Step right up, step right up! Place your bets here, because gambling on esports is now legal. After two months in Nevada state legislature, the new amendment has passed.
Wording on Gambling
At least it’s legal in Nevada after Governor Brian Sandoval signed into law Senate Bill 240. The bill, sponsored by Clark County Republican Sen. Becky Harris, amends the parimutuel betting laws in the state. While there is no exact mention of esports in the amendment, it does fall under the new wording. The bill adds “sporting events or other events” to the “off-track pari-mutuel system” section of the law, allowing for wagering. “Other events” has also been added throughout to add to the likes of horse and dog races and general sporting events. This provides flexibility to the law in the future for other competitive events, rather than needing to re-amend the law every time they want to add something.
In order for the betting to be sanctioned however, the Nevada Gaming Commission must issue licenses permitting the wagering. The law states that licensees need to give quarterly payments to the NGC at the rate of three percent on the total amount of money wagered on any race or sporting event.
Growth of Gambling in Esports
As the world of esports continues to grow, so too does the appeal of esports gambling. Las Vegas recently saw the creation of the 15,000 square foot Millenial Esports Arena, which held the Halo World Championship, and a Madden Tournament in March. The Luxor has also announced it will house a multi-tiered dedicated esports arena. And as esports continue to rise, so to will the interest in betting. A major step towards the legitimization of the trend came in early March.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with the Esports Integrity Coalition and this is another step that may assist Las Vegas in becoming an “esports hub”. The Esports Integrity Coalition is an ethics commission that hopes to “be the recognised guardian of the sporting integrity of esports and to take responsibility for disruption, prevention, investigation and prosecution of all forms of cheating, including, but not limited to, match manipulation and doping.”
Esports still has a long way to go before complete integration into society. There are still many critics on the legitimacy of the trend, but as businesses and laws begin to include them, so too will the people. This is simply one more step towards integration.