Nevada Could Allow Betting on Esports
In a major move by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, the possibility of Nevadans and tourists to bet on esports may soon become a reality. For years Nevada has been hesitant to allow for the betting and gambling on esports, but this may soon change.
Voting For Change
On Wednesday in a 2-0 vote, the board approved recommendations to modify the state’s betting regulations. The third member was absent for the vote. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, this is in order to allow for the betting on esports.
While the board has so far approved the changes to the regulations, the next step is for the Nevada Gaming Commission to approve the recommended changes. The commission is scheduled to meet on Jan. 26. If approved there the changes to the regulations will take into effect immediately.
Around the world esports tournaments and competitions gather millions of viewers each year, with plenty of events having taken place in Las Vegas — some of the biggest highlights can be found at the Luxor’s HyperX Arena. Indeed, there are grounds here to make some significant money.
After COVID-19 wiped out the state’s revenue, Nevada cannot afford to be caught off guard by the rise of esports.
“Imagine what Nevada would have looked like if we never availed ourselves to sports betting years ago and only availed ourselves of it in 2018,” Phil Katsaros, a member of the control board who voted in favor of the new regulations, said. “We would have been flat-footed, a state of 40-plus million visitors a year which would have drawn a lot of focus from other participants in the space. We would have lost all those potential years of experience as well. So I like that we’re not being flat-footed here.”
Should esports come to Nevada’s gambling scene, there will be some growing pains.
New boards and committees will be established to deal with the changes, and sportsbooks will have to be trained to watch out for cheating by teams or otherwise. Furthermore, questions on player age and possible performance enhancing drugs have been brought up. But so far, none of the changes to the regulations have addressed these issues.
All of this is still up in the air until the NGC meets and votes on the regulations. Even if the NGC approves, the results may not be what they’re expecting. Indeed, sports betting companies and groups unsure as to the financial validity of esports.
But only the NGC’s vote can determine the outcome of esports betting in Nevada.
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