What are the best betting sites for esports?Answering the question of what are the best betting sites for esports is quite a task, and any ranking system is bound to be subjective. Our ratings for the major esports gambling sites are no exception. To help place our esportsbook ratings into perspective, we’ve identified the primary factors that we consider when building a rating for any individual esportsbook. Obviously, some factors may be more important to specific players than others, but we believe these are the basic questions players should be asking when considering if an online sportsbook is right for them.
Our esports betting sites reviews
- 22Bet Esports
- Bet365 Esports
- Betsafe Esports
- Betsson Review
- Betway Esports
- Betwinner Esports
- Bitcasino Review
- BUFF.bet Esports
- Casinozer Review
- Casumo Esports
- Cobracasino Review
- Cyber.bet Esports
- DraftKings Esports
- FEZbet Esports
- GGBet Esports
- LeoVegas Esports
- Loot.Bet Esports
- Luckbox Esports
- NordicBet Esports
- Pinnacle Esports
- PNXBET Esports
- Powbet Review
- Rabona Review
- Sportsbet.io Review
- Thunderpick Esports
- TonyBet Esports
- Vie.bet Esports
Primary factors we consider when rating
One of the great things about the modern online sports betting industry is that it’s much harder for a rogue site to stay alive than it was a decade ago. Today, a simple Google search is often enough to unearth the questionable past of an operator (if such a past exists), social signals such as Twitter and Facebook interactions can provide a further window into the legitimacy of a betting operator, and consumer reviews from a variety of outlets are only a click away.
The reputation of an operator, and the tenure behind that reputation, are foundational pieces of our ratings and betting sites reviews.
Fund access and security for esports bettors
- How easy is it for players to request withdrawals?
- What are the turnaround times for cashing out?
- What do players have to say about their experiences with cashing out via social media and forums?
- How many options are there for getting money on and off the site?
- What is the site’s policy regarding player funds – are they held in a segregated account?
The answers to these questions are a significant part of the analysis that goes in to assigning our ratings for esports betting sites.
Variety of esports coverage
Once you’ve established that you feel comfortable trusting an online sportsbook with your information and funds, the next step is considering how the lineup offered by a given sportsbook coordinates with your esports interest.
We recognize that offering a lot of esports isn’t the same as offering the best betting product, but we do provide a ratings boost to operators who combine a quality product with broad product coverage, as most gamers and esports fans don’t limit their interest to only one title.
Scope of esports gambling product
This criterion is highly subjective, as different players will prefer different types of bets. Some players are happy with match betting at low limits. Others prefer high-stakes wagering on exotic outcomes. We assign a minor weight to this factor in recognition of the fact that there is no single best betting menu for all players, but also with a nod to the reality that the broadest menu will likely satisfy the widest audience.
Esportsbooks vs traditional sportsbooks
The esports betting landscape contains both traditional online sportsbooks (like Betway, 10bet and bet365) that offer esports alongside other sports like football and tennis and esports-first sportsbooks (such as GG.bet) with a primary (or even a completely exclusive) focus on esports.
The points that favor esports-first sportsbooks:
- esports-first books will generally offer broader esports coverage.
- esports-first books will often provide more esports streaming or other content around the betting product.
- esports-first books may provide a more familiar experience for a gamer or esports fan than a traditional sportsbook.
On the other side of the coin:
- Traditional sportsbooks are generally more established.
- Traditional sportsbooks tend to serve more markets than esports-first books.
- Limits are often higher at traditional books like Pinnacle.
Fundamentally, your choice should always come down primarily to the site where you feel most comfortable, and then to the site that provides the product that best matches your needs. On those points, there’s no reason why either an esports-first book or a traditional sportsbook would be inherently superior.
Sportsbook betting vs lounge/skin betting
Informal betting sites site as CSGOLounge are popular options for gamers. We believe there are a number of advantages to choosing to bet at an esportsbook.
Informal markets are just that – informal. You often have little idea who is actually behind the site or insight into the inherent fairness of the site. You also don’t necessarily have a path for recourse if something goes wrong with your bet or your balance.
There’s also the problem of turning in-game items into cash. Not all players have an interest in betting in-game items as a way to generate a cash return. But for those who do, transferring items into cash is a difficult, time-consuming and often risky endeavor.
Moving your betting to a mainstream sportsbook mitigates both of those concerns. You get to work with an operator that is often heavily licensed and regulated – in fact, many of the sports betting operators we list are publicly-traded companies. That provides a level of transparency and assurance that you’re never going to get with informal betting markets. And since you’re dealing in cash the whole time, there’s no concern about price volatility or the hassle of selling your items.
Read more about popular, safe alternatives to CSGO skin gambling.
Opening bonuses at esports casinos and sportsbooks
In addition to VIP programs and other ongoing promotions, esports casinos sites typically offer new players some sort of sign-up incentive. These incentives range dramatically from sportsbook to sportsbook, and the terms and conditions behind the bonuses can often make it difficult to accurately compare the values of competing bonuses with just a surface analysis. Below we offer a brief guide to interpreting the most common – and most critical – terms and conditions associated with bonuses for new players at esports casinos and sports books.
