While there were other forms of gambling in the past, sports betting came later on. Punters wagered on different sports, including soccer, one of the most popular sports in the country. Earlier on, betting was informal as there were no established betting companies. But as betting companies began to crop up in Europe and the entire world, things started to change. Betting became popular in the country now that punters could easily bet on their favorite games.
Sports betting became very popular in the 80s and 90s. Then came virtual sports, which offered players more betting options. Virtual sports became a favorite to many bettors as there were betting markets, 24/7, all year round. During this time, eSports betting was becoming exceedingly competitive, attracting top teams and top talent worldwide. Interestingly, Belgium had a solid eSports fan base. Many Belgian teams and players competed at the top-tier competitions.
When eSports finally hit the betting scene, Belgium was among the countries where punters switched to eSports betting. Most fans of virtual sports betting shifted to eSports because eSports have a human touch.
Esports betting nowadays in Belgium
Even though eSports betting in Belgium started over a decade ago, the pandemic was a gamechanger. According to statistics, 57% of the Belgian audience watched eSports for the first time between 2020 and 2021, while 46% of those who already knew about eSports increased their consumption during the pandemic.
Definitely, the increase in eSports reach and awareness spurred the growth of eSports betting. But it's the lockdowns and containment measures that triggered the instant surge in eSports betting. With all the live sports halted, punters lacked betting options. Luckily, most betting operators seized the moment and focused on eSports betting. While live matches have resumed right now, eSports still has a special place amongst Belgian gamblers.