Welcome to our guide to esports betting USA-style. You’ll probably know that the USA has some fairly complicated online betting laws. But we’ll have everything clearly explained so that you don’t have to ask ‘Is esports betting legal in USA?’ anymore.
From here we can reveal some of the best esports betting sites USA has to offer. Each of these sites will serve up amazing odds for everything from CSGO to LoL and beyond. Plus some of these brands will give you a whole new way to enjoy betting on esports that includes betting on your own gameplay. So take a look below to see the best guide to esports betting USA has to offer.
The best esports betting sites in the USA
If you are looking for esports betting sites USA currently has lots of options. You will note that many of these betting sites are actually regular sportsbooks that feature esports bets on the side. As such you might have to wade past lots of bets on standard sports like basketball and football to find your esports odds.
But this isn’t to say that sportsbooks like William Hill or Bet365 in USA aren’t capable of giving you a quality esports betting service. It’s just that they will tend to treat bets on esports like any regular kind of online betting USA has to offer.
As such, you might want to check out some of the esports betting sites that take competitive gaming a little more seriously. Brands like DraftKings should give you a good example of the kind of service that you should be getting from an esports betting site.
Plus Unikrn is well known for the quality of its esports bets, and its UMode service is one of the most exciting things to happen to competitive gaming in years. So by picking one of our recommended betting sites, you’ll find a legal, safe and fun way to bet on esports.
Is esports betting legal in USA?
The USA has fairly complicated laws regarding online gambling. This means that you might be able to bet on esports in some states and not others. As a result, questions like ‘Is Bet365 legal in USA?’ will be redundant. This is because each state will have its own laws that determine whether you are allowed to bet on sport, wager on casino games, or even bet on LoL.
The good news is that things are slowly changing to allow more Americans to bet on esports. This is because there is a currently a trend towards individual states legalizing sports betting. The process only started relatively recently, but there are now over a dozen states that allow online bookmakers to offer odds on esports.
Which states let you bet on esports?
For a long time, Nevada was one of only states in the USA that allowed legal sports betting. But thanks to New Jersey’s Supreme Court victory in 2018, any state now has the power to legalize sports betting which includes esports.
As a result, you can now legally bet on esports in states like Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and West Virginia. Remember that the betting age in the USA varies between states, so be sure to check this out before you sign up to any esports betting site.
What states have outlawed esports betting?
Some US states have been especially vocal in their opposition of legalized sports betting. Don’t expect to be able to bet on esports anytime soon in Utah, plus you may have to wait some time to bet online in states as far-ranging as Idaho, Wisconsin, Alabama and Texas.
US states expected to legalize esports betting soon
There are many states that are looking likely to be among the next to legalize sports betting. Either these states have already passed the legislation, or they are currently in the middle of advancing measures to make online betting legal. Such states include the likes of Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Washington and North Dakota. We expect many more to join this list in the coming years.
How esports betting works in the US
If you’ve ever enjoyed traditional sports betting USA gamers shouldn’t have a difficult time in making the switch to bets on esports. All that you have to do is to make a prediction and back this up by putting down a bet. For example, you could bet on Los Angeles Valiant to win their next Overwatch League match. Or you could try a bet on OG to win The International.
These bets will be made on the odds provided by a betting site. Odds are shown either in American, decimal or fractional formats. The decimal format is probably the easiest to understand. The higher the number, the less your chances are of winning the bet, but the more that you’ll win. Conversely, low odds means that the bet is likely to win, but you won’t make as much of a profit from your bet.
This is something of a simplistic explanation of how to bet on esports in the US. But ultimately, esports betting USA style is all about balancing risk with your potential returns. The good news is that most decent bookmakers have odds for esports matches taking place all over the world. So it’s your job to make your predictions, and then find the betting site with the best value odds for your prediction.
Great alternatives to traditional esports betting
Esports betting has only been around for little over a decade. In these years we have seen many innovations that give you a great way to bet on esports in ways that are a little more interesting than basic prematch fixed-odds betting. Here are some of the best:
Live esports betting
This is one of the most exciting ways to bet on esports. You’ll get to bet on odds that change in correspondence to the real time action. It can be tricky to bet live on esports, but it can be a great way to get more value from the odds. Live esports betting is also great fun as many forward-thinking sportsbooks even include a free Twitch stream embedded in the betting page. This gives you a great way to put down a more accurate esports bet.
