Most Popular eSports Bookies in Belgium

There's no doubt eSports betting sites are the most sought-after betting platforms in this Western European country dubbed the "capital of Europe." Punters are now shifting their focus to eSports betting as eSports has a human touch, unlike virtual sports, which are computer-generated. On this page, check out all the best eSports bookmakers in Belgium, as well as the legality of eSports betting in the country.

Esports betting is one of the fastest-growing markets on the online gambling scene. According to statistics from Valuates Reports, the eSports betting industry was valued at $691.6 million in 2019 and is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 15.1% between 2021 to 2016.

Most Popular eSports Bookies in Belgium

Several reasons explain the exponential growth of esports betting. The industry is growing courtesy of the popularity of video games, the competitive edge of esports, live streaming platforms, and the huge prize money for tournaments.

There are dozens of betting sites in Belgium, the home of top-rated eSports teams including, Epsilon eSports and Team Belgium. Some betting sites are genuine, but others are not worth trying out. Fortunately, the experts have done the heavy lifting by assessing all the critical aspects before compiling this list of best eSports betting sites in Belgium.

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History of esports betting in Belgium

History of esports betting in Belgium

In this segment, find out more about the history of eSports betting in Belgium, from where it started to its current state and, importantly, the trajectory. But to understand the history of electronic sports betting in this country, it's important first to understand the history of gambling in general.

History of gambling in Belgium

Gambling is not a new activity in Belgium. According to historians, gambling in this country can be dated back to 1300. Several documents referring to card games and games of chance have been discovered. Besides the card games, Belgium had a national lottery as early as 15th C.

History of esports betting in Belgium
The coming of esports betting

The coming of esports betting

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.

The coming of esports betting
The future of esports betting

The future of esports betting

From all indications, esports betting has a bright future, now that the eSports industry itself is booming. Video game developers design their games with esports in mind while huge investments are injected into the eSports industry. Several factors will contribute to the growth of eSports betting in Belgium.

First is the exposure to esports. At the time of writing, there are over 5.25 million players in the Belgian gaming market, which means a higher esports penetration rate. All factors held constant, these numbers are rising by the day.

Another factor that will shape the esports betting industry in Belgium is the availability of esports betting sites. Unlike in the past when there were just a handful of esports bookies, today, Belgium boasts hundreds of esports betting sites with plenty of esports bonuses and promotions to attract new players and keep the existing ones glued.

Last is the fact that the Belgian government has not banned betting and gambling. Instead, it regulates the industry so no impediments or sanctions can scare away gaming operators and bettors.

The future of esports betting
Offshore esports betting sites

Offshore esports betting sites

While the Belgian government regulates all gambling activities in Belgium, many players don't bet on locally operated betting sites. Instead, they bet on offshore sites. So, what makes Belgian punters shun local betting sites?

First is the fact that players need to be over 21 years of age while other countries allow players to bet as long as they are above 18. Perhaps the biggest reason players shift to international betting sites is that locally operated betting sites don't have bonuses as lucrative as those offered by international bookies.

Regarding online offshore bookies, the Belgian Gaming Commission has put measures to prevent punters from accessing these sites. There is a blacklist available on the Gaming Commission website. The blacklist includes names of websites that, in the Gaming Commission's opinion, are offering betting markets to Belgian players illegally.

With the cooperation of the Belgian Gaming Commission, special police IT-crime unit, and ISPs, such websites are blocked. But then, this is a strenuous exercise, and more so, the number of eSports bookies accepting Belgian players is rising by the day.

Offshore esports betting sites
Betting acts in Belgium

Betting acts in Belgium

Gambling laws in Belgium have evolved. To understand the legal landscape of betting in this country, it's essential to grasp the main Acts.

Federal Act of 7 May 1999

Betting was a gray area before introducing the Gambling Act of 7 May 1999, which came to officially legalize and regulate all forms of gambling in Belgium, including betting. The Act led to the formation of the Gaming Commission mandated with licensing all gambling entities in the country and ensuring that all players abide by the rules. This Act aimed to regulate gambling, protect players, and curb the spike in illegal gambling and related vices.

