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Abstract

During recent years, while electronic sports (esports) has increasingly become a positive mainstream cultural phenomenon, it also may have several socio-economic implications, such as the growth of esports betting. Much like betting in sport, betting on esports has become a prominent form of gambling. However, there is still a paucity of knowledge on the demographic characteristics of this gambling cohort, particularly in regard to its relationship to video game play and spectatorship. In the present study, past-year video gamers (N = 1368) completed an online survey. Survey questions inquired about their esports event spectating, video game play, and esports betting behaviours, as well as general demographic questions. Video gamers who bet on esports were adistinct cohort from their counterparts: younger, more likely to be male, lower frequency of video game play, higher frequency of esports spectatorship, and more likely to watch esports in a social setting (e.g., with others). By providing a background on gamers’ behaviours this work contributes to the growing body of research into the dynamic profile of esports play, spectatorship, and gambling. Findings are reflective of the growing interrelation of gambling and gaming behaviours, a subject garnering increasing attention from governments, regulatory agencies, public health specialists and clinicians, and the related industries themselves.

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