Fantasy esports betting
Esports fantasy betting has grown to become big news in the past couple of years. You’ll probably know all about fantasy sports betting. But the great news is that you can now build your own fantasy esports teams too.
It’s the same process. Just create the ultimate esports team from real-world players while staying under the salary cap. Then you get to enter the team into leagues where you compete against other fantasy esports teams. You get to pick up points dependent on how your chosen players perform in the real world. If you get a decent place on the league table, you could be in line to get some prize winnings.
Bet on streamers
A few esports betting sites will allow you to bet on streamers. This is a little different from regular esports betting, as there is no team-play or tournaments involved. Just bet on your favourite streamer to succeed in their gameplay.
The great thing is that as this isn’t tied into tournaments, you can get more flexibility with when you put down your bets. So just like you can bet on virtual sports 24/7, there’s a good chance that there will be a streamer somewhere in the world that you can take a bet on.
Betting on your own gameplay
Ever wanted to bet on your own video gaming? Well, now you can. This is because the Unikrn esports betting site gives you the chance to use its UMode service. UMode simply allows you to bet on the success of your own gameplay on esports like LoL, CSGO, Dota 2 and much more.
The most popular esports in the USA
There are a massive number of esports that you can bet on. From first-person shooters to battle arena games, there’s something for everyone. Here are just some of the esports that most sportsbooks will give you odds for.
- League of Legends – Probably the biggest esport in the world. All good bookmakers will be competing to give you the best odds for this MOBA. Common LoL betting markets will give you chance to bet on teams destroying an inhibitor, destroying a tower, scoring a quadra kill, getting a penta kill, or you could just keep it simple with a basic-match winner bet.
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive – Will the terrorists or counter-terrorists win? That’s one of the key things that you’ll be betting on in this first-person shooter. Other popular betting options include betting on the total number of maps played, map winner, pistol round winner and much more.
- Dota 2 – Another heavy-hitter MOBA in the esports betting world. Expect to see bets on map winner, best of three correct score, or you could even take a bet on whether the total maps played will be more or less than a certain amount.
These three are probably the biggest esports at the moment. But here’s a quick shortlist of other esports that you should be able to get odds for: Overwatch, StarCraft 2, StarCraft: Broodwar, Injustice 2, Apex Legends, Call of Duty, Call of Duty: Warzone, FIFA, Fortnite, Hearthstone, MVC 2, King of Glory, Mortal Kombat, NBA2K, NHL, Arena of Valor, Pro Evolution Soccer, UFC 3, Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, Rainbow Six, Rocket League.
Staying safe when betting on esports in the USA
While esports betting is great fun, you’ll have to be safe when you bet online. After all, you will be giving these betting sites access to some fairly sensitive personal information. Plus you’ll be making real money deposits. Here are the key things to check before you sign up to any esports betting site.
- Licensing: You should only ever play at fully licensed betting sites. A license means that the operator has passed certain tests to show that it can put on a safe and fair betting service in your given state.
- Terms and conditions: All sportsbook websites will have a footer that contains some lengthy terms and conditions. This details what you can and can’t do on the betting site. For example, you might find that trying out some no risk matched betting USA at the site could cause you to get banned. So be sure to check the small print.
Where will esports betting in the United States of America go from here?
It’s clear that esports betting is still in its infancy. We’re expecting to see big things from esports betting as it matures. There are hopes that as players get more professionalized, esport will start to gain even greater legitimacy in the mainstream. The fact that regular sports networks like ESPN have started to cover esports is a big plus, but this is just the start.
Esports is still fairly hard for regular sports fans to get into. Plus the complicated tournament structures for games like CSGO make it even more tricky. But recently we’ve seen efforts made to standardize tournaments like the Overwatch League so that they resemble the NFL. Such leagues even featured franchised team names like New York Excelsior, rather than weird names like Ninjas in Pyjamas or Unicorns of Love.
But this is just the beginning, we’ve already seen massive new games like Fortnite and Apex Legends changing the face of esports. Plus as more money gets filtered into esports, we can expect competitive gaming to become just as big as, if not bigger than regular sports.