With sports betting there are rules and regulations that need to be followed to ensure the legitimacy of the matches held. In the case of the emerging esports market however, these regulations have been slow to surface because professional competition in the sport has only been around for a few years in most parts of the world. All this has rapidly begun to change though, thanks to national governments wading in on the legitimacy of esports markets.
Until recently esports was undefined for gambling purposes. Some countries argued that esports should fall under game betting, others under sports betting and this argument has caused headaches in parliament as they discuss how to regulate esports. In the UK at least, the argument has been settled. Esports is a sport, and the government believes that it should fall under the regulations in place for the sports betting market. This includes ensuring that all games are fair and impartial and match fixing – something which has been an issue in some regions previously – is dealt with.
This has led to governing bodies being put in place in larger esports countries such as the UK (the esports Association), Korea (the Korea esports Association) and the US (the Professional esports Association). Match and player data has also been gathered by London based Genius Sports in coalition with Faceit, a UK based independent competition platform who participate in League of Legends, CS:GO and DotA2 games in order to increase esports betting integrity. This data is provided to bookmakers to compare results and betting activity and to deter match fixing in the esports community.
ESIC – To protect esports’ interests
In 2015 the not for profit Esports Integrity Coalition (EHIC) was created in the UK to address not just match fixing within sports, but also other larger ethical issues that may affect esports betting integrity and the esports community as a whole, such as the use of software cheats in esports games, using online attacks to slow down opponents and player doping. The response to their formation from the wider esports community has been nothing but positive for the coalition, who aim to be the “guardian of the integrity of esports.” They’ve already gained huge ground with members of ESIC including Intel, Dreamhack and the ESL which has boosted their widespread appeal.
Their creation comes at the same time as the World Esports Association (WESA) who are also working to make the esports world more professional. But where EHIC focusses on creating a coalition between betting providers and industry leaders in esports, the WESA focuses on the fairness of esports from a player perspective, creating a Player’s Council elected by the players to give their feedback on rules, league policies and player transfers in a transparent way. With these growing organisations gaining popularity, esports has never been a safer game to bet on, regardless of whether you’re a League of Legends bettor or a CSGO fan. You can be assured that your chosen team is not only complying with the rules, but putting their all into the game, every time.