view transcript

THE ESPORTS INDUSTRY IS GROWING SO QUICKLY AND SO MUCH MONEY IS POURING IN FROM PLAYERS, VIEWERS, AND SPONSORS THAT ESPORTS BETTING IS BECOMING A VIABLE MARKET IN ITSELF.

ZEV FIMA, AN ANALYST WITH JIM CRAMER'S ACTION ALERTS PLUS INVESTING CLUB, TOLD ME THAT HE'S BULLISH ON ESPORTS BETTING BECAUSE HE BELIEVES THAT PEOPLE WILL START WATCHING MORE ESPORTS TOURNAMENTS ONCE THEY HAVE MONEY INVOLVED

THIS IS A SENTIMENT THAT KEVIN CURRAN, REPORTER WITH THESTREET'S SISTER SITE--REAL MONEY--AGREED ON. CURRAN TOLD ME THAT "BETTING MONEY PROMOTES PEOPLE TO WATCH THE SPORT" - OR ESPORT IN THIS CASE.

BUT WHY SHOULD INVESTORS CARE?

SINCE THE INDUSTRY IS IN GROWTH MODE THAT MEANS THAT ALL OF THE SECTORS, FROM THE ESPORTS LEAGUES TO THE AMOUNT OF MONEY AWARDED AT COMPETITONS, ARE ALSO GROWING.

THAT ONLY ALLOWS INVESTORS TO MAKE SOME MONEY - FIMA POINTS OUT THAT CASINOS WILL BE ABLE TO OPEN UP NEW BOOKS FOR ESPORTS

HE EXPECTS ADVERTISERS, VENUES, AND EVEN DIGITAL PAYMENT COMPANIES TO BE ABLE TO CASH IN, MEANING THAT INVESTORS GET A PIECE OF THAT PIE IF THEY'RE INVESTED IN THE COMPANY.

AS WE SEE WITH THE MORE TRADITIONAL SPORTS-BETTING IS THE NEXT STEP ONCE AN AUDIENCE IS CARVED OUT.

SO TO SUM IT ALL UP, FIMA DESCRIBED HIS BULLISHNESS ON ESPORTS BETTING IN ONE WORD: GLOBAL

ESPORTS HAS THE ABILITY TO REACH A GLOBAL AUDIENCE AND COULD SURPASS THE NFL'S VIEWERSHIP, WHICH IS ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY MADE UP OF U.S. VIEWERS

SO WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR ESPORTS BETTING?

JENNIFER ROBERTS, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR AT UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA LAS VEGAS INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR GAMING REGULATION, MAY HAVE THE ANSWER ...

IT'S STILL THE EARLY DAYS FOR ESPORTS, BUT FOR AN INDUSTRY THAT HAS GAINED SO MUCH POPULARITY OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS, INVESTORS MAY WANT TO GET IN ON ALL THE ACTION BEFORE THE SPACE GETS TOO HOT.

TheStreet has been covering esports from what investors need to know about the new sector to the diversity within it. 

So, let's take a look at how esports betting is shaping the industry.

Zev Fima, research analyst for Jim Cramer's Action Alerts Plus portfolio, says that he is carefully watching betting in esports because of the possibility that the more viewers that esports attracts, the more bets will be placed. 

Real Money's Kevin Curran echoed Fima's statement, saying that he also believes in the popularity of betting being able to create a cycle. 

"Betting with money promotes people to watch the sport," Curran said. 

Jennifer Roberts, associate director at University of Nevada Las Vegas International Center for Gaming Regulation, told TheStreet that there hasn't been a large uptick in esports betting, but that that doesn't mean that esports betting can't gain traction. 

After all, according to Fima, this could be a lucrative business opportunity for places such as casinos, which would be able to start new books to cater to esports bets. 

Want to learn how the major tech players are shaking up the gaming industry? Download our report.