Esports betting is enjoying unprecedented rise in sales.
Esports betting is expected to rise more in the coming years.

The global esports betting market is undergoing rapid expansion, with projections indicating a remarkable growth outlook of $35.6 billion by 2031 — and in some reports, it can be even higher.

This development highlights the growing acceptance and involvement of both esports and betting in the mainstream, both of which had been on the fringes, albeit for different reasons.

Esports is a domain that has transitioned from a peripheral niche associated with a hobbyist activity to a prominent global industry. With dedicated esports arenas worldwide being built and streaming figures rising, the United Kingdom finds itself uniquely positioned.

The Global Ascent of Esports And Esports Betting

Esports, defined as competitive video gaming at a paid, professional echelon, has undergone a remarkable metamorphosis since Twitch's invention. While competitive gaming did exist and casual gaming was rising regardless, Twitch propelled it onto our screens. Just as the betting market developed with free bets and mobile access, the streaming market benefited from being a free mobile activity, too.

When Ninja had unprecedented viewing figures playing Fortnite in 2018, casuals who had never been exposed to esports before wondered what would happen if Ninja played other streamers, who would win, and whether they should hold a World Cup tournament. And they did.

Just as it appeared that Twitch's rise may have plateaued, the pandemic came along and locked us in our rooms, reviving even the most casual gamer's appetite to play and watch. This brought a second wind to esports, too, because esports had become baked into the furniture of streaming. Without eyes, esports couldn't take off.

It's very difficult to have a sport without wagering; the two are married together. The betting market has grown with the rise in video game streaming figures because this is the place to showcase events. In 2024, the estimated betting market size is around $2.5bn, but this is expected to take off.

The United Kingdom's Esports Betting Landscape

The United Kingdom has emerged as a significant player within the global context of esports betting. The UK has a very mature and sophisticated betting market, with many reputable regulating bodies and a long history of sports betting.

The UK also has an appetite for esports in general, with 27 dedicated arenas around the UK. The nation's esports betting market is poised for substantial growth, with estimations suggesting a generation of $172.3 million in revenue by 2024.

The growth is sound in isolation, but the UK may want a greater slice of the pie given that they are a powerhouse (including Gibraltar) when it comes to soccer betting and the like. The challenge will be that the US, which is by far the largest Western esports market, is becoming more open to online gambling, with many states making their laws more progressive on the matter.


The esports betting market holds some economic potential for the United Kingdom. In more mature markets, customers are only accepted within the jurisdiction. This may serve as a protectionist advantage for the UK, which may face stiff competition across the pond.

We will likely see the esports betting market at the forefront of innovation, too, potentially adopting cryptocurrency as its denomination, for example. But for now, the betting market will likely depend entirely on the current trajectory of the streaming market, and this is good news for those entering it.