Though esports betting in the United States remains in murky legal territory, Loto‑Québec, a Canadian gambling agency for the province of Quebec, embraced it wholeheartedly for Dreamhack Montreal.
The organization debuted an esports section on their online betting site, Mise-o-Jeu, for the event's StarCraft 2 tournament.
"With the increasing popularity of e‑sports, there is more and more demand for opportunities to bet on this type of competition," said Loto‑Québec's director of sports and entertainment betting, Louis Beaudet, in a press release.
"With Mise‑o‑jeu, Loto‑Québec is filling the gap by offering a secure and honest environment for placing bets. A new E‑Sports category has now been activated on our platforms. We will continue to track interest in this type of betting over the coming months."
The platform has quickly expanded to take bets for The International and LCS, LCK and LPL matches. According to Marilaine Bolduc-Jacob, a Loto‑Québec public affairs adviser, within a week of the service going, live bets for Dreamhack and TI reached $4,260 CAD.
"It’s still too early to assess the success of e-sport betting, but we are quite happy with results so far. This new offering was well-received at DreamHack, where it drew lots of attention," she said in an email to theScore esports.
Bolduc-Jacob goes on to say the organization is looking to expand the service to "other international calibre competitions where professional players are featured," and they offered Counter-Strike betting as of Aug. 16.
Unfortunately for young online gambling enthusiasts left bereft after Valve's clampdown on CS:GO skin betting sites, Mise-o-Jeu doesn't deal in skins, only real money.
Sasha Erfanian is a cooler for theScore esports. Follow him on Twitter, it'll be great for his self-esteem.