Is Esports Betting Legal?

If you’re interested in beginning your esports betting adventure, it’s important to have all the facts straight. The most important question that should be answered before you make any actions toward esports betting is ‘Is esports betting legal?’. In this guide, you’ll find all the information you need to determine the legality of esports betting in your country and whether or not your chosen esports betting bookmaker is doing it legally.

Best Sites for Esports Betting

  2. 1xBet
  3. Betway
  4. Nitrogen
  5. 22bet

Is Esports Betting Legal in My Country?

Considering the speed at which esports is constantly growing (especially when we look at the thousands of esports tournaments hosted each year), it’s evident that the esports betting side of the coin is pretty strong.

The number of competing esports teams from various esports organizations has never been higher, and we’re seeing some new esports countries begin their foray into esports as well. Also, there are almost a hundred (if not more) esports games to choose from.

But the main question that most people have when they decide to start esports betting is whether or not it is legal. Legality plays a big role in both legitimacy (from the bookies) and the willingness of people to entrust their money for betting purposes.

The good news is that esports betting in the UK is completely legal. On top of that, many bookmakers offer specialized betting markets and bonuses to UK citizens who want to bet on esports. Keep in mind, however, that by UK law, you cannot use credit cards for esports betting.

As such, you’ll need to find an alternative payment method such as PayPal or cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Other than that, you shouldn’t have any trouble regarding the law in the UK.

However, it’s important to note that the biggest problem you may encounter is illegal betting operators. Let’s talk a bit about how you can tell the difference between legal and illegal esports betting sites.

How to Tell if an Esports Betting Site is Legal?

There are a couple of ways to tell whether an esports betting site is legal or not. The first (and funniest but just as important as the rest) is checking the grammar. In most cases, esports betting operators will do their utmost to provide the best betting services, including written content.

The second (and arguably most important method) is checking the footer. Reputable and legal betting operators will have distinct written content in the footer that shows information about who they are and their betting license.

1xBet Site Footer Screenshot

1xBet website footer

You can also check the ‘About Us’ section (if any) for additional information about them. Also, you should input the listed address in Google Maps (or equivalent) to see if it’s a real address. If everything is in order, then you should be fine.

Never use illegal esports betting operators; if they do not have or list a license on their website, don’t risk it. Some more good news about betting on esports from the UK is that the UK Gambling Commission is ruthless and efficient. If an esports betting operator lets you use their website from the UK – they’re legit.

What is the Difference Between a Legal and an Illegal Bookmaker?

There are a couple of differences between legal and illegal bookmakers, all of which you should know about before placing your first few bets. It’s important to avoid illegal bookmakers as they’re not only breaking the law but may potentially steal your information or money.

In any case, here are the biggest differences between the two:

Incredible Odds

Illegal betting operators generally have odds that aren’t found elsewhere. In most cases, these odds look ‘too good to be true’. And that’s exactly what they are. You see, illegal bookmakers avoid paying fees that the law dictates they must, so they can attempt to bring in more customers due to the odds they choose.

However, if their interest is stealing your money or information, this is also a ‘good’ tactic because people will look at the odds and decide that this bookie is the best (disregarding every other aspect).

Whereas legitimate, reputable bookmakers don’t offer such high odds, they’re still pretty great. One key factor here is comparing the esports betting odds found on a couple of websites. Almost all reputable bookies will offer similar odds for similar events – but illegitimate and illegal bookies will stand out. To make sure you’re always on a safe site, use the bookmakers we provide on our pages.

Account Verification

Legit esports betting bookmakers will seek to verify your account to protect you and them. They go to great lengths to ensure adequate security for their users, often including 2FA authorization. This is the case for everyone, no matter which esports betting market they settle for.

On the other hand, illegitimate bookmakers won’t really care about your security; in fact, some will actively seek to degrade it. Be wary of bookmakers that don’t require account verification.

Credit Card Requests

If a bookie wants you to input your credit card details before you verify your account or if they require it to activate your account – turn away. A legitimate esports betting bookmaker will never ask for your payment method information unless you specifically want to set it up.

Also, we do not recommend using bookmakers that don’t provide 2FA authentication for your account. This also applies to those that don’t require you to confirm your deposits with a security code.

