All posts by mathiesonc

eSports Betting

For an event to be legally allowed to be bet on it must consist of the three following things:
Risk: Wager
Reward: Return on wager
Randomness: Chance
It can be said that professional gaming meet all three of these criteria’s and should therefore be a legitimate events that can have bets placed on.

For any emerging industry, the facts that determine its viability or market potential tend to be who invests and how much. Yet when a growing industry is centered around competition, as is the case with eSports, investors and sponsors are a nice indication the industry is moving in the right direction.

However, the strongest indicator tends to be whether or not people gamble on it, and when you analyze the numerous sites set up to take bets on professional matches it’s clear gambling is well established within the gaming community.

In the United States, gambling of any kind is heavily regulated and in some states highly illegal. UMG Gaming, however, offers a platform in which gamers can take part in peer-to-peer wager matches in which money can be won.This skirts the Federal gambling laws by essentially falling under the category of state gambling laws, which varies widely by state. While there is a ton of gray area and loose legal wording, the overarching theme seems to be whether a state defines social gambling by chance or skill.

UMG Gaming run tournaments where many of the prizes for placing in the event come in the form of cash.. UMG tournaments allow users to turn credits into money purely on the fact that most states don’t consider betting on yourself in a skill-based competition a form of gambling. UMG describes it as follows: “Cash Out matches are completely legal and are not considered online gambling. This is because you are betting on your own skill in the game and not basing a bet on luck.”

For further information regarding UMG Gaming and their tournaments can be found at the following link,






Gambling: 24/7

As I studied the culture and behaviours surrounding fantasy sports, the more I learnt that gambling seemed to go hand in hand with this online activity. This behaviour is particularly prevalent in the United States.

Comments on my previous blog post and a podcast that Chris sent through to me, got me thinking of the idea of online gambling. I’m sure at some point in outlives we have witnessed the adverse effects of gambling, be that through someone we know or just witnessing the damage at our local pub.

Online gambling, allows the ‘punter’ to place bets on any sport event, at any time, any where in the world. Pretty scary thought when you think about how enticing it could be to win a lot of money from the comfort of your bed.

To my surprise, the incidence of problem gambling is significantly lower for online gambling in comparison to other forms of gambling with the Productivity Commission estimating that 75 – 80% of problem gambling is directly related to the use of poker machines. (Australian Productivity Commission Report on Gambling 2010).

The same Productivity Report found that online gambling in Australia is an industry to worth around $800 million. One of the main reasons that online betting is so popular, besides its accessibility,  is that most sites will offer special promotions, better odds and a wider range of markets for their members.

There are 400,000 problem gamblers, and many more affected by those addicted to gambling. For many of us, gambling is social past time, that is nothing more than some harmless fun. However for those how can’t control their betting, their big and regular loses is what the gambling industry continues to survive on.

There are many ways to regulate gambling. Restrict the advertisement hours, no bets to be taken from credit cards and players to nominate a line of credit they’re willing to loose before they’re allowed to play.

Should online gambling be regulated further, with companies such as TAB and SportsBet taking ownership for these addictions, or do the players need to take ownership of their behaviour and loses?



Masculinity Through Fantasy Sports

Sociological studies have frequently presented the sport domain as a major site for reinforcing hegemonic masculinity by creating and recreating what it means to be a man through masculine interaction.

Because sport spectatorship is how most adult men participate in sports it is imperative to examine sport spectatorship as an environment in which masculinity can be affirmed. Studies have proposed that several different media, particularly television, offer the opportunity for men to emphasize masculine ideals in sport by providing viewing pleasures for male spectators.

Though sport is readily consumed through television, one medium that has not been thoroughly investigated is the Internet, particularly fantasy sport leagues.

Since the dawning of the Information Age in the early 1990s, the Internet has become an increasingly important form of media. In particular, the great popularisation of the Internet has spawned some rather remarkable growth in the sports media domain. In their essay focusing on the dynamic nature of the sports media industry, Boyle and Haynes (2002) suggest that “new media, particularly the Internet, digital television and mobile telephony, are introducing new distribution platforms and services for the delivery of sports content” and are “transforming the way in which breaking news about sport is gathered, selected, and disseminated”.

Presently, the Internet offers online interactivity through sports chat rooms and discussion groups, exercise and sports team and online sports gambling. It might be reasonable to assume that the interactive nature of sports media thus creates another means by which males can exercise their dominance and masculinity in the sport domain. The Internet provides spectators with a fast and accurate means for generating sports knowledge. For instance, male sports fans can join chat rooms with individuals who share their desire to gain and exchange knowledge of several masculine contact sports, thus reinforcing hegemonic masculinity. One Internet based form of sport spectatorship that has increased greatly in popularity during the past few years is the phenomenon of fantasy sport leagues.