All esports gambling promotions have terms and conditions (aka, the fine print). The terms are often minor, but can be significant. We strongly encourage players to read the fine print and to ask operators questions if they’re unclear on any aspect of a promotional offer.
We especially stress two common conditions of opening bonuses that all players should be aware of: 1) expiration dates (many bonuses are only available for a limited time and may additionally need to be earned within a limited time period) and 2) playthrough (many bonuses require you to wager an amount relative to the bonus before the bonus can be used or withdrawn).
Deposit bonuses at esports casinos
Deposit bonuses are not entirely unlike free bet bonuses, but they tend to involve larger amounts of money and slightly more complicated terms for unlocking that money.
- Minimum Deposit: There is usually a floor for match bonuses, meaning you must deposit at least some minimum amount.
- Bonus Rate: There’s typically a percentage attached to a bonus – that’s the match rate. Whatever you deposit will be “matched” by that rate (up to the limit on the bonus).
- Bonus Limit: The cap on the bonus.
- Wagering Requirement: Changing bonus funds into playable funds requires you to wager a certain amount of real money.
- Window: There is usually some time frame involved, both for collecting the bonus and for earning it.
A great example of a first-time deposit bonus for esports bettors comes from GG.bet. Here’s how you can claim the bonus.
- Create your GG.bet account.
- Make your first deposit of between €10 and €200 into your GG.bet account.
- When you make your first deposit it is eligible for a 100% Matched Deposit bonus on deposits from €10 to €200.
- Once your deposit is cleared, your bonus will be credited to you. Bonus funds will only be used once you have played through your cash deposit (and associated winnings).
- Your deposit and bonus come with a 20x wagering requirement, which must be completed within 14 days of activating the offer.
- Qualifying bets for the wagering requirement must be made on esports markets with odds of 1.75 or higher.
- The maximum amount you can release from this bonus is capped at €200.
Generally speaking, deposit bonuses tend to be product agnostic – meaning you don’t need to bet on any particular kind of sport or make any specific kind of wager (save the minimum odds requirements) in order to earn the bonus.
Often promotions offered by bookmakers can be linked to a particular sport, or even a particular sporting event. For example, the start of the Premier League will always see a slew of football-related promotions to encourage fans to have a wager on the competition.
Over the years, we have seen a similar focus on key esports and esports events where betting sites have offered promotions and other bonuses to customers to attract them to make bets. In fact, it is rare now for an esports betting site not to offer a promotion for events such as the League of Legends World Championships, the PGL Majors (CSGO) or The International (Dota 2) events.
Furthermore, with an increasing number of betting sites becoming far more involved in the esports industry, sponsoring teams and even whole tournaments, many sites, when they do this, will also offer specific promotions and bonuses on events that they have sponsored to their customers. A good example of this is Betway, who sponsored the BLAST Premier tournament and who offered a range of promotions on the event, including Odds Boost bets and extra betting markets.
Not all sportsbooks offer such promotions. For example, Pinnacle esports does not provide deposit bonuses or free bets. Instead, the company focuses on offering the best odds available in lieu of giving indirect value to bettors via signup promotions or similar incentives.
Free esports bets at sportsbooks
The term “free bet” actually describes a wide class of promotions with unique terms. Generally speaking, the concept behind the free bet either comes down to:
- The sportsbook giving you some funds upfront that can be used to make a wager (but can’t be withdrawn), or
- The sportsbook rebating your first bet (or bets) should those bets end up not working out in our favor.
Nothing too complicated at work here. The sportsbook knows that if you take their free bet – which is often a relatively small amount of money – then there’s a good chance you’ll become a customer. We’re all creatures of habit, and once we’ve tried a place, we’re more likely to return. In the scenario where the book guarantees your initial bet, they have some additional upside – the customer is happy when they win, and happy when they lose as well. That sounds like a customer who is likely to come back.
The terms and conditions for free bets are unique to each offer. Here are some of the basic facets typically found in terms and conditions to give you an idea of what’s in play:
- New Customers: As the name suggests, welcome bonuses or new customers bonuses are only available to players who haven’t already made an account.
- Playthrough: The sportsbook may require that you wager a set amount of money before your bonus becomes money that you can cash out. This is a common practice that is used to deter bonus fraud by esportsbooks.
- Odds or over: Free bets will often come with a requirement that the player place a wager involving some minimum odds or greater.
- Account confirmation: The operator may require some verification of your identity before processing a bonus (again, a fraud prevention measure)
- Eligibility Window: There may be a limited amount of time after you sign up that the sportsbook allows you to claim the bonus.
- Bonus Expiration: The esportsbook may set a limit on how long you have to earn the bonus or complete the requirements attached to the bonus.
Here’s an example. Betway esports offers a free bet of up to £30/€30/$30. To earn it, you must:
- Create an account.
