The Costa Rica-based, Curacao-licensed VitalBet, which launched this May, is powered by UltraPlay software and accepts eSports wagers in fiat currency or Bitcoin. VitalBet is now offering a live betting service on major eSports events like Counter Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends and StarCraft II.
UltraPlay CEO Dariy Margaritov says VitalBet will now be able to accept wagers on every round of an eSports event, with up to 84 different betting markets per event. Margaritov claims two more online sportsbooks will be adopting UltraPlay’s eSports live betting service over the next few weeks.
eSports betting is definitely coming out of its shell. Online gambling technology supplier Betgenius recently claimed to have scored an “industry first” with the launch of its pre-match and in-play eSports pricing engine. Betgenius CEO Mark Locke said the product would allow operators to fully automate pre-game wagering on hundreds of markets while the software is also capable of generating accurate in-play betting odds.
Last month, UK-licensed Betway launched its own dedicated eSports betting portal. Betway marketing director Anthony Werkman said eSports routinely placed in the company’s top-10 sports in betting turnover and the company was taking “high four-figure bets” on a variety of different eSports events.
Online betting mainstay Pinnacle Sports was an early advocate for eSports betting, having accepted its first eSports wager in 2010 and taking its one millionth such wager – including live bets – last December. Pinnacle customer engagement manager Mirio Mella suggested the 2m bet milestone would be attained “much, much faster,” as eSports has grown to become Pinnacle’s seventh biggest sports by wagering volume in 2014. In March, Pinnacle bolstered its eSports bona fides by striking a deal to sponsor Team Empire’s successful Dota2 team.
A recent Eilers Research report projected that all major UK bookies would be offering eSports wagers by 2017 and that global eSports betting handle could top $23.5b by 2020.