Is it legal to bet on eSports?
Are you wondering whether it is legal to bet on eSports or how eSports betting is regulated?
It is indisputable that eSports have been growing and settling progressively in our society.
The global figures have experienced exponential growth, so we can say that the eSports phenomenon is not an isolated event for a specific audience. In this case the numbers speak for themselves, in 2015 there were 188 million spectators and in 2020 there were already 495 million; in fact, statistics predict that by 2023 the figure will be more than 645 million spectators.
It is no coincidence that a sport that experiences such a large number of fans also has a large number of users who want to bet on the outcome of the games.
Is it illegal to bet on eSports?
At this point, it is interesting to note that it is not possible to give a uniform answer in view of the fact that each country takes a different regulatory stance on gambling.
In this regard, the US Supreme Court in May 2018 declared the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) prohibiting betting on sports unconstitutional. The unconstitutionality of the law directly implies that each state will be able to decide how to regulate sports betting.
With regard to Spain, there is currently no specific regulation governing e-sports betting and, therefore, the online gambling regulation applies because it covers those activities in which the participant risks money.
In order for bookmakers to offer this possibility, it will be necessary to obtain a general licence and a specific licence from the Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling).
The Gambling Act is the UK’s Gambling Act which aims to prevent gambling from reaching young and/or vulnerable members of society.
On 24 March 2019, the well-known Youtuber Craig Douglas was accused of violating the Gambling Act because he encouraged participation in betting based on the video game FIFA. The problem lay in the statement he made in one of his videos, indirectly encouraging his entire audience to gamble, part of this audience being minors (a group protected by the Gambling Act).
Why are these FIFA bets not legal?
FIFA bets are not considered legal because they do not involve legal tender, but rather the well-known FIFA coins, which are coins specific to the video game.
The question that has been repeated on social networks among people who are not used to playing this video game is: Why bet with virtual coins and not with legal tender?
This is due to the “FIFA ultimate Team”, this game option allows the user to create a team and with FIFA coins you can improve it by buying stickers, the better players you get the more you can highlight and / or win among all users.
The complexity lies in the fact that it is not paid with money, therefore, nobody assures you that the bets are safe. Consequently, certain people can earn the coins and create teams with good players and sell them via platforms such as eBay for legal tender without going through a regulatory body.
What is being done to prevent this type of gambling?
At present, no measures are being taken, there is no regulation for this type of transaction, the only thing that exists is information from licensed operators and the security they offer you in transactions.
Letslaw es una firma de abogados internacionales especializada en el derecho de los negocios.