Gambling on esports matches is, right now, unsafe and unfair for bettors, just as gambling on traditional sports is. As you'd expect, people are still doing it anyway; and as you'd expect, laws and regulations have struggled to keep up.
Tagged With betting
Esports was rocked earlier this week when Ad Finem's team analyst Allen Cook sent out a casual tweet saying that he'd placed bets on the outcome of the Boston Major Dota 2 tournament. Specifically, Cook bet on both his own team and another team, OG, because (he said) he believed that AF and OG were highly likely to place first and second in the tournament. He ended up being right: OG placed first and Ad Finem placed second, resulting in some significant winnings for Cook. Specifically, he won £1110.15 in total. That's $1789.84 in Australian dollars.
Just a few days after Twitch announced that it would be cracking down on folks streaming Counter-Strike gambling sites, one of the most popular streamers, PhantomL0rd, had their account closed by Twitch.
The past week has seen the world of online games rocked by a major gambling scandal. Two YouTubers with millions of subscribers, Trevor 'TmarTn' Martin and Tom 'ProSyndicate' Cassell, were revealed to be owners of a site they repeatedly promoted sans overt disclosure. The potential ramifications are not pretty.
Gambling has become a hot topic in Canberra this week, culminating with the Department of Social Services announcing last night a raft of new measures combating illegal offshore betting.
With gambling increasingly tied to video games the question remained as to how the industry, particularly the growing segment of esports, would be affected. And the federal Greens candidate for La Trobe, Tom Cummings, has suggested that the existing laws need to be addressed.
There's people streaming a video game, and then there's people streaming themselves opening virtual items for a video game. It's a big deal in the world of Counter-Strike right now, because it raises one very important question. Should streamers who are just using a game as a vehicle for gambling not be moved into a separate section of Twitch or YouTube?
But the chief executive of Unikrn, whose company partnered with Tabcorp almost a year ago to extend the esports betting market available to Australians, says the issue is bigger. The proliferation of Twitch streamers advertising gambling to kids is getting them hooked, and it needs to be regulated.
Betting on Australian esports has traditionally been limited to international finals, qualifiers or the finals of major local events, regardless of the game in question.
That's starting to change, however, with a new Australian site allowing users from all around the world the opportunity to bet virtual skins on lower league Australian Counter-Strike matches for the first time.
The second US$3 million Major for Dota 2 is just around the corner, and as everyone expected Valve has pushed out a major update just ahead of their stop in Shanghai.
As is often the case, there's plenty of bits and pieces to unpack. But perhaps one of the more intriguing aspects is the expansion of the in-game tipping, with Valve giving players a weekly stipend for the express purpose of betting.
Team Liquid is reporting that up to eleven people have been arrested in Korea in association with allegations of match-fixing and illegal gambling on StarCraft II matches.