By Kenneth Williams
The esports betting industry has exploded in recent years. The novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic of 2020 has lifted the industry to new heights, but oddsmakers haven’t lost any incentive to improve their services. In fact, increased popularity pushes bettors’ standards higher. There’s plenty of competition between sportsbooks, and payment options are one area to gain an advantage over a competing esports betting site.
Esports bettors are particularly keen on diverse payment options. Esports tournaments can feature multiple rounds of competition on the same day and new matchups are constantly determined in multi-day events such as League of Legends Worlds or Dota’s The International. These championships are also the most popular betting attractions for their respective titles. Esports bettors benefit the most from fast deposit and withdrawal times, and their love of technology coincides with one of the fast-growing payment options. They will check your payment times before making an account.
The four main options
Options for esports betting are largely the same as for traditional sports. A cutting-edge payment menu would include debit cards, online wallets, bank transfers and cryptocurrency. Each type of service is aimed at different kinds of users. While there are other methods of transferring money between customers and betting companies, those four make up the vast majority of payment providers in esports betting.
Debit cards are the most common method used to deposit money into a betting site for a good reason: they’re ubiquitous and charge minimal fees – but they don’t particularly excel in any certain area. Transfer times vary between immediate and three days, with most taking a few hours. A same-day debit card deposit is a very desirable option.
Online wallets are a common sight on betting sites but their sheer variety can make supporting them difficult. The likes of Skrill, Neteller, Trustly and ecoPayz all require individual attention to implement into your payment gateway. Fees and timing also vary wildly from service to service. If you can only support a single online wallet, stick with PayPal.
Bank transfers are a favourite for very experienced bettors, thanks to their reputation as the most secure deposit option. While that may be true, that security comes at the expense of speed. Direct deposits can take days to send and days to arrive, and some sites can only promise receipt within two weeks. Bank transfers’ low opportunity cost and user loyalty make it an option worth offering, but very few esports bettors, if any, use them.
Cryptocurrency is another resource-intensive payment option that is crucial for attracting esports bettors. Crypto transfer speeds are the quickest among the four main choices by far. Esports bettors often need to adjust their account on the fly, and the low fees further incentivise them to pick crypto. The most popular digital currencies are Bitcoin and Ethereum but having infrastructure for one cryptocurrency makes it much easier to begin accepting others.
Tailoring your offer
Esports bettors largely fall into the same deposit habits as traditional sports fans. Credit cards and online wallets are still the most popular options and bank transfers are used only by a select few. In addition, video game bettors are eager to adopt cryptocurrency for its novelty and convenience. Video game betting and cryptocurrency are intertwined, so a plan to integrate one should probably also include the other.
If you want to tailor your payment providers towards esports bettors, crypto is a must. Bitcoin and Ethereum are relatively easy to handle and transfer, but new crypto variations are continually gaining traction in the market. Crypto off-shoots such as stablecoins are only the beginning. Offering crypto payments now will make it easier to adapt as the market opens up – and tech-savvy esports bettors will appreciate your efforts almost as much as they enjoy the quickness and cheapness of crypto.