Nevada Governor Signs Bill Legalizing Pari-Mutuel Wagering On Esports Events

Written By Dejan Zalik on May 31, 2017 - Last Updated on January 22, 2018

[toc]Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval signed a bill on Saturday that makes pari-mutuel betting on esports events permissible under the law.

The legislation amends the Nevada statutes regarding pari-mutuel betting systems to include competitive gaming and will go into effect on July 1.

Back in November, state regulators already gave the green light for straight betting on esports. Now, esports wagering, on a pari-mutuel basis is officially a part of the law.

Esports betting bill without word “esports”

While the bill is “the esports betting bill,” it actually doesn’t feature the word “esports” in its language. Instead, competitive gaming in the bill has been included under the “other events” part, which was added to the current list of betting activities.

A hearing held on March 23 served as the pivotal point for the activity to become law. It included a testimony of former professional esports player Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel. He detailed his training regime, which helped convince regulators that esports players are “athletes.”

AG Burnett, chairman of the Gaming Control Board, said:

“Ideally, you would have people coming from all over the globe to compete, with people paying to come in and bet on that event like you would a sportsbook.”

He added that hopefully one day we would see esports events held at T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip. That’s a 20,000-seat venue that hosts concerts and UFC fights and eventually for NHL hockey games.

Treating esports in the right way

As esports grows and becomes highly popular around the globe, proper structures have to be added to the activities surrounding it, including esports betting. Making esports wagering a part of the bill is a great example of proper progress.

“Wagering on events other than sports and races continues to gain global popularity, but Nevada statutes regarding the types of events allowed under the pari-mutuel system wagering are unclear,” said Boyd law student Nelson Lambert, testifying before the Senate Committee on Judiciary in March. “Our proposed modifications adapt the Nevada Revised Statutes to suit the growing popularity of these events.”

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Nevada’s road to becoming the US esports hub

Besides being the first U.S. state to offer legal betting on esports, Nevada is going big on esports. The area has seen steady developing of local infrastructure towards becoming as welcoming as possible for potential esports events.

The Halo Championship Series and Madden NFL Championship taking place in Millenial Esports’ 15,000 square-foot venue was a success. Moreover, MLG Vegas and the Battle on the Strip also serve as great examples of how perfect the city is for hosting esports events.

As more events pop up, more local players show interest in the growing industry. This should help grow the scene further and attract more fans to the area.

With the progress towards a welcoming esports environment, Las Vegas is on the right path to becoming an esports hub. Additionally, the never-ending growth of the overall esports scene will also play a positive role.

With its popularity, we can expect no shortage of enthusiastic fans to attend these great events.

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