A Guide on How To Bet on Esports in the US

Esports betting is being tipped for a big future, but is it legal to bet on esports across America?

Many people who are considering starting to bet on esports will be asking that question now.

Esports betting had a big spike in popularity during the COVID crisis when a lot of other sports had to be postponed or cancelled entirely, with experts believing it is here to stay.

Our guide to how to bet on esports in the US has all the details, so read on for more information.

What Is Esports Betting?

Put simply, esports betting is placing wagers on the outcome of esports events and matches.

In essence, esports betting works in the same way as placing bets on any other type of sport.

This means people need to predict what will happen in the esports action, decide how much to stake on their bet and confirm the wager in order to bet on esports.

Esports are often also available to stream live at top esports betting sites these days as well. This means people can follow the esports action live to see if their bet is going to be a winner.

Top Esports To Bet On

New esports continue to emerge, but here are some of the top esports to bet on right now: 

  • Dota 2: The sequel to Defense of the Ancients, this game is actually an offshoot of Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. Dota 2 esports event The International has a huge prize pool and has become one of the main esports betting options available to players.
  • FIFA: Competitive FIFA saw a massive spike in interest during the pandemic, when stars such as the England footballer Raheem Sterling took part in competitions. The FIFA World Cup is one of the most important esports events on the calendar at the moment.
  • CSGO: Standing for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, CSGO has been around for a decade and has a huge fanbase. Astralis is historically the most successful CSGO team.
  • League of Legends: Often referred to as LoL for short, League of Legends is another top esport to bet on. Indeed, this is the first esport that a lot of people will think of.
  • StarCraft: This game has been around for about 20 years, but remains a top esport today. StarCraft is part of the World Cyber Games with millions of dollars in prize money.
  • Fortnite: This battle royale game is nothing short of a phenomenon. Headlines were made around the globe in 2019 when an American teenager playing under the name Bugha won the inaugural Fortnite World Cup, scooping the huge $3 million top prize.
  • Overwatch: Another team-based multiplayer first-person shooter game, esports events such as the Overwatch World Cup and the Overwatch League are popular to bet on.

Esports Betting in the US – The Legal Situation

For a long time, online betting was banned in America – including both sports and esports.

Following a landmark ruling by the Supreme Court a few years ago, though, the door was opened for legalised sports betting to spread across the country. 

This also includes esports betting, which is subject to the same rules and regulations as betting on any other sport such as football, soccer, golf, tennis, cricket, rugby, baseball and so on.

States have been given the green light to change their laws on online betting and a few of them have moved swiftly in order to allow people to bet legally on sporting action, including esports.

It now seems likely that the majority of Americans will be able to bet legally on esports in the future, though the pace of change in certain parts of the country can be frustratingly slow.

People should always double check that esports betting laws are the same as sports betting laws in their own state, as sometimes there could be some subtle differences between them.

Which States Offer Esports Betting in America?

  • Nevada: Countless sportsbooks are now available to use legally in Nevada
  • New Jersey: More than a dozen online sports betting sites are offered in New Jersey
  • Tennessee: Both online and mobile sports betting have been allowed here since 2019
  • West Virginia: FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM’s betting apps are available here

As well as the above states that already offer esports betting, moves are being made to legalise online betting on sport and esports in many other states.

Additionally, esports betting is regulated, but not yet fully 100% legal, in these following states: 

  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • New York
  • Iowa
  • Illinois
  • Michigan
  • Rhode Island
  • Montana
  • New Mexico
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania

Which Bookies Offer Esports Betting in America?

As the popularity of esports betting continues to grow in America, people who want to bet on a slice of the action are being given more options.

However, right now DraftKings is one of the only options for esports betting in America. DraftKings started life as an American daily fantasy sports contest about a decade ago.

However, like a lot of companies in this area, DraftKings has long targeted sports betting as a major area of potential growth in America, due to the changing rules and regulations in the US.

DraftKings Sportsbook was launched in New Jersey in August 2018, becoming the first option of its type in the state, and it has followed a similar process as states legalise online sports betting.

As such, DraftKings has become one of the main sports betting sites to use in America, with esports betting making up an increasingly large part of its offering to US users. 

Due to the fact that the majority of states in America currently deem fantasy sports to be a game of skill rather than gambling, DraftKings has also been able to offer some of its products in states where betting remains banned.

More and more bookies are likely to offer esports betting in America in the near future. But for now, people who want to bet on esports in America should certainly consider using DraftKings.