What eSports in Australia Can Learn from Horse Racing’s Link With the Betting Industry

What eSports in Australia Can Learn from Horse Racing's Link With the Betting Industry

3 minutes

Last Updated: December 26, 2023

Alex Zlatanovic

Known for its prosperous sporting culture, Australia has undoubtedly saved a special place in its heart for horse racing.

There is something unique about the thundering hooves and the suspense of the race that makes Australians hopelessly attached to the sport. On that basis, it is little wonder that horse racing is the most popular betting sport in the country.

Betting markets for horse racing in Australia are extensive. As premium events like the Melbourne Cup and The Everest continue to draw worldwide attention, domestic and foreign bookmakers jack up their offerings, tempting an ever-growing audience with diverse betting options and competitive odds.

You do not need to look beyond the New South Wales Spring Racing Carnival’s mouth-watering $6 million bonus project, featuring The Everest as its most prominent event, to understand horse racing’s popularity in Australia.

The Everest’s charms have generated considerable interest and increased betting turnover, playing a starring role in promoting horse races around the globe.

Given the sport’s unparalleled popularity in the region, it’s no wonder that the best betting apps in Australia focus massively on providing punters with the most diverse betting options for horse racing.

However, online sportsbook operators are savvy enough to know they cannot afford to ignore the allure of other traditional sports or emerging genres such as eSports. The latter has garnered plenty of attention in recent times but still has some way to go before it matches horse racing’s allure.

With that in mind, we assess why eSports has become so popular in Australia and what it can learn from horse racing’s long-standing links with the betting industry.

eSports is Taking Australia by Storm

Horse racing is an integral part of Aussie folklore, but a new dawn is on the horizon, and it may face a serious challenge to its supremacy over the next few years.

The world is changing as unconventional sports threaten to dethrone the established dominance of traditional sports. The emergence of eSports has destabilized common perceptions of sporting entertainment.

According to research from Bond University’s Digital Australia, 17 million Aussies enjoy playing video games, accounting for a whopping 63% of the population.

If that is not captivating enough, around 92% of households have gaming devices, highlighting gaming’s integration into the fabric of everyday life across local citizens.

For some Australians, eSports is not just a pastime but a profession. When you think of gaming in Australia, Justin ‘jks’ Savage is the first name that springs to mind. The 28-year-old is a living legend on the highly competitive Counter-Strike scene.

As the only Australian gamer to win an S-Tier tournament in eSports, ‘jks’ has been an ever-present figure in Counter-Strike for almost a decade.

Currently under contract with French outfit G2, he has won numerous titles on his way to banking an eye-catching $667,766 in prize money.

eSports Can Take Cues from Horse Racing

eSports Can Take Cues from Horse Racing

While eSports is still relatively new to the betting industry, gaming has been making strides in the gambling sector in the post-pandemic world.

From event organization to long-term sustainability, eSports has come a long way from the entertainment backwaters to becoming one of the world’s biggest emerging megatrends. There is still ample room for improvement as the gaming industry tries to pierce the Australian market.

There is also a way for the leading figures in the gaming industry to learn from horse racing’s link with the betting industry.

Understanding how horse racing leverages betting markets and builds hype around major events could inspire eSports to explore similar avenues to draw more interest and attract investors.

Sponsorship deals with the leading players in the betting industry would undoubtedly take the world of professional video gaming to a completely different level.

It is not an overnight endeavor but an arduous process that will take time. However, horse racing has laid a template for the betting industry, which eSports can follow in the future.

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