- Deposit a minimum of £10/€10/$10 using approved payment methods within 7 days.
- The free bet will then be automatically credited to your account.
- You must place bets totaling the value of your deposit.
- You have 7 days to use the free bet.
- The free bet can only be used in a single wager.
- Free bet stake not included in any returns.
Online sportsbooks aren’t as generous with free bets as they once were. But with esports betting on the rise, we could see competition between top esports betting sites bring the free bet back into vogue.
Esports betting options by country
Esports betting is readily available in clearly-regulated markets such as the United Kingdom. Bettors from the UK should confirm that an operator is licensed by the UKGC if the site is offering services to players from the UK.
A number of widely-licensed, global operators such as bet365 offer esports, ensuring that the product is available in at least some form in most regulated markets.
Some markets have either an absence of law regarding online sports betting or deep ambiguity in their law regarding such activity. In these markets, legality is fluid and different operators take different approaches to activity in the market, but a number of esports betting options at well-regarded sites are available.
We advise players in these markets to approach the activity with caution, confirm local law regarding potential criminal liability as a player, and prefer esports betting options that are licensed in an established jurisdiction like the UK.
In certain markets, such as South Korea and other countries, online sports and esports betting is illegal by authorities. While there are ways and means that citizens of these countries can circumvent these rules, we do not advise players from such parts of the world to wager on esports online and we do try to ensure that none of our providers or operators promote in these markets.
However, in other parts of the world, the betting landscape is changing and changing rapidly. The United States is a good example of this and previously, where sports and esports betting was widely considered to be illegal, a large number of individual states have now not only legalised sports betting, but are starting the process to legalize esports betting too.
New Jersey is a great example of this, with it first legalizing sports betting last year, and then esports betting followed in January 2022.
Given the fluid situation in the United States, with many more states expected to join the growing number that have already or will legalize sports betting and/or casino gaming, it is very likely that esports betting will continue to grow in popularity in these states too over the next few years in particular.
As such, we advise you to check back to the site regularly for the latest news about other states and countries that are now starting the process, or have fully legalized, sports and esports betting.
Do all sites offer the same matches?
While a number of different operators offer a variety of esports betting products, there is a real difference in the coverage of major esports games from one site to the next.
Check out our esports odds tracker to get a sense of who is offering what.
Why don’t all sites offer all esports?
Despite the fact that Pinnacle took the first esports bet way back in 2010, the truth is that esports betting is still a relatively new phenomenon. That means some books are moving cautiously, and just trying out some of the more popular, proven esports. So while you’ll find quite a few esports listed at books who have been working on esports for some time (like Pinnacle and Betway), you’ll likely find far fewer at a site such as bet365 where esports are only starting to become a focus point.
The newness of esports betting also means that there is a limited understanding of how the markets for individual esports should be priced – it’s not like football or golf where there are entire industries already built around providing data and pricing for betting on live events. esports betting involves a learning curve for online sportsbooks, and that learning curve means that it will be some time before all major esports are covered by all online sportsbooks.
If a site offers an esport, does that mean it offers betting on all matches?
Not necessarily. Again, some online sportsbooks are basically dipping their toes in the water when it comes to eSports, so they may choose to only focus on the major events like The International while neglecting to offer fixtures on smaller events. We are developing an esports odds tracker that will allow you to get a quick view of where events are or aren’t being offered.
How can I tell if a site offers in-play or other advanced wagering on an esport title?
Generally speaking, the more focus a sportsbook places on esports, the greater variety of wagers that you’re going to find at that book. So sites like Thunderpick, Rivalry and GG.bet are all going to have more exotic wagers and a greater array of betting options, such as in-play betting, than sportsbooks like 10Bet and Ladbrokes that are still growing into their esports offering.
Is esports betting any different legally than sports betting?
The answer to this question is that it depends entirely on the country or state where you live.
In many parts of the world, there appears to be no difference between the legality of esports betting and sports betting. For example, in many parts of the world, providers that offer both, such as Betway, William Hill, Ladbrokes, GG.bet and many more, will offer markets side by side with no restrictions on one type of bet over another.
Equally, in other parts of the world where sports betting is not permitted, it is safe to assume that esports betting is not allowed too.
However, there are countries, like the United States, where sports betting and esports betting are being treated slightly differently by individual states and their lawmakers. In many US states for example, sports betting is now being permitted legally, but esports, as yet is not.
That said, in January 2022, New Jersey passed a bill to allow esports betting, with certain restrictions in place, alongside sports betting. It is likely, depending on the popularity of the markets and how much revenue it generates, that many other states where sports betting is permitted (such as Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West. Virginia, Iowa, Colorado, Michigan and many more) that specific legislation regarding esports betting may well follow over the next few months and years.
However, the best and simplest way to check if esports betting is legal in your place of residence is to head to a popular sports book service and see if esports are included as an option. If it is, then you are pretty safe to assume esports betting is legal where you live.