Research from global consumer research agency 2CV and market researcher ProdegeMR has revealed that esports gambling revenue is set to double from $7bn (€6.5bn) in 2019 to $14bn worldwide in 2020 as gamblers seek new avenues for betting during the Covid-19 crisis.

2CV and ProdegeMR’s survey of 1,028 gamblers aged 18-64 looked at how the pandemic has impacted the gambling climate and the role esports can play in driving revenues for the industry.

59 per cent of gamblers have reduced spend on gambling, with 32 per cent having actively looked for new things to bet on and 24 per cent having shifted their focus to other forms of gambling.

69 per cent of respondents said that they had reduced spend on sports gambling, with over half – 54 per cent – having stopped spending on sports gambling altogether.

The survey found that 36 per cent of gamblers have bet on esports in the last three months, with 30 per cent of consumers who are betting on esports having only started doing so within the last month. The research also found that 22 per cent of gamblers who have not previously tried betting on esports will consider betting on esports within the next three months, with football, motorsports and tennis proving to be the most popular choices.

62 per cent of respondents said that they needed more information on the sector before gambling on esports. 45 per cent said that esports did not have enough sports-based games, while the same percentage also cited the “assumption that they were more inclined to being fixed” as a reason for avoiding esports betting.

Other reasons given for not betting on esports included the assumption that they are less regulated than other sports, that they are two complicated and that it is “too geeky”.

Martin Bradley, research director in technology and entertainment at 2CV, said: “By 2022, the number of esports viewers is estimated to rise to 644 million worldwide, this is up from 454 million viewers in 2019. The Covid-19 pandemic has led to many forms of sports associated with gambling being cancelled or postponed but is also a big opportunity for esports to get in front of this audience.

“Short-term growth is likely to come from sport-based games, but there are huge opportunities to make this more long-term, as long as consumers are educated properly on esports and what it can offer, as well as considering which kinds of events are best suited to a particular audience.”

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