Betting on e-sports has seen its popularity soaring in recent years, despite being somewhat under the radar. Gambling on the outcome of a sports video game or a role player fantasy may seem alien to some, but it has become a billion-dollar industry. Another trend that has been building is UK gamblers trying out Non-UK betting sites for their e-sports bets due to increasing restrictions at home.
There are advantages and disadvantages in using both options which we will cover in this article.
How Does E-Sports Betting in the UK Work?
The United Kingdom has become an important destination for the fast-growing rise in e-sports. Electronic Sports League UK is the main organiser of events in the country and hosts sellout crowds looking to sample the competitive spirit environment in games such as League of Legends, CS:GO, Hearthstone and Overwatch. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is the number one e-sport in the UK, but large audiences are also seen for the soccer franchise FIFA. Betting on FIFA will bring an almost identical experience to betting on the real Premiership teams. Fans can study form and follow the hottest new talent in the same way that they’d bet on teams put together by Alex Ferguson or Jose Mourinho. In role player games such as League of Legends, there are odds for the first kill of the game, or the winner of particular levels etc.
UK residents can now find a large selection of UK betting sites catering to the e-sports market and those sites benefit from being fully regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. The only drawback with this is that the UKGC has become stricter in its regulations for UK sites. The GamStop scheme is one of the changes, where UK residents can sign up for free and get a self-exclusion from sites for periods of up to five years. The UKGC have also started to clamp down on other parts of the industry, with one example being the removal of credit cards for deposits. Tackling problem gambling was an inevitable move, but for those who are comfortable with the gambling, it can be restrictive.
How Do Non-GamStop Betting Sites Work?
While technology has brought an increase in UK gambling sites, it has also made it easier for gaming businesses to startup in locations that offer a more suitable environment for taxes and climate.
These sites are still fully regulated by the relevant body in their jurisdiction, with an example being the Malta Gaming Authority. Malta has close ties to the UK after being a former colony and it is a member of the European Union. The sites operating in Malta are therefore required to operate to high standards in KYC and money laundering. The advantage for UK punters is that the sites don’t have to adhere to UK GamStop rules. Bettors will also find that the non-GamStop sites have a professional environment which is similar to what you would expect in UK sites.
Alongside the European nations, there has been a recent growth in Central American sites offering their services to UK citizens. Curacao and Costa Rica are two examples, and it is perfectly legal for UK consumers to sign up. The UKGC are careful about the marketing of such sites and this is why they are often unknown. Top non-GamStop casinos can be found easily in Google searches and they offer an alternative experience to UK companies.
Alternative E-Sports Gambling Options
E-sports betting in international sites can offer a wider range of deposit options, with a large selection of currencies accepted and often cryptocurrencies. The in-game experience can also be different with certain games using their own virtual currency, and this can be used for in-game purchases, such as weapons, accessories, and loot boxes. Loot boxes are surprise boxes that contain the same rewards and power-ups, but the buyer doesn’t know the contents until they are purchased.
Another option for using virtual currencies is in third-party marketplaces, where you can buy the accessories, and this is called skin betting. These virtual items can even be used to play games such as roulette.
Gambling in the UK and Non-GamStop Sites
There are advantages and disadvantages to using UK sites and those not on GamStop. We have listed a sample of the pros and cons below:
Pros of Using UK Betting Sites
- · Recognised brand names
- · GBP deposits as standard
- · Good selection of e-sports
- · Regulated by the UKGC
- · Third-party dispute assistance
Cons of Using UK Betting Sites
- · Limits on deposit sizes
- · No credit card despoits
- · GamStop and other restrictions
- · No support for cryptocurrency funding
- · Limited bonus options
Pros of Using Non UK Sites
- · Large welcome bonuses
- · Much wider selection of currencies
- · Larger game libraries than most UK gaming sites
- · Self-exclusion is still an option
- · Wider range of funding options, including Bitcoin
Cons of Using Non UK Sites
- · Sites can be used as a GamStop loophole
- · May not provide GBP deposits
- · Separate regulatory body from the UK
- · Limited access to third-party dispute resolution
- · Customer support times can differ
With the UK Gambling Authority clamping down on UK betting sites, punters are increasingly looking at their options elsewhere and this has boosted non-UK betting sites. The UK sites still offer access to the booming e-sports market, but the environment is beginning to get more restrictive with the UKGC rules, which have moved beyond the GamStop scheme into deposits and gameplay.
If you are new to e-sports betting, or a seasoned pro, there are plenty of choices available to experience the non- UK sites for yourself.