BEST BOOKMAKER FOR ESPORTS BETTING
Published 6th September 2019
Leading tipster site Betting Expert compares bookmakers’ esports offerings, exploring their markets, odds and in-play options to determine the best in the UK
A significant trend in recent years has been the rise in popularity of esports betting, with most of the UK’s top bookmakers now offering bettors the opportunity to gamble on a range of esports markets. These cover a variety of tournaments, both domestic and international.
To determine the best bookmakers for esports we examined the offerings from a variety of bookies in the UK over a nine-day period starting on 3 June.
We considered a range of factors, including whether the bookmaker offered odds on esports; how many leagues and tournaments were covered; the number of markets available; and whether or not it was possible to bet in-play. We also compared prices on specific competitions to determine the best bookmaker for esports odds.
In our analysis, we looked at 25 of the most popular bookmakers available online for UK customers. The full list was:
● Sky Bet
● William Hill
● Paddy Power
● Winner Sports
● Genting Bet
Most of the bookmakers in our list offered markets on esports, with the exception of BoyleSports, Genting Bet, Matchbook, Sportingbet, Titanbet and Winner Sports. These six were excluded from further analysis.
Based on our overall findings, our top bookmaker for esports betting in the UK was Betway, followed by Energy Bet and Sky Bet. Bet-At-Home and Bet365 made up the remainder of our top five.
Betway, Energy Bet and Sky Bet scored highly in the criteria we analysed, with all three offering esports odds on a range of leagues. Our research found that Betway offered odds and markets on nine esports tournaments. We used one of them, the CS:GO ESEA MDL match between Bad News Bears and ex-Zone, as the basis for part of our research. We found competitive odds from those bookmakers offering markets on the event, with little difference between the prices on offer at Betway and the other bookmakers on our list.
There were 10 separate markets available at Betway for the Bad News Bears vs. ex-Zone match, a figure beaten only by Energy Bet, which offered 18. Betway also offered odds on seven other Counter-Strike events, a number matched by Sky Bet and LeoVegas. BetVictor took the honours with a total of eight.
There was no live streaming available on the specific match we researched, but it was possible to bet in-play. Betway was also one of only two bookmakers, Unibet being the other, to offer exclusive esports offers. Energy Bet, our runners-up, also impressed us. The company offered odds and markets on fewer tournaments than many in our list, but it made up for this when we compared the odds for the Bad News Bears vs. ex-Zone match. Energy Bet offered more markets on this game than any other bookmaker on our list.
At third-placed Sky Bet there were eight esports leagues available to bet on, one short of Betway. Players could bet on four separate markets on the Counter-Strike match we reviewed, with in-play betting also a possibility.
Sky Bet finished just ahead of Bet-At-Home. Our fourth-placed bookmaker was the only operator to offer live streaming on the event we researched.
TOP BOOKMAKERS FOR NUMBER OF LEAGUES OFFERED
For punters looking to bet on a range of esports tournaments, the deciding factor is often which bookmaker offers odds on the most leagues and competitions. We found the following bookmakers to be best in that respect:
● Sky Bet
Bet365 and Bet-At-Home shared the crown for offering the most leagues and tournaments, with 14 separate competitions available to bet on. These were:
● League of Legends
● NBA 2K
● Rocket League
LOWEST BOOKMAKER MARGIN
On some esports events, commission is also a factor for players. We analysed how much commission each bookmaker charged to determine the lowest margins for esports betting. We return to our example of the CS:GO ESEA MDL game between Bad News Bears and ex-Zone. We found that the following bookmakers applied the least amount of commission on the game:
● Paddy Power
● Sky Bet
● Energy Bet
Betfair and Paddy Power shared top place here, charging commission of 6.44%.
In general terms, the largest number of Counter-Strike events and odds were on offer at BetVictor. However, for our esports betting review, we took many other aspects into consideration.
Live streaming for the Bad News Bears vs. ex-Zone game was only available at Bet-At-Home, but all of the bookmakers we researched offered in-play odds. Meanwhile, though including esports promotions and bonus opportunities can increase bookies’ appeal to players, we found only two bookmakers offering esports-specific bonuses. These were Betway and Unibet.
At first glance it may seem a surprise to see Betway take top spot, but the company has invested heavily in esports and was the first UK-based bookmaker to directly invest in an esports team.
Similarly, the top-five placings of Energy Bet and Bet-At-Home may have caused a few raised eyebrows, but both appear to be underrated operators, at least in this area.
Providing expert tips and in-depth betting theory, bettingexpert.com is the world’s biggest social network of sports betting tipsters. Its global community of experts compete for prizes by sharing their strongest tips on upcoming matches across 25 different sports to help millions of sports bettors place knowledgesupported bets, with the best odds available from a variety of bookmakers. Betting Expert is owned by Better Collective, the leading developer of educational platforms within the igaming industry.