Gambling and sports are intrinsically linked in the modern world, and esports is going in that direction too. Whether it is DOTA2, League of Legends, Counter-Strike or some other game you love to bet on, there is probably money being staked on it already, and no game lends itself to a bet more than CS:GO right now. A combination of the more mature audience and large number of variables within play means the game is ideal for betting, and that development of the market is not going to slow anytime soon.
As with traditional sport, the introduction of gambling brings with it a new breed, those folks who simply view the games as a means to make money, rather than gambling as a fun addition to the event they already love. Massive sports like football, cricket and boxing have all fallen foul to corruption, be it from illegal gambling rings or even governments paying off Olympic judges, and it is naïve to think esports will be immune from this.
What is important for the scene and the future of gambling is to learn the lessons from sport, and try to implement the most effective checks and balances from that area so those that decide to bet on CS:GO can have faith in the system. If gambling is allowed to continue unregulated for the foreseeable future, there is an inevitability that stories will emerge of match fixing, especially at the lower level. In fact, if you listen to the most respected journalists in esports, it becomes clear this is already the case, with CS:GO matches in Asia almost certainly falling prey to this kind of criminality.
Integrity in the gambling scene matters, whether you bet on CS:GO, Dota or any other game
Luckily, for those that like to bet on CS:GO, there is an easy way to support this change in the industry, and that is to use sites that are regulated, and therefore must abide by a set of legal guidelines. There are more and more such options springing up, and while some are run by folk who come from the world of traditional sport, there is really no downside to taking advantage of the extra security that offers.
In the UK there is already regulation around this area, with the UK Gambling Commission issusing a position paper on the future of esports gambling and tournaments, meaning companies from the UK are held to a higher standard that was the case. The UKGC believes it can and should regulate esports gambling, and that esports can be handled in the same way as other gambling activities, going forward, which is great news for punters and potential customers alike.
This is not to say that any non-UK firm should be ignored, but there are definitely companies out there that exist beyond the law, and that should be treated with a level of suspicion. Cases like the TMartn one, where an unscrupulous YouTube ‘personality’ duped his fans into using a site he owned by lying about his involvement, have the potential to hurt confidence long term, and show the industry is far from self-regulation.
To be honest the normal refrain from fans, that ‘sports people’ don’t understand esports, doesn’t even work here, as the gambling industry works on its own set of rules and algorithms that aren’t really game-specific. As a result, you get all the benefits of their experience without the potential for the sort of embarrassing moments the likes of the BBC seem to create whenever they attempt some esports journalism.
Plus, when you do bet on CS:GO, you know that your money is going into a regulated system, and there is a pathway for restitution, with legitimate oversight from a governing body. As the scene, and therefore amount of money within the scene, continues to grow, it is essentially that steps are taken to prevent such problems, as they have the potential to shake investor confidence at a time when opportunities abound.
The reward for this is the chance for those of us who like to bet on CS:Go to have the sort of scene football enjoys today, and all the benefits that come with that. Integrity matters to the average fan, and is a small price to pay for a vibrant, exciting betting scene that not only enhances the enjoyment of those using it, but also protects the vulnerable from the exploitation sport has endured.
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