Esports is fast becoming one of the world’s most popular spectator sports. While the idea of competitive video games might sound strange to anyone over the age of 40, for young people esports has now overtaken globally popular sports like football and motorsports to become one of the main leisure activities. As you might expect, this has led to an explosion in the type of esports betting UK punters can enjoy.
Top Esports Betting Sites in the UK:
We’ll also tell you a bit about the various British bookmakers which offer esports betting to their punters, and the welcome bonuses that they use to tempt you to open an account with them. By the time you have read our guide, you should be able to find the good esports betting sites UK punters can use. You should easily be able to find legal betting sites in the UK for esports, and have a good understanding of how the process of placing esports bets in the UK works.
An overview of the types of esports betting UK punters can enjoy
Esports betting is still in its infancy, especially in the United Kingdom. While esports is growing in the UK, it is yet to reach the mainstream popularity that it has found in parts of Asia, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia. Nevertheless, it is fast on the rise, with esports players becoming better known all the time across a wider spectrum of people.
Bookies have spotted the chance to offer markets on esports to fans of the phenomenon, though many of the more mainstream operators have been a little slow to offer a full range of esports markets. That situation is fast improving, though, and you can find plenty of esports markets at bookies like Betway and 10Bet now, while Unibet and Bet-at-Home are also coming to the esports party now. The race to be the best esports betting site UK punters can find is heating up.
Esports bookies operating in the UKWhile many bookies have yet to really embrace the growing phenomenon of esports, you can find a an fast-growing range of bookies who offer plenty of markets on a wide variety of esports games and gaming tournaments. As you can read in our Betway Review, Betway has been one bookie which has led the way when it comes to offering esports markets, and they have also sponsored the Ninjas in Pyjamas esports team. Bet365 is another of the mainstream UK bookies that offers plenty of markets for esports betting fans, as is 10Bet.
As well as the mainstream sports betting bookies, though, you can also bet using one of the many specialist esports bookies who now operate on the global market. If you choose to open an account with one of these bookies, you need to be very careful about the licence that they hold, if you are looking for legal betting sites in the UK for esports. To operate legally in the UK, a bookie must hold a licence from the UK Gambling Commission, something we will discuss in more detail later in this article. But the likes of Pinnacle, Thunderpick, Cyberbet and Esportsbetting.com are all sites that specialise in esports betting.
Esports you can bet on in the UK
The range of esports on which you can bet in the UK has grown noticeably over the last two or three years. On the best esports betting site UK customers can use you will find plenty of different games covered. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive remains one of the more popular games with esports betting punters, as does League of Legends. Defense of the Ancients 2 remains a steady favourite too, and Fortnite betting markets have also started to appear at some sites. If you find the best esports betting site UK bettors can use, you will also find games like King of Glory and Hearthstone have markets available for them. You can also wager on sports games like NBA 2K and FIFA football, increasing the variety yet further.
Types of bet you can place on esports
When it comes to the types of bet that you can place on esports, there is a full range of options. If you are familiar with betting on more conventional sports, most of the bet types will be very familiar to you. By far the simplest form of esports bets UK punters can place is match betting. This is when you bet on the outcome of a match, usually in a tournament. It is a very simple form of betting, and one that is highly suitable for newcomers to the world of sports betting.
Accumulators are a type of betting that you can use as you gain more experience as a punter. This is where you can combine several bets on one coupon. The odds from the bets are multiplied together, with the winnings from one bet being used as the stake in the next bet on the coupon. This roll continues until one of the bets on the coupon loses, which is when the whole bet loses. You need every bet on the accumulator to come in successfully for you to collect the full winnings on offer. Just one bet failing will mean that you lose your stake, so you need to choose which bets go on an accumulator very carefully indeed.
Esport specific bets, where you wager on events in matches that are specific to the esport you are watching, are another option. This type of bet might be on which team wins the first map in a CS:GO betting contest, or which player on a team will record the most kills. Obviously, this type of betting is best for someone with good overall knowledge of the particular esport on which they want to wager.
In-play betting is another form of betting that lends itself to esports. This is where you bet on events within the game, like which player will make the next kill or which team will win the next map, while the contest is taking place. Obviously, it helps if you are watching the match on a live stream when it comes to this type of betting.
