While esports betting was already expected to be among the rare few industries to benefit from this year’s lockdowns intended to slow the spread of COVID-19, just how much rewards it managed to reap over the last few months is still a sight to behold.
Over in the United Kingdom, for example, esports betting rose by a stunning rate of 2,992% year-over-year, and that’s just the data the UK Gambling Commission reported for March, half of which went by before the country went into lockdown.
From a gross yield of £50,223 (≈$63,500) to £1,517,548 (≈$1,920,000), esports betting was seemingly able to salvage a significant portion of what the sportsbook segment left on the table once traditional sports happenings were all canceled or delayed just as spring arrived. And that was just the beginning, as the UKGC reports the April yield more than doubled compared to the previous month, amounting to £3,393,637 (≈$4,290,000), before growing by another third in May, reaching £4,616,610 (≈$5,835,000).
Granted, it’s not like esports betting wasn’t already exploding in popularity, but it still made the most of the Q2 circumstances. Which is to be expected from a snowballing industry that still has a long way to go until it actually needs to start competing with traditional sports – after all, esports are the only avenue to betting that many of today’s young adults are interested in. All the while being more than happy to take any business the rest of the industry can’t service.
The definition of gross growth: from £50,000 to £4,500,000 in less than 14 months
It stands to reason that this performance is unsustainable, especially as many popular competitions already resumed late last month. Most notably, the Premier League restarted on July 24th, and that is bound to have an effect on some of the money that’s been pouring into esports betting over the last several months.
Then there’s the fact that non-essential businesses in the country reopened over a month ago, meaning people aren’t as idle as they were throughout spring, and that is bound to have an effect on all manners of entertainment services, from Netflix to esports betting. I.e. that is bound to have had an effect on them until life in the UK started returning to normal in late June, so a correction of some sort should already be underway.