Is It Legal To Bet On Esports? [A Guide]

For some popular sports, such as horse racing, betting on the winner is totally legal and is even considered part of the fun of spectatorship. 

However, when it comes to esports, the laws surrounding the legality of betting are more complicated.

Is It Legal To Bet On Esports [A Guide]

If you’re wondering whether it’s legal to bet on esports, you’re in the right place.

We’ll be discussing how the law regarding esports betting differs from place to place and explaining why the practice of betting on esports is controversial from a legal perspective. 

Esports Betting Laws Around the World 

It is important to note that the laws surrounding the legality of betting on esports differ depending on where you are in the world. 

In the United Kingdom, for example, esports are regulated in much the same way as any other sport, so as long as the betting site you’re using is legal, betting on esports is easy and not against the law.

The same is true for European countries such as Denmark, Italy, and Spain. Canadian citizens can legally bet on esports through overseas regulators. 

When it comes to the United States, things get a little more complicated. This is because esports are not regulated on a federal level, meaning that each individual state must create its own regulations regarding betting on esports. 

Currently, esports betting is only legal in 12 states in the US, meaning that the practice remains illegal in 38 states.

The states in which you can currently legally bet on esports include Colorado, Arizona, Louisiana, Connecticut, Nevada, Maryland, New Jersey, Nebraska, Virginia, Tennessee, Wyoming, and Washington. 

Why is Esports Betting Illegal in Some States?

If you’re wondering why esports isn’t legal in all US states despite being regulated similarly to other sports elsewhere in the world, this is another thing that differs on a state-by-state basis. 

In some states, the issue of betting on esports simply has not yet been considered. In others, the ages of some of the players combined with the fact that esports is not a traditional market and, in some cases, low demand, have resulted in esports betting remaining illegal. 

Many states take issue with the idea of betting on minors, and since a significant percentage of esports players are either under the age of 18 or 21, this makes legalizing esports betting a controversial topic. 

Esports not being a traditional gambling market also causes the issue of being able to bet on these sports to fly under the radar in many cases, and some states simply have a higher percentage of keen esports spectators and participants than others, which impacts the likelihood of legislation on the subject being pushed through. 

How To Bet On Esports Legally 

If you want to bet on esports without risking being implicated in legal proceedings, you’ll need to understand how to bet on your favorite esports players legally. 

First of all, it goes without saying that in order to legally bet on esports, you will need to ascertain whether esports betting is legal in your state of residence.

Is It Legal To Bet On Esports [A Guide]

If it’s not, you’re out of luck, but even if it is, there are still some steps you should take to ensure that your gambling does not break the law in any way. 

Assuming you live in a state where betting on esports is legal, you should also check what the legal age to bet on players is in your state.

For some states, you only need to be 18 years old, whereas other states have stricter laws in place that ban anyone under the age of 21 from betting on esports. 

Once you have established that your state allows esports betting and that you’re old enough to participate, you will then need to choose which betting site to use.

This is a crucial step because choosing a legitimate gambling site can be the difference between betting legally and illegally. 

When you click on an esports betting site, the first thing you should do is look for a license.

This license may look different depending on where you are in the United States, so we recommend taking the time to research gambling licenses in your state so you know what to look for. 

Only after you have checked whether a site holds a legitimate gambling license should you proceed to bet on esports in the US. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What Happens if I Illegally Bet on Esports? 

Gambling in any form, including on esports, under illegal conditions can carry legal consequences.

The exact nature of the legal proceedings will vary depending on your age, the extent of the illegal activity, and your location, but it could range from a fine to a period of incarceration. 

What Is The Legal Age To Bet On Esports?

In some states where betting on esports is legal, gamblers must be ages 18 and over. In certain states, the minimum age for gambling in all forms is 21.

Please check the legal age for gambling in your state of residence before you participate in esports betting. 

Can You Make Money Betting On Esports?

As with any kind of gambling, it’s possible to make money if you know what you’re doing.

Crucially, you are much more likely to make money betting on esports legally than if you do so illegally because the odds come from reliable sources, which is yet another reason to ensure that any esports betting you participate in is completely above board and legal. 

Final Thoughts 

Betting on esports is legal in many areas of the world, including 12 US states. However, in the majority of US states, betting on esports remains illegal due to the fact that it’s not a traditional gambling market and many players in this sport are minors. 

If esports betting is legal in your state, make sure you know the minimum legal age for gambling where you are and always check that any esports gambling sites you use are officially licensed. 

Ashley Newby