2010 Belgian Gaming Act

The 1999 Gambling Act shed light on all forms of online gambling but left a few gray areas on matters online gambling. This led to the introduction of the 2010 Belgian Gaming Act that aimed at clearing the air regarding online gambling. At the time, only lotteries were allowed to be provided online. But through this Act's amendments, betting, including online eSports betting, became legal when the new law came to effect in 2011.

Gambling Act in 2019

In 2019, several amendments were made to the 1999 Gambling Act but most touched on casino gambling. The only notable change for betting was the mandatory inclusion of the "Gamble in moderation" ("Gok met mate") tag at the footer of all gambling websites in the country.

Betting acts in Belgium
Belgian players' favorite games

Belgian players' favorite games

Belgian eSports fans have different tastes, and luckily, game developers are now designing games with esports in mind. There are over a dozen eSports games that Belgian punters can wager on today.

The first popular category is shooter games. There are plenty of video games that are based on guns and weapons. First-person shooters (FPS) are the most popular, and as the name suggests, they are played from the first-person perspective. The most popular FPS game in Belgium is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Valve, and Hidden Path Entertainments multiplayer blockbuster. Besides CS: GO, Belgian players also like Valorant, COD, Overwatch, Apex Legends, and Rainbow Six Siege.

Another popular genre among Belgium eSports fans is multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games. This category covers games where two teams are entangled in a vicious battle on a predefined shrinking battleground (map). The best MOBA games in Belgium include Dota 2, League of Legends and Heroes of the Storm, and Smite.

Belgian eSports enthusiasts are also into sports simulation video games. The most popular title in this category is FIFA, EA Sports' franchise that emulates real soccer. Other simulation games include Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) and NBA2K.

Belgian players' favorite games
Payment methods in Belgium

Payment methods in Belgium

Belgian players must first load their betting accounts to get into real money esports betting. So, what are the available options here?

To start, Belgium esports sites support both fiat currency and crypto. For those who want to bet using fiat currency, the euro, Belgium's official currency, is supported. Several other international currencies, including the US dollar, Canadian dollar, British pound, and Australian dollar, are available on most sites. As for crypto, punters can use bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and bitcoin cash.

Next are the available deposit and withdrawal methods. Bancontact is the most popular deposit and withdrawal method at Belgian eSports betting sites. The market leader in electronic payments facilitates fast, affordable, and secure transactions. Besides Bancontact, there are several other online money transfer solutions ranging from credit/debit cards to eWallets. The list includes Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Neteller, PayPal, etc.

Unlike many unscrupulous dealers that don't pay winnings, the experts have analyzed all the esports bookmakers on this page. So, players can be sure of getting their winnings without fail as long as they have met the wagering requirements. The withdrawal times depend on the bookie's verification processes and the online payment solutions.

Payment methods in Belgium
FAQs

FAQs

Is eSports betting legal in Belgium?

Yes. eSports betting in Belgium is legal as long as players bet on Belgian eSports betting sites with the F1 and the F1+ license. Betting on unlicensed bookmakers is not allowed, but many players do so now that the government doesn't prosecute offshore bettors.

Is betting on offshore betting sites safe?

Well, it's hard to answer this as there are two sides to it. As long as players are betting on an international eSports betting site licensed by a reputable regulatory authority in any jurisdiction. However, completely unlicensed eSports bookies pose a risk, from failure to pay winnings to match-fixing.

Can anyone in Belgium bet on eSports?

Yes. eSports betting is open to all Belgians as long as they have met the legal age requirement - 21 years.

Are there many eSports betting fans in Belgium?

There are no exact figures, but Belgium is one of the biggest eSports betting markets considering the country's high eSports exposure rates, especially after the pandemic struck.

Can players bet on mobile?

Yes. eSports betting sites in Belgium have been optimized for mobile gaming. Besides, some have native mobile apps for iOS and Android devices.

FAQs