Is the Booming Esports Industry a Playground for Corruption?

Riding the wave of mainstream popularity, esports betting has never been more accessible or popular. In fact, the global online industry is expected to reach as much as $4.45 billion by 2028, with a CAGR of 16.50% over that period.

As it can’t be otherwise: this unprecedented growth has also attracted an unregulated and highly lucrative market, exposing the industry to the same corruption risks as traditional forms of sports betting. As the line between fair play and foul play blurs, the question arises: Is this rise in corruption a temporary blip or a fundamental shift in the esports landscape?

Esports vs. Traditional Sports Corruption

While the types of competitions may differ, the fundamentals of match-fixing for betting fraud remain largely the same across traditional sports and esports. However, in the world of cyber sports, where there is no overarching governing body, the fixing tends to be more opportunistic, with coaches and teams taking advantage of situations and betting against themselves to reap financial gain.

On the flipping side, match-fixing in traditional sports is often carried out by betters who bribe players to create a specific betting outcome. Nonetheless, the underlying mechanism of corruption remains similar.

Is Esports Corruption on the Rise?

The growing availability and volume of betting markets have become the main drivers of corruption in sports. What was once considered a low-tier event with low betting potential can now produce significant returns. The ease of opening multiple accounts to place bets, fueled by the internet and cryptocurrency, has made manipulation of games more tempting and more likely.

However, it’s crucial to remember that the rise of gambling doesn’t automatically lead to more corruption. Interestingly, as esports continue to gain mainstream attention, we are witnessing a rise in traditional types of match-fixing in this emerging sector, much like what has been observed in the world of sports for decades.

The Battle Against Illegal Activity

Creating a global network for suspicious betting alerts could be the key to protecting sports, including esports, from corruption. By linking betting operators, regulators, law enforcement, and monitoring companies, real-time information about betting markets and matches in all sports can be shared.

This would enable companies to react quickly and make it more difficult for match-fixing to occur. For instance, GGBet Casino and esports betting platform has partnered with the Esports Integrity Commission to battle misconduct in esports through player and coach education.

This agreement reinforces the bookmaker’s commitment to creating a secure environment for players and stakeholders alike. As a result, it also can be a great starting point for other vendors to consider following suit to discourage criminal investments, too.

The Learning Gap Factor

Undeniably, esports athletes are extremely vulnerable to manipulation and betrayal. Its effects on their careers can be entirely devastating: sponsorships, tournaments, and the rewards of victory can be easily vanished.

To combat these threats, education is key. Competitors must understand the rules and the consequences of breaking them. In particular, they must know how to recognize and report any attempts to fix matches. Even though it can be tempting to take advantage of the bigger payouts that can come from participating in shady activity, athletes must be prepared to stay above board and reject illicit offers.

Ultimately, the connection between sports and betting can be a double-edged sword, as it boosts the chance of detection. As such, competitors must be informed of the consequences to help safeguard the sanctity of esports.

Why The Integrity Should Matter

Though there may be larger matters to consider, an undeniable truth is that for many, sports and games can bring solace and cheer to their day-to-day lives.

Compromising the quality of sports activities can have far-reaching consequences and can ultimately detract from the joys of life for a great many people. Therefore, proactively safeguarding the integrity of competitive sports is beneficial to the entire community and contributes to a healthier, more positive world.

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