The merging of video games and gambling: what to expect in 2023

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In recent years, the relationship between video games and gambling has grown increasingly intertwined. The rise of sports betting, which has been made more accessible through online platforms and popularised over the pandemic, has paved the way for the emergence of other forms of wagering, such as esports betting and video game wagering. We can see even small Australian bookmakers beginning to accept bets on eSports, and there’s demand there. As we look ahead to 2023, it is clear that this trend is only set to continue

eSports betting: The viewer​

One of the most significant areas where video games and gambling are merging is in the realm of eSports. Competitive gaming has seen a massive surge in popularity in part because of Twitch, with major tournaments and leagues drawing in millions of viewers from around the world on streaming platforms. This has led to the emergence of eSports betting, because why not? When there are regulated competitive bodies and unknown outcomes from events, fans want to place bets on the outcome of these competitions. Just like any sport

In 2023, we can expect to see even more growth in the eSports betting market. As the industry becomes more established and eSports become legitimised - perhaps even broadcasted on television - we will likely see more traditional sportsbook operators getting involved in eSports betting. This will increase the number of betting options available to fans, making it even more convenient to bet on their favourite players

Furthermore, the use of data and analytics in eSports betting will inevitably increase due to the money to be won. With the vast amounts of data generated by eSports competitions, operators will be able to offer more sophisticated betting options that are tailored to specific games.

Video game wagering: The player​

Another area where video games and gambling are merging is in the domain of video game wagering. Rather than the viewer betting, it’s the player that is involved.

With the growing popularity of video games and the increasing number of people who play them, there is a huge potential market for this type of wagering. It already takes place in informal ways, like on Twitch, and of course has little place in official eSports competitions due to the potential of match-fixing.

One of the key drivers of this trend is the advent of new technologies that allow for more immersive and interactive gaming experiences. In particular, the rise of virtual and augmented reality will make it possible for players to experience games in new and exciting ways, and within these metaverses may arise an economy to wager in - likely using digital currency.

We can also expect to see growth in the use of blockchain technology in video game wagering because of its universality. This will allow for more secure and transparent wagering transactions. Though, we are unsure if video game publishers are willing to dive into an industry that is deemed high-risk by lenders, banks, and regulators.

Conclusion​

In conclusion, the merging of video games and gambling is a trend that is set to continue in 2023. The rise of eSports betting and player wagering will provide new opportunities for fans and players to engage with their favourite games in new and exciting ways. As the industry continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more growth in the number of platforms and formats available for wagering on video games.
 
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