Nevada to Approve eSports Betting on Multiple Events

Sports betting operators across the state of Nevada will soon be allowed to offer wagers on multiple eSports games as was announced by Karl Bennison, who is responsible for running the Enforcement Division of the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Bennison made the announcement yesterday at the two-day Casino eSports Conference, which took place at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino where he took part in the legal panel debates.

This is great news for sportsbooks across the state of Nevada since until now they were permitted to offer bets only on a single event at a time. The decision of the Gaming Control Board will enable sports betting operators to apply for permission to accept wagers on series of sports events. This will significantly further the expansion of the eSports betting industry in the state as bets on only three events have been offered since this type of gambling activity was given the green light by the regulators last year.

Multiple-Events Bets Allowed if Offered by the Same Company

However, permission will be granted only if the eSports games are organized by one and the same company. The decision will allow for the expansion of the eSports betting market on the territory of Nevada and may be interpreted as a sign that the local regulatory authority is becoming more comfortable with this new sector of the gambling industry. It is yet unclear precisely when the new rule will come into effect, as Mr. Bennison himself emphasized at the conference. The Nevada regulatory body’s Chief of Enforcement also explained that a formal announcement on the planned changes is yet to be made.

Mr. Bennison went on to explain that only eSports operators the Gaming Control Board is comfortable with will be given the green light on multiple-events bets. This approach will also further the convenience of operators themselves as they would not have to apply for permission for each separate eSports event.

Nevada Classifies eSports as “Other Events”

The Silver State embraced eSports betting in November 2016 after the Nevada Gaming Policy Committee granted its approval. This Committee bears responsibility for dealing with different gaming-related issues and is allowed to make recommendations to the other two authorities that are part of the state’s gambling regulatory structure, the aforementioned Gaming Control Board and the Nevada Gaming Commission.

Nevada is also the only state in the country where betting on traditional sports is not illegal. The only exception is the state of Delaware but sports betting activities within its territory are limited to parlays only. Presently, the eSports betting market in Nevada is subjected to gaming regulation 22.120, which covers all wagers made on events outside the category of horse racing, greyhound racing, and athletic events.

The wording of this piece of legislation is indeed interesting as it places eSports into the group of “other events”. More events to fall into this strange category include wagering on who will win the Main Event of the WSOP or the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. Betting on the baseball pitcher to collect the annual Cy Young Award is also part of the “other events” group. After the enforcement of regulation 22.120, gambling operators looking to offer bets on anything that is considered an “other event” are required to obtain permission in advance.

Mr. Bennison explained that the idea of allowing bets on multiple eSports games first emerged during a series of meetings that aimed at defining the fine line between traditional gambling activities and eSports. It was Mr. Bennison who proposed the idea to his Gaming Control Board colleagues and they readily embraced it.

Towards the end of the discussion, Mr. Bennison hinted there is a possibility of the eSports being removed from the category of “other events” on condition they are regulated by a respected governing body. He gave the eSports Integrity Coalition as an example.

Allowing bets on multiple eSports events in Nevada may pave the way for other US states enforcing their own regulations in this sector. A possible candidate is the state of New Jersey which recently introduced regulations on daily fantasy sports. The next logical thing to do is regulating eSports as the state has already dabbled in this lucrative sector as an eSports tournament took place at the Caesars Atlantic City Hotel & Casino this past March.

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