What is the real problem with betting on eSports and why does the future depend on solving it?
Enter on the internet an uncle who has made gold selling virtual cards of Messi, another pursued by the justice to speak on its YouTube channel of pages of dubious bets that also has taken a few dinerillos and one that does not understand how noses It is all that possible. The movie is called: betting on eSports and we want to avoid you being the third type.
Why are eSports bets reoccurring?
If the topic of eSport sports betting is back in the limelight it is thanks to Craig Douglas, an English YouTuber nicknamed as NepentheZ who has been accused of violating the Gambling Act for promoting betting in the ‘FIFA’ video game.
What is that about the Gambling Act?
It is a law on the game of the UK Parliament intended to prevent bets related in some way to public disorder or crime, ensure that bets are fair and open, and protect children or other vulnerable people from possible plots related to bets.
Does that mean it’s illegal to bet on eSports?
No, or at least not exactly. Bets on eSports are legal provided they are located on pages or premises regulated by the Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling. Each country has its own license to regulate bets and those bodies that are not approved are in the crosshairs of the police and legal authorities.
Why do we need so much regulation? Is not each one’s problem where the money is spent?
Well, the truth is that no, it is much more complicated than spending or putting your money at stake where it pleases you. The issue is not only that we speak of organizations that ensure your safety and protect you against possible scams while informing you of their licensed operators, it is also that you are doing something illegal by supporting a system that is not regulated and, therefore, it may not pay the taxes appropriate to its activities.
But if I can bet, what’s the problem with ‘FIFA’ bets?
The issue is that the pages promoted by the aforementioned YouTuber did not fall within that framework of legality and, by talking about them in an open manner and without clarifying the problems that the addiction to gambling can bring, it was to a certain extent boosting the whole audience to bet, being part of that minor audience and, therefore, one of the groups protected against the problems of the game.
Why do not these ‘FIFA’ bets fall within the legal framework?
These pages are based on a legal void related to betting, which is that they are not allowed to bet with real money, but are made with FIFA coins, coins that can be acquired through microtransactions and that do not fall within the legal framework of bets for not being a regulated currency.
But then, why would anyone want to bet FIFA coins instead of real money?
Here we enter a vicious circle in which we must first make clear where the need to play with these coins comes from. Everything boils down to the rise of ‘FIFA Ultimate Team’ and its trading system.
Ok, tell me what the hell is that about FIFA Ultimate Team
Well, you see, it’s a free way in which anyone can create a team from scratch and, with the money you earn from games or microtransactions that allow you to access your FIFA coins, buy envelopes that offer you, among other consumables , players from all available leagues.
So people pay to buy virtual envelopes.Exactly, but not only that. Luck can get in your last envelope a star player, a Messi or a Ronaldo that would be a great asset for your team or, if you prefer, a way to get rich in FIFA coins by putting it in the transaction market and wait for someone to pay for him the amount of FIFA coins you ask for.
I don’t quite understand what all this has to do with bets or possible fraud
Now we come to that. Let’s say you’re on a page where you bet on FIFA coins. As you do not pay with money nobody assures you that those bets are safe or, in other words, that the matches are not rigged. So you and others who have fallen into the trap lose a good amount of coins that then a third uses to acquire special players and create teams dopadísimos of players with which to sweep in any online match. Let’s say, in a last hypothesis, that this great team that has been created by ripping people off, ends up being sold on eBay by X amount to someone who wants to get a good team without going through the hard work of creating it from 0 and … tachán! You already have a whole web of illegal gambling that ends up being monetized without having to go through a regulatory body.
Are you going to stop all this?
The main thing to understand is that the regulatory agencies are the first interested in addressing this problem. If the legitimate bets stand at 250 million dollars according to the eSports Market Report study, the illegitimate bets amount to 2 billion dollars. That’s a lot of money.
What is being done to avoid these types of bets?
In addition to what the competent authorities can do to stop this type of pages (there companies like SportRadar, which is in charge of monitoring the bettings around the world to visualize possible frauds, are of great help), the video-game companies are also putting all the meat on the grill to remedy. There is Valve, for example, that last summer sent threats of “cease and desist” to different pages that took advantage of the skins market of ‘CS: GO’ to create bets in online casinos.