U.K. statistics show a huge increase in ESports betting during COVID-19 lockdown

Will the trend continue when traditional sports resume?

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Last week, the Gambling Commission in the U.K. published data showing the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on gambling behaviour in Great Britain. The latest figures show that the amount of money spent on ESports betting increased during the two months of full lockdown in April and May.

However, the numbers also show that betting on ESports was skyrocketing even before then. In March 2019, the total amount spent on ESports betting was £50,223 (equal to about US$63,325). By March of this year, that amount had risen to £1,517,548—an increase of a staggering 2,922 percent.

Between March and April of this year, the amount increased a further 124 percent. In May, betting on ESports totalled £4,616,610 (roughly US$5,820,968).

The number are impressive, but of course it remains to be seen if interest in ESports—and betting on ESports events—remains high even when traditional sports resume.

I have done a lot of different things over the course of my life and professional career. I have interviewed Oscar and Grammy winners and written cover stories for glossy newsstand magazines. I have played guitar in a rock band on national TV and run an independent music label for which I wrote all of the PR and marketing materials. In my spare time, I sweated out a novel about a world where raccoons are kings and dragons are real.

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