On the face of it, changing your mindset from betting on or competing in standard sports, to doing the same but on esports, seems a relatively simple task. But many punters and professionals are finding out that this is not always the case.
For some providers, especially those that tend to offer traditional sports betting markets, the decimation of the sports industry across the globe has left them with little or no markets to offer. In such times, these companies have started to look to esports to offer them as an alternative to standard sports betting.
Maltese Regulator Warning
However, that move has come with a warning from the Malta Gaming Authority, who have cautioned against sports betting licensees offering “betting on events with different risk profiles to those traditionally offered” which they feel may not be available “to the same professional degree as the more traditional sporting events.”
A number of issues have been reported for bookmakers to consider, including whether events are actually being played live (or if they have been pre-recorded, or if they are being shown with a delay).
They have also urged bookmakers to check that any markets in the esports industry that they do offer betting on, are based on regulated, professional tournaments, where the integrity is less open to question.
The MGA have also called for sites to make it clear the difference between esports betting and Virtual Sports betting.
The feeling in Malta seems to be that bookies could excess less caution in offering some esports betting markets to customers in an attempt to at least offer some form of betting on their platform, but in doing so, they could expose themselves to undue risk.
Change of Mindset for Competitors Too
It is not just punters and betting sites that are having to come to terms with the change in focus from sports betting to esports betting. There is also an issue for some of the competitors, and it was brought into sharp focus this past weekend in the NASCAR iRacing series.
With over a million people tuning in to watch the most popular esports broadcast in American history, the NASCAR Pro-Invitational event, the virtual Food City Showdown at Bristol Motor Speedway, Darrel “Bubba” Wallace made what is being regarded as an amateurish and expensive faux-pas.
With the largest esports audience in American history watching on, Wallace tangled with Stewart-Haas driver Clint Bowyer on Lap 11 of the race and although Bowyer came out worse in the incident, the action prompted Wallace to comment as he parked the car at the side of the circuit.
“Y’all have a good one. That’s it. This is why I don’t take this sh*t serious. Peace out.”
The driver then rage quit the race with over 90% of the race still remaining, drawing a furious response from fans and with one of his main sponsor’s Blue-Emu watching on, he soon found out his actions would be costly, as they withdrew their sponsorship, adding pointedly that it wanted to back “drivers, not quitters.”
While in these times of great change of focus, common sense still very much applies within the sports and esports betting industries. Also, assuming punters exercise the same sensible approach to betting on these events, as the sites should do in offering them, esports betting still offers a good way to bet during the current crisis.
Just hope though that the person you back doesn’t decide to rage quit during the game!