History of eSports
After restrictive British laws on gambling were overturned in the early 20th century, charitable gambling and lotteries became legal. A few decades later, casino licenses were issued, eventually making Canada a gambling hub with many cities surpassing the best gambling destinations in the U.S.
In the age of the internet, gambling moved online with casinos
and poker, as well as sportsbooks, becoming increasingly popular. Despite minor differences in laws of individual states and provinces, all Canadians have the legal right to gamble online either with licensed Canadian sites or non-Canadian sites.
In 2006, only two percent of Canadians gambled online. Since then, the number of eSports participants has grown exponentially with most Canadian gamblers nowadays using the internet to place bets. In addition, U.S. poker players have moved to Canada after online poker was banned in the United States a few years ago.
Canadian Gambling Traditions
Historically, lotteries, bingo, raffles and other games of chance have been popular among Canadians. Nowadays, their online equivalents continue to thrive. Though sports gambling is not immensely popular in Canada, racebooks, such as horse and dog racing, are deeply embedded into the country’s traditions.
Nowadays, however, as eSports gain in popularity, fans of horse and dog racing are progressively moving away from casino racebooks and the track to online sportsbooks. In 2004, although internet gambling had increased, it still remained the least popular form of gambling. Yet by 2015, it had become one of the most popular forms of gambling.
For those unfamiliar with eSports, perhaps the idea of betting on a player or a team online seems odd, yet the eSports gaming industry is currently highly-regulated around the world. In the past several years, the eSports betting industry has rapidly grown with an increasing number of companies offering eSports betting. In the past twelve months alone, more than 205 million people have played eSports internationally.
Currently, many of the top online bookmakers offer regular eSports betting together with conventional sports offerings. In addition, a number of newly formed sites offer extensive range of eSports betting in which once the outcome is determined, winnings are paid as expeditiously as a traditional sports bet.
In terms of the system, there is no difference between placing a bet on eSports and traditional sports, although the odds for the markets do vary. Online betting sites have experts within the eSports industry that recommend which events to offer bets on and what odds to give.
Rigging is not an issue at the highest level of eSports since it is a professional industry with its own code of conduct, rules and regulations. Also, professional players get paid for results, therefore, they have a vested interest in winning. In addition, countless gaming experts and fans actively watching online events, therefore, if a player threw a match or colluded to lose, it would be apparent and sanctioned with bets on the outcome declared void and stakes reimbursed.