In a recent Gaming Policy Committee meeting, representatives from Nevada’s casino industry discussed the potential of expanding into the world of eSports. The state does not have laws against gambling with eSports, so it could happen.
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It won’t be anytime soon, though, as there are still many questions to be answered beyond the legality of it. The biggest issue is the problem of experts. Right now traditional sports have hundreds of experts that can set the odds and monitor games played. In comparison, eSports boast very few experts. Better access to those with knowledge would be needed to help develop a betting system.
The meeting discussed that eSports may require a different system to that traditionally used for competitive sports, suggesting that poker-style betting with gamblers betting against one another may work better.
Craig Levine, CEO of the ESL, was present at the meeting, and discussed with the committee their concerns on match-fixing and doping. ESL recently signed onto a list of banned substances maintained by the World Anti-Doping Agency, which should help rest some of those fears.
Las Vegas has been home to several eSports tournaments, so it’s understandable why the casino industry would want to expand into the area. They’ve seen the huge audiences they attract. But as the CEO of a major casino noted at the meeting, the industry would have to consider the challenges of events where competitors and fans may often be under-age to enter a casino in the state of Nevada.
The committee are due to return for another meeting in August to further discuss eSports gambling. While it would probably be a long road until eSports betting is a reality in Vegas, if it can happen it likely will; the skyrocketing popularity of digital sports is very clearly a gold mine of gambling potential. And when there’s money to be made, the corporations will arrive sooner or later.