Major bookmaker opens esports book, boasts 'high four figure bets'
A major UK-based bookmaker has opened an esports book, offering one of the widest ranges of esports wagers available to date.
Betway, one of the UK's leading online bookmakers, today launched a dedicated esports portal offering bets across almost every esports title played on a personal comoputer. The site is currently taking wagers in Counter-Strike, League of Legends, Heroes of the Storm and StarCraft 2, with sections for Hearthstone, Dota 2 and even World of Tanks ready for upcoming events.
Betway is major player in the UK and online betting scene. Earlier this year Betway became the main sponsor of English Premier League side West Ham United in a £20m deal.
The company is hardly the first bookie to provide esports offerings, though it's one of the biggest. Online betting powerhouse Pinnacle Sports first introduced esports to their already extensive books in 2010, and it's grown to become their 7th largest market, passing sports like Golf. Earlier this year, startup Unikrn raised nearly $10 million to create a dedicated esports betting platform. That's ignoring the dozens of other esports specific outlets who allow betting using in-game items, avoiding the sticky issue of betting legality in some major markets.
It's a big business, so its no surprise companies like Betway are getting involved. The company claims to have already taken multiple "high four figure bets" and says that esports regularly features in their top ten sports bet on each day.
As well as offering individual match betting on everything from the League of Legends Champions Korea to weekly minor tournaments like ESL UK's Counter-Strike events, the site offers multiples and accumulators.
They've also provided odds for an interesting set of prop bets: Which major esports titles will enter the Winter Olympics by 2030? A The current favorite is Counter-Strike with 49:1 odds, with League of Legends and Dota 2 just behind at 79:1. But if you fancy an underdog, look at World of Tanks. The free-to-play tank simulator is a real long shot with 499:1 odds.
Image via Sheep R Us/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)