Is it legal to bet on esports in the United Kingdom?
The simple answer to the question of whether it is legal or not to bet on esports in the UK is ‘yes’. Plenty of bookmakers offer markets on esports betting UK customers can enjoy. You do need to check on the licence that the bookie holds, though. Some bookies that are not based in the UK may offer markets, and give you the opportunity to open an account, but if they are not licensed by the UK Gambling Commission you cannot use them to bet legally on anything.
The UK Gambling Commission and esports
When it comes to finding esports betting sites UK punters can use legally, it is important to look at the licence that a bookmaker holds. They should display this information pretty prominently, and you can usually find it at the bottom of a bookmaker’s homepage, right at the bottom in the small print. A bookmaker’s website will also often feature information about the licence in the help section. Wherever it is located, it is vital that you find licensing information before you open an account with a bookie.
Esports is still relatively new in betting terms, especially when compared to sports like horse racing or cricket, on which people have been betting for literally centuries. Some bookies, especially those that are based overseas and specialise in esports betting, do not hold a licence to operate legally in the UK.
For a bookie to operate legally in the United Kingdom, they need to hold a licence from the British Gambling Commission. This was set up in 2005 as part of the Gambling Act 2005, and it regulates all commercial gambling in the United Kingdom, including the National Lottery. If a betting website does not hold a licence from this body, it is unlikely to be legal to bet with them, and you should avoid opening an account with that particular bookie.
Payment methods you can use for esports betting
When it comes to the payment methods that can be used for your esports betting account, you have plenty of options. Here are some of them:
Visa credit and debit cards
Visa is one of the world’s most recognisable brands when it comes to credit and debit cards. Very secure, thanks to the massive global security systems operated by Visa themselves, convenience and safety are the main selling points of this payment method, and it is widely accepted by bookies across the world.
Mastercard debit and credit cards
Like Visa, Mastercard debit and credit cards are accepted at most bookies across the world. They offer great convenience and security.
Skrill is one of the world’s most widely used ewallets, and works in a very similar way to Paypal, which many people might be more familiar with. While it offers security and convenience, using Skrill can sometimes disqualify you from claiming any welcome bonuses that the bookie may be offering to new customers.
Like Skrill, Neteller is an ewallet that is widely accepted as a payment method at esports betting sites UK punters can use. As with Skrill, using Neteller can sometimes prevent you from taking full advantage of any welcome bonuses that the bookie may be offering.
PayPal is the world’s best known ewallet, and offers superb functionality and convenience. While this payment method has not been embraced by bookmakers to the same extent that retailers love and use it, it can still be used to fund your account at a significant number of bookmakers.
Tips for successful esports betting
If you have any experience at all of esports betting, you will know that there are no secret tips or magic tricks that can be used to bring automatic success. Every type of betting is based on risk, and the longer the odds, the greater the risk. Many inexperienced punters like to think that long odds are a guarantee of a big win. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Long odds are there to warn you that an event is unlikely to happen, not give you a big cash prize.
So when it comes to being successful at the types of esports betting UK punters can enjoy, you need to do the same as successful bettors in any other sport do. You need to know as much as possible about the esports that you like to bet on. Study the players and the teams in detail, and follow their results as much as you can. Any and all knowledge that you can pick up will give you an edge when it comes to placing successful bets. Even knowing things like whether a team’s key player has just broken up with their partner can be of use, as things like that will always affect a player’s mindset. Successful punters use these nuggets of knowledge to their advantage.
You should have a pretty good idea now about the best esports betting site UK customers can use, as well as knowing a little more about how to place bets on esports, and which esports bookies offer markets on. Hopefully, you will also have picked up some of the basics of how to formulate a betting strategy, and how important knowledge is to successful wagering.
Remember that EsportsBets is your best source of knowledge when it comes to esports betting. If you want to discover all the best esports betting sites UK customers can bet on, as well as finding all the extra knowledge you need to be a successful punter in the ever-changing, fast-moving world of esports, you need to bookmark Esportsbet.com. We look forward to seeing you again soon at the home of esports betting in the UK!