Hello there, fellow gamblers! Today, I will be covering something of a touchy topic in the EU, particularly in the UK. The big question is: “is eSports betting legal in the UK?” This is a question that a lot of us ask due to lots of reasons.
It might be because we are planning to move to that particular location and want to know if gambling is legal there? Or it could be that you were salty at one point due to losing a large amount in a bet against someone from the UK.
With eSports becoming more and more of a global platform in today’s sporting events, we want to be sure and become protected whenever we gamble. The reasons area varied and today, we will be tackling everything from the ground up.
Is it legal or not?
The verdict? It’s both yes and no. “But how is it legal and illegal in the same vein?” “Can you care to explain? That is just one big cop out coming from you!” These are most likely the questions we will be getting from people whenever they ask us if something is legal or not. Before you get your panties in a bunch, however, let me explain.
The legality of betting is based on regulation. If the casino or sportsbook is regulated, then gambling in that particular place is legal. However, if the house is unregulated, betting there is deemed illegal. Now, why are there two sides of the same coin? Let me explain further.
First things first. What makes eSports betting in the UK legal is that they should be part of an organization that is regulated. The license has to be approved by the UK Gambling Commission. Places such as Betway, Paddy Power, Bet365 and William Hill are able to offer eSports matches for betting on their sites due to them being licensed by the UK Commission.
Without that, they would become illegal. Now, how to the gambling commission approve entities for this?
First things first, they would have to prove that in no way they are able to manipulate the odds of the match, which makes the whole betting experience fair and square.
Also, they would have to bet with cold hard cash and not in-game items such as skins or avatars as those are the property of the game makers.
Another condition is that you are subjected to identification checks and would need to submit a Drivers License or a passport to prove your identity. This step keeps out minors as they are not of legal age to gamble yet and also scammers to protect the other players.
Which platforms cannot operate in the UK?
Now on the illegal part. These are the entities or the companies that a lot of people usually complain about because they are being duped or not being paid. There are a lot of issues as well as regards to scammers on these platforms.
Others are blatant cheaters and the owners of the betting sites are able to manipulate the odds of the matches on the last minute or the results of lotteries. These are the reasons why these organizations fail to secure or get rejected when getting a gambling license in the UK.
There are other places such as CSGOLounge(review) or SkinHub(review) which are on the straight and narrow, but they allow minors to be able to gamble in their sites using skins or other items that they could get in-game.
And even though they have exceptional customer service and they do not cheat their players, they will never be granted a license in the UK. Also, most of these companies do not even do identification checks. All you need to do is just link your Steam API and then you are all set.
If you notice a pattern or the differences between the legal side and the illegal organizations that offer to gamble, it is that most legal entities only allow you to bet on matches. This way, they are guaranteed to not be able to manipulate the results for the players as these are dependent on the scores on the match that is being played.
They may offer lotteries or raffles, but not to the extent that some of the illegal entities do. They only make you register once for the raffle and you are set. With the illegal entities, however, they do not only offer matches but case openings and giveaways as well.
Their giveaways work similar to raffles, however, you have to do a lot of things before you even get an entry to them. The case openings are what gets to the minors though. They work similar to slot machines in casinos with all these colors and flashing lights and they entice you into betting more and more.
Although it is not a bad thing if you are of age to gamble, it is very bad for an online casino to let a minor gamble, and usually, they use their mum’s or dad’s credit cards.
What’s the future?
In the far future, however, we will most likely be seeing more and more of the legitimate UK eSports betting in online casinos that have licenses that the non regulated casinos. Valve is actually cracking down on online gambling and they have been making a lot of steps to ensure that these non-regulated entities are closed.
This actually protects us, the gamblers as there are lower chances to be scammed if we are playing in a legitimate and regulated online casino that on a site that popped up just a week ago.
Aside from that, it also limits minors from gambling in said places, thus lessening the toxicity in the communities because let’s admit it, a lot of people look down on the eSports due to the way most of the fans act with their childish behavior. If you have a lot of gambling minors, you exactly get that toxicity and attitude.
With all that said, however, I do encourage you to only gamble what you can afford to lose and do not go overboard. If you have any gambling problems, head over to your local Gamblers Anonymous and seek help. Be responsible when you gamble and always have fun!