For those new to electronic sports, or Esports, they are essentially video game competitions between individual players and teams, and at the professional level the action can be captivating to watch, and now it looks like it will also be possible to put money on those games.
Esports have been around since nerds started battling each other over Space Invaders back in 1972, but lately not only have the games become more sophisticated, so has the play, and now in Nevada a committee has been created to look into launching an Esports betting market.
The body in charge of such things in Nevada is their Gaming Control Board, and they have been tasked with setting up an exploratory committee to investigate how an Esports betting market might work, and thus the Esports Technical Advisory Committee (ETAC) was born.
ETAC already met last week for several hours and began to gather testimony from Esports industry experts with regards to the types of data generated by their competitions and how they believe that numerical data could be used to build a gambling platform.
As with any sports betting market, the need for regulation is critical.
Game integrity is key to a trustworthy gambling market – for example, the reason nobody bets on professional wrestling is because the results of those matches are obviously fixed to heighten the drama, and in that same way gamblers must be able to trust the results of Esports.
That’s where regulations come into play, and what the ETAC is tasked with creating, at least an initial plan, one based on game integrity and not just the drama, so that bettors can be assured that Esports competitions operate more like the NBA and NFL than the WWE.
There was a prior attempt in 2020 to add a gambling element to Esports in Nevada, but in 2021, state legislators passed a new law that called for the Control Board to create a committee first to break down how that would look and work, which is why the ETAC was created.
The question is whether Esports competitions lend themselves to gambling, and to help ETAC answer that they will be looking closely at the Control Board’s Regulation 22 which addresses in more detail what is and is not permitted with regards to bets using race books and sports pools.
What will fuel this movement forward is the amount of handle that is at stake.
For those of us living in the U.S., Esports has only just started to catch on in a more general sense, but in Asia and Europe that world is already fully established, and betting on those competitions already happens in some parts of Europe and Asia but is prohibited in others.
The top five games that show up at Esports competitions are:
- Dota 2
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
- League of Legends
- StarCraft II
As Esports gambling develops and million dollar handles start turning into billion dollar ones, expect the developers of those games to begin adding betting platforms to their most popular items.
As for Nevada’s ETAC, they will gather again in August to begin developing workable regulations that would allow for gambling on Esports competitions, the next but not final step in bringing some betting action to that electronic gaming world.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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