Will Nevada Become the eSports Capital of the World?

Published November 30, 2016 by Elana K

Will Nevada Become the eSports Capital of the World?

The Nevada Gaming Policy Committee is debating whether to go ahead with eSports legislation or to just leave it as is.

Last week the Nevada Gaming Policy Committee held a discussion entitled, “How Nevada can become the eSports capital of the world,” during which four experts in the field gave their testimony about how the state could benefit from regulating eSports.

Nevada is no stranger to taking the plunge into uncharted territory, especially when it comes to gambling; it was the second state to legalize online gambling just a few years ago (along with only two others: New Jersey and Delaware). Regulating eSports would be a further step in solidifying Nevada's reputation as a trailblazer in iGaming legislation.

What is eSports?

eSports is a popular pastime played mainly using electronic devices and often takes the form of organized, multiplayer video game competitions. Today, eSports is a half billion dollar industry in the U.S., and is predicted to increase with each passing year.

eSports is different than both online gambling and daily fantasy sports. Online gambling takes place at licensed casino websites and ranges from slots to live games to sportsbetting. DFS, on the other hand, is a still as-yet undecided cross between a game of chance and luck. (In Nevada, for example, lawmakers have made it illegal to operate DFS websites without a license; however, the two major companies, FanDuel and Draftkings, don't want to apply for licenses because they view it as admitting that DFS is a game of chance, not a game of skill as they maintain.)

Why the Need for Regulation?

Proponents of eSports regulation argue that regulation is necessary in order to maintain the integrity of the betting system and to prevent corruption. Similar arguments have been made in favor of online gambling in states that are pushing to legalize it.

The Gaming Policy Committee said that it would develop protocols to prevent this from happening. If the committee does end up regulating eSports, Nevada casinos will be able to offer betting on video game tournaments such as “League of Legends” and “Call of Duty.”

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