Imagine a world where you can compete against unseen opponents on your PlayStation while sitting on your couch and people around the world can wager on your chances of winning.
This could be a reality after Sony Interactive Entertainment reportedly filed for a patent on a system that would enable people to bet on live esports events.
While details of the proposed device are not evident, and the patent filing apparently does not mention Sony’s PlayStation by name, the game manufacturer seems to be acknowledging the tremendous opportunity that esports and online sports betting brings.
Sony’s Esports Betting Patent
The Sony patent mentions an “E-Sports Betting Platform,” which would allow players and observers to place bets on events and have it automatically handled on their gaming device: the odds, fees, winnings, etc. would all happen online through the system. This would mark a first in online live esports and gaming entertainment. Sony would offer odds in real-time, evidently based on prior gameplay between the opponents using an algorithm or some method.
The possibility of betting on live esports and egaming events would add a new wrinkle to betting, which is expanding rapidly in the United States and around the globe as demand increases. Video games, live competitive gaming, and esports have seen a similar trend of growth.
According to Statista, the US video game market is projected to top $65 billion in 2021. That includes a large number of gamers who play exclusively interactive online games. Many compete in esports events that pit hundreds or thousands of the best video sports e-gamers in tournament play. Popular games include Call of Duty, Counter-Strike, Fortnite, League of Legends, and Overwatch. A popular esports game is Madden NFL, which attracts the best esports gamers to a competition every year.
A possible future scenario could be that gambling is done as much on “virtual” sporting events and other gaming involving “players” with joysticks as there is on actual sports with athletes in the real world. The growth of gambling could be greatly accelerated in such a world where competitions could sprout online and between groups of players in tournaments or leagues.