Esports betting in the USA

How esports betting works in the USA

The popularity of esports has seen major growth inside of the USA. Statista projects that esports viewership in the USA will reach approximately 46 million by 2023. As viewership numbers in the USA grow, so does esports betting activity.

A good idea is to become familiar with US betting laws if you are a resident and wish to place bets on esports matches. US betting laws are complex to learn, so take your time when reading through them.

Betting laws will vary state-to-state, meaning esports betting is totally legal in some states, regulated in others, and illegal in the rest. Knowing these laws will help you navigate the esports betting scene without worrying about bad decisions.

Regulations and licensing

For most people, understanding the betting laws in the USA is difficult. Most of the country has deemed sports betting to be illegal. Even bookmakers that are well-known in the USA are limited by state laws.

The good news is that state politicians are working to pass laws to loosen the restrictions on esports betting. New Jersey is one of four states to make esports betting legal.

The states where esports betting is completely legal are Nevada, New Jersey, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Certain states regulate esports betting, meaning that certain rules and restrictions apply, but is not completely illegal. The states where esports betting is regulated include Arkansas, Delaware, New York, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Rhode Island, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, and Pennsylvania.

Regardless of the state you live in, always make sure to do research on your state’s betting laws. Doing so will help you avoid potential complications with bookmakers.

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Choosing an esports bookmaker

When it comes to choosing an esports bookmaker, you must know the site you are dealing with. Since esports betting laws differ state-to-state, knowing which sites are legit will help prevent problems.

Although there are plenty of trustworthy esports bookmaking sites, there are many you need to avoid. Avoid using sites that have not obtained legal licensing from competitive leagues and are unregulated by the state. Using these sites will put your personal information and deposits at risk.

Before placing any bets, know of the types of platforms that exist. Certain bookmaker sites are hybrids while others are esports-first sites. Hybrid sites include other sporting leagues to bet on while esports-first sites are strictly only for esports betting.

Once you decide on either a hybrid or esports-first platform, you should pick a betting market to start in. League of Legends (LoL), Counter-strike: Global Offensive(CS:GO), and Defense of the Ancients 2 (Dota 2), are a few betting markets to look at.

Finally, you’ll need to look into trusted platforms that offer the betting market you want. Draftkings is one platform that offers esports and has a good reputation.

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Betting odds and types of wager

You should become familiar with types of esports wagers and betting odds if you are serious about winning esports bets. The most commonly seen wagers offered by betting platforms are match-winner, outright betting, over/under bet, odd/even bet, and correct score.

Certain wagers are exclusive to a specific game. Some game-exclusive bets you will see are “Team to destroy first tower” for LoL, “Total maps played” for CS:GO, and “Team to kill first Roshan” for DOTA 2. Some esports betting sites offer “alternative bets”, which provide you with even more betting options.

USA betting sites may use different terminologies to describe wager types. Be aware that although these terms might differ, they are the same as the most common wagers.

Learning how to convert betting odds and how they are calculated will help you make better decisions when placing a bet. Each betting odd is calculated to probability or percentage. The types of esports betting odds you’ll want to familiarize yourself with are as follows.

  • Decimal odds
  • Fractional odds
  • American odds

Payment methods

Much of the legal focus on stopping online betting in the United States was on money laundering and organised crime, particularly the way payments were processed. This makes it very important that you choose a properly safe, secure and reputable payment method to process your payments.
When it comes to making sure that your esports betting USA style is safe, there are three categories of payment methods to choose from. These are:

Credit and debit cards

Visa and Mastercard credit and debit cards are accepted at most online bookies and remain the safest and most convenient method to use. Due to their size and history, Visa and Mastercard both have very robust systems in place when it comes to security and swift and accurate processing of payments.


Ewallets are electronic payment methods that are specifically designed for use online. Paypal is a famous ewallet, though many experienced gamblers may be more familiar with Skrill and Neteller. It is important to note, though, that using ewallets can sometimes prevent you from receiving welcome bonuses from some of the esports betting sites USA punters can use.


Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have become more popular as a way of funding betting accounts in recent years. There is little consistency from bookies when it comes to accepting cryptocurrencies. Esports specialists often prefer their customers to use cryptocurrency, which is worth considering.

Other opportunities for US residents

Fantasy Esports

Fantasy esports allows gamblers to create their own team using a roster of active players. Each player will go through the roster of a specific league and pick 5 players to form a team. The player with the team composition that performed the best during the season will be the winner. This type of betting is different because it gives players an opportunity to use their knowledge and judgment to form the team they think is best.

Draftkings fantasy esports

Draftkings fantasy esports is an online and mobile betting platform that offers fantasy leagues in LoL, CS:GO, Rocket League, Call of Duty, and eNASCAR. Draftkings is one of the most trusted names in sports betting and offers one of the largest selections for fantasy esports. The platform also provides users with daily fantasy esports content.

Read Also: Esports Betting in the USA


Is esports betting legal in the USA?
Esports betting laws are quite complex in the USA. It differs state-to-state.

Is esports betting legal in Nevada?
Yes, Nevada is a state where all esports and sports betting is legal.

Is esports betting legal in New Jersey?
Yes, New Jersey is another state where esports betting is legal.

Which esports tournaments can I bet on in the US?
Tournament selection will depend on the games offered by the platform, but you should be able to find bets for most esports tournaments.

In which US states can I bet on esports?
Esports betting is 100% legal in Nevada, NJ, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Esports betting is regulated, but not 100% legal in Arkansas, Delaware, NY, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Rhode Island, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, and Pennsylvania.

How old do I have to be to bet on esports in the US?
The legal age to bet is 21 in most states while it is 18 in others.

Featured Image Editorial Credit: Leonel Calara /