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Esports Betting Not On Gamstop

E-Sports is one of the newest sports around. It consists of competitive video gaming and is becoming a worldwide phenomenon. Revenue and prize money is rapidly expanding as the sport’s popularity brings in sponsorship from video game manufacturers, and television and online companies begin to compete for broadcast and streaming rights. And with E-Sports becoming ever more popular, more and more sports betting companies are accepting bets on the outcome of the new competitions.

As with any new sport, the first major battle is the fight for recognition. Computer and video gaming has been around for forty years or so. The video game industry has always been at the forefront of promoting the new sport. Even so, until the turn of the century, most public competitions were strictly amateur affairs.

The early 2000’s saw prize money beginning to be offered for the first time. Live streaming became a practical possibility with the development of improved broadband and Wi-Fi technology, which opened the door to proper competitions with actual spectators. The new funding meant that there was now sufficient prize money to make going professional a viable option for the sport’s new stars.

Video game developers started to design competitions to promote their flagship games, and provided proper prizes for the tournaments they promoted. This promotional campaign has been a resounding success. Today, the estimated audience for top E-sport competitions has passed the 500 million mark, while total revenues have surpassed $1billion.

The new sport is particularly popular in Asia, where China is responsible for generating more than a third of the sport’s global revenues. It is followed predominantly by the young, with the 18 – 34 age group forming the majority of viewers. It is also significantly skewed toward a male audience, although there are plenty of female professional players.

Today, the battle is focused on the attempt to include E-sports in the Olympic Games. There was a particularly concerted campaign to include the sport in the 2020 summer games in Japan, given the importance of the video game industry to the country, but ultimately it was rejected. It has not been accepted for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris either.

However, the good news is that it HAS been accepted as a pilot event for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, UK in the summer of 2022, so progress is being made.

As you would expect from such a fledgling sport, betting on E-sports is a bit of a niche activity. Nevertheless, there are a small but increasing number of sports betting operators who are accepting bets on these competitions. Most of these tend to operate outside of the usual UK regulated gambling market, so players will need to be aware of the advantages and potential pitfalls involved in placing bets on non-Gamstop sports betting sites.

Advantages Of Betting on Esports with non-Gamstop Sites

While the sport continues to develop, non-Gamstop sites are likely to be the best option if you wish to place bets on E-sport competitions.

  • Quicker registration process and withdrawals – The first thing you may notice is that it can often be quicker to register with sites which operate outside the typical UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) regulated market. This is because overseas regulated sports betting sites may not have to abide by the strict identity and banking checks which the UK government imposes on its licensees. Your first withdrawal may also be swifter for similar reasons. 
  • Different payment options – Players on non-Gamstop sports betting sites may also find that they are able to use their credit cards as a method of payment. This is because the UK and EU governments have banned the use of credit cards for gambling payments, whereas most overseas licencing authorities have not. Alternative payment options may also differ from those you would usually expect, as non-Gamstop operators are often targeted at different domestic markets and not the UK / European one.
  • Alternative bonuses and promotions – The kinds of promotions, bonuses and loyalty schemes on offer at non-Gamstop operators can seem more generous than those available for the UK market. This is not because overseas bookmakers are kinder (who ever met a generous bookie?), but because UK and EU regulators impose strict controls on the type of marketing offers which are allowed in their markets.

Disadvantages of Betting on Esports with non-Gamstop Sites

  • Not suitable for players with a gambling problem – Mechanisms aimed at assisting punters with gambling issues are unlikely to be much use at non-Gamstop sports betting sites. Specialist software such as the Gamban app will also be unlikely to work. For these reasons, players who have, or even suspect that they have, a gambling problem are not recommended to use these sites.
  • No UKGC protection – The UKGC is a relatively strict regulatory body by international standards. Sites which are licenced by overseas governments such as the Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao do not offer the same level of consumer protection as that offered by the UKGC. Such sites may also not offer the same levels of customer service as you may have come to expect from sports betting operators regulated for the UK and EU markets.
  • Different payments – Non-Gamstop sports betting sites tend to be targeted at different markets from those regulated by the UKGC. This means that your available payment options are likely to differ. While the ability to continue to use your credit card may be an advantage, other popular payment options are likely to be missing. PayPal for example, is rarely available, as this is banned as a means of payment for gambling by the US federal government. Other payment options may also differ from those you are used to.
  • Data protection – UK / EU data protection laws do not apply to most non-Gamstop site. This means that data security standards may not be as high as you would expect to find on a UKGC licenced sports betting operation.

Is it safe to bet on Esports that are not on Gamstop?

Any kind of gambling is a risk. That’s kind of the point. Choosing to bet on a non-Gamstop site is an additional risk, as the UKGC is a particularly strong regulator by international standards. Nevertheless, in general, non-Gamstop sites are a viable option as long as the usual due diligence procedures are followed. These include checking online for poor feedback and starting with low value bets to ‘test the waters’.

One exception to this rule is for punters who know or suspect they have a gambling problem. Non-Gamstop sites are not recommended in these circumstances.

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