The most popular sporting events in the betting market are football, basketball, American football and baseball. Esports are far down the list but have been growing in popularity even before the pandemic opened this entertainment industry to a wider audience. From 2018, gaming revenues have been growing at almost 10 percent each year. In mid-2019, researchers estimated that the global video game market would be worth almost USD200 billion by 2022. Then the 2020 pandemic arrived, which revised upwards the gaming revenue estimate to over 11 percent annually and gross win from esports betting is expected to grow 39 percent in 2020, to reach USD343 million, according to the Esports Insider (ESI) Gambling Report.

Putting a wager on FIFA20 or NBA 2K is similar to any traditional bet placed on soccer, basketball or other team game. The increased interest in these games has been harnessed by esports betting which includes match winners, totals, props and spreads/handicaps.  Whilst action games, like League of Legends, are different in the sense the wagers are on the number of kills made or maps collected, they are generally easy to understand for those used to traditional betting.

Esports betting has grown significantly in the last few years, even before the pandemic, though few legal sportsbooks would accept real money bets on video game competitions. When the NBA canceled games in early 2020, followed soon after by other major leagues including European soccer, the search for alternative entertainment attracted new people