying bet or funded account being needed for customers to gain access.
- Mobile – iOS and Android devices are the most commonly used in the UK. As such, operators must make sure that Esports markets and features are easily accessible on such devices. Some will even offer a dedicated betting app.
- Support – With Esports bets being placed at all times, support should also be available day and night. Whether it be via the telephone, email, live chat or social media platforms, agents should be accessible in a short amount of time.
- Bonuses – The bonuses and promotions found at Esports betting sites will often be the first thing in which potential customers look at. Some will be specific to Esports, while most will be generic to all sports. Such promotions can include a welcome bonus, free bet, accumulator insurance or money back offer.
Payment Methods for Esports Betting Customers in the UK
In order to place real money Esports bets, customers must first deposit cash. With credit cards for gambling having been banned in the UK in April 2020, it is the following payment methods that are likely to be available on Esports betting sites:
- Debit Card – Whether it be a Visa or Mastercard debit card, this is perhaps the most popular form of depositing and withdrawing funds at Esports betting sites. This is a very secure option for punters, while debit cards are distributed by a large number of banks and other outlets.
- Skrill – Part of Paysafe Group, Skrill is a popular e-wallet that is now synonymous with the betting industry. Skrill is fast, secure and convenient, however deposits made using Skrill may make you ineligible for a welcome bonus when signing up on an Esports betting site.
- Neteller – Another e-wallet from the Paysafe Group is Neteller. With over two decades worth of experience, Neteller payments are hugely convenient, while punters are not required to add their bank or card details to betting account.
- PayPal – You are likely to be familiar with PayPal already. The online payment system has millions of users across the UK. Deposits are instant, while withdrawals are normally processed in under 24 hours.
- Other – Bank transfer, Apple Pay, Pay By Phone and Paysafecard are among the alternative payment methods available to UK customers at Esports betting sites.
Tips for Being Successful When Betting on Esports
In order to be successful at Esports betting, there are a number of factors to consider. This is why we have created the following Esports betting tips, designed to give you the best possible chance of winning on a consistent basis:
- Look at the Stats – Statistics can be very useful before placing an Esports bet. Information is readily available surrounding the form, standing and head to head records of the teams or players involved. Be sure to take advantage of it!
- Know When to Quit – The most successful Esports betting customers know when to call it a day. Your luck will not last forever, so be sure to restrict your betting, maximizing your chances of winning consistently in the process.
- Stick to a Budget – Based on your disposable income, develop and stick to a strict budget when betting on Esports. Also keep in mind that Esports betting should first and foremost be about enjoyment.
- Avoid Majors – Major Esports events do not always come with the most attractive odds. In fact, better value can often be found at minor tournaments, where perhaps not as much is known about the players involved.
- Stream Matches – Where possible, watch Esports matches as they take place. Esports matches are available to watch for free online on a host of platforms, including many betting sites.
Bottom Line on Esports Betting UK
You should now have a much clearer understanding of just how Esports betting in the UK works. Be sure to take a closer look at our recommended Esports betting sites, which must be licensed by the Gambling Commission to be legal in the UK. The number of markets and features surrounding Esports are growing rapidly, meaning that there has never been a better time to get involved. Be sure to also keep an eye on our site for the latest Esports promotions and Esports tips.
Esports Betting UK FAQ
Yes. However, Esports betting sites must be licensed by the UK Gambling Commission in order to accept customers from the UK. Be sure to look into this before signing up, with the bookies mentioned on this page being 100% legal.
There are a number of Esports betting sites available to punters in the UK today. However, some certainly stand out from the crowd, with Bet365, Betway and William Hill being among the operators to completely embrace the industry.
Yes! The vast majority of Esports betting sites are fully functional on mobile browsers. Meanwhile, Esports markets can also often be accessed via a dedicated mobile app, offered by many top bookies.
Yes. All Esports betting sites in the UK will offer some form of incentive to those signing up for a new account. This can range from a £10 free bet to a 200% matched deposit bonus, however always be sure to look into the terms and conditions surrounding promotions beforehand. Some come with strict or unrealistic wagering requirements and terms and conditions.
In many cases, yes. Live streaming is a service offered by many bookies in the UK. This means that Esports matches can be watched as they play out, whether it be to follow your picks or track potential live bets.