Bookies at

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of researching esports betting bookmakers yourself, simply choose any of the bookies we have reviewed in the past. We are fully dedicated to transparency and legality and will never host an illegal bookie on our website.

Some of the best esports betting bookmakers include LOOT.BET, GG.BET, 1xBet, and betway, while Thunderpick is a great choice for people who predominantly use cryptocurrencies to wager their bets.

Additionally, most of these bookies also host live streams on their websites so you’ll be able to easily track the action and react accordingly by placing more bets (if the bookie supports live betting).

Unregulated Bookmakers vs Regulated Bookmakers

You might be wondering what happens in countries where esports betting isn’t regulated and there aren’t any laws in place for it. In certain cases, these countries have a higher prevalence of fraudulent bookmakers so it’s important to stay true to the identification process we covered in the section above.

Even if your country doesn’t have laws about esports betting, you should still only use esports betting operators who have an esports license clearly displayed on their website. Ideally, you will also want to check whether or not this bookmaker is supported in heavily regulated countries such as the UK.

Unregulated bookmakers aren’t necessarily those that are not legitimate; they simply do not have to conform to certain rules (although betting for Under 18s is prohibited anyway) so they may offer higher odds than usual or certain benefits that aren’t found elsewhere.

In any case, it doesn’t matter if your country regulates esports betting bookmakers. You should always do your research and steer clear of illegitimate bookmakers.

What is the Future for Legal Esports Betting?

The current position of esports betting in the eyes of the law is favourable and positive. It is highly regulated, and the rules are strict. Under 18s are prohibited from esports betting and some bookmakers will even require proof of identity which leaves no room for tricking the system.

As for the future, well, that’s a tough question. If we take a look at esports and, more specifically, mobile esports, we’ll notice that there’s been accelerated growth over the past few years. Some researchers have noted the popularity gain for mobile esports games and that there is a chance they will surpass PC and Console esports games in the near future.

There’s no doubt that esports betting will follow suit; we may even see more countries accept it legally and begin implementing regulations for controlling it. Overall, looking at how esports betting is viewed today and how popular it is, there’s no doubt that the future will be positive.

After all, there’ll be more and more game releases in the future which means the esports betting market will also expand. According to most reports, there’s nothing to worry about as betting on esports is here to stay.

Legal Esports Betting FAQs

Is esports betting legal in the UK?

Esports betting is legal in the UK but betting with credit cards is not. You should use an alternative payment method instead.

Is match betting legal?

Match betting is legal and one of the most common esports betting markets out there. You will find this betting market across all bookmakers. Just remember that the odds associated with match betting aren’t as high as outrights for example.

What are the best reputable esports betting bookmakers?

Some of the most popular esports betting bookmakers are LOOT.BET, GG.BET, betway, 1xBet, Thunderpick, and bet365. They offer excellent esports betting odds and a wide variety of esports betting markets. On top of that, you can also expect some impressive and helpful esports betting bonuses. We’d also like to point out that any of the bookies we have reviewed on our site are great choices for esports betting.

How to make sure a bookie is legal?

Firstly, you should check to see whether the bookmaker has a gambling license. These licenses are given out by the country of origin’s regulatory bodies. For the United Kingdom, the UK Gambling Commission deals with licenses and regulates bookmakers on what they can and cannot do when it comes to UK citizens using them for esports betting.

What esports games can you bet on?

There are dozens if not hundreds of esports games that you can bet on. Some of the most popular ones include League of Legends, Dota 2, CSGO, Overwatch, and VALORANT. Mobile esports games are also supported on bookie websites if you aren’t a fan of PC or Consoles.

Esports Betting Pro: Our Verdict

The legality of esports betting in today’s world is in a better position compared to before. Most metrics and characteristics are the same in both traditional and esports betting so it’s evident why it’s better looked at now.

Those who want to take the plunge and begin their betting career in esports can rest easy knowing that as far as the UK is concerned, there won’t be any legal issues with such an activity. However, if you do not live in the UK, you should check with your local government to see what’s the status of esports gambling there. In any case, good luck with your esports bets!

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Please be aware that all predictions given on this website are the oppinion of the author and might not necessarily be correct.

Bonus offers and betting odds featured on this website are subject to change. Terms and conditions of the featured bookmakers apply.