Most people who are new to esports betting ask me this, so I thought it was worth a post! If you’re still unsure of what esports actually are, here’s a link to a post where I explain just that.
Esports Betting Exchange Markets
A lot of you are familiar with betting exchanges such as Betfair Exchange, Matchbook and BetDaq. It’s probably fair to say that most of you would prefer to use an exchange than a bookmaker and honestly, I don’t blame you. We all know that exchanges offer true market odds, unlike bookmakers. Generally, exchanges take between 2-5% commission on all winning bets. On the other hand, bookmakers tend to take a bigger margin through their book percentage. This can quite easily be upwards of 5%. Bigger margins are bad for us bettors as they eat away at our profits over time.
Technically, you can place a bet on esports through exchanges such as Betfair Exchange. Unfortunately however, nobody is really doing so. At the time of writing (February 2017), there is rarely any money available in the markets and even less that has actually been matched. Take a look at the screenshot below of a game happening the day after I took it.
Using exchanges to bet on esports summary
- Betfair Exchange – Lists most major tournaments but there is often under £300 available.
- Matchbook- Have listed esports events in the past but no longer seem to be doing so. I seem to remember there being quite a lot of money available, over £1,000 in some cases.
- BetDaq – Do not list esports events.
- Smarkets – Do not list esports events.
Other exchanges worth mentioning
At ICE 2017 I was fortunate enough to watch the guys from PVP.ME pitch their idea to the other delegates. They are an esports only exchange and take 7% from all winning bets. Their site still needs a lot of work and I’ve rarely had bets matched due to the low amount of users. I will however, be keeping a close eye on their site and I’m excited to see how far they can take it.
Which Bookmakers Are Best For Betting On Esports?
At present, bookmakers are the best place to bet on esports. This is mainly because they open markets for the majority of big esports events. 99% of the time, you will be able to get bets under £100 matched without their traders approval. Straight away, this is better than not being able to get any money matched on the exchange!
Because esports are so new, many bookmakers still use different methods to produce their esports odds. Some bookmakers like Bet 365 manage it all in house whereas others such as Betway use a 3rd party odds-provider. The fact that so many bookies source their odds from different places means that they often have very different odds on the same event. Because of this, there isn’t a single site that I would recommend using above all others. It’s best to shop around and see which bookmaker has the best odds for each esports event. Here’s a few bookmaker sites that I use quite a lot to bet on esports:
- Marathon Bet
- William Hill
Other Esports Betting Sites
It’s worth mentioning that there are a lot of “alternative” sites where you can bet on esports. As you may or may not know, there has been a bit of a scandal in the esports world with unregulated betting sites. These sites would bypass regulation by using their own currency (for example, using Bananas instead of £). I do not recommend using any such site. I know there are still some in existence and some may well be legitimate, but I do not use them myself and don’t recommend you doing so.
Where To Bet On Esports Video
Most people don’t like reading anything over 140 characters so I’ve put together a quick video explaining most of the points in this article. Apologies in advance for the potato quality: