Could Nevada’s Approval Lead To More Esports Betting In US?

Written By Matthew Waters on March 27, 2020
esports betting

Nevada‘s gaming regulators approved what seemed inevitable in the betting world given the current state of sports: esports betting.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board approved betting on season 11 of the Counter-Strike ESL Pro League at all of the state’s sportsbooks.

Nevada sports betting operators have scrounged for bets to offer with major sports either postponed or canceled from the coronavirus pandemic. Whether more esports events are approved and whether other states also authorize esports betting could depend on how much action Nevada’s books fare with this event.

Most states don’t specifically outlaw esports, like Iowa, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Indiana and West Virginia are exceptions. Indiana bans esports betting while West Virginia allows it as long as all participants are 18 or older.

Rahul Sood, CEO of esports betting operator Unikrn, recently told LSR regulators are willing to move quickly.

Esports betting stipulations in Nevada

The Nevada Gaming Control Board laid out a couple of specific rules for booking the bets:

  • All sportsbooks are allowed to take action on the league’s games, but they must notify the regulator first.
  • The only approved wagers are head-to-head, winner of each match and overall season winner.
  • There is no in-play betting allowed as “acceptance of wagers must cease prior to the commencement of each match.”
  • Additional wagers could be allowed but will require a separate application and approval.

Details about Counter-Strike ESL Pro League

The 11th season of the Counter-Strike ESL Pro League will be run a little differently this year, as it was also affected by the coronavirus.

The regular season will take place completely online to prevent international travel. The finals are scheduled to take place in a studio in Europe without fans.

Matches kicked off March 16 and runs through April 9. This season includes 24 teams in four groups.

New Jersey second in US to allow esports betting

Until last November, esports betting had only taken place in Nevada.

That changed when the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement allowed betting on the League of Legends World Championship Final.

Like Nevada, New Jersey sports betting regulators must approve any esports event before a sportsbook can take bets. A bill was introduced this year to permanently authorize betting on games of skill, though it hasn’t yet made it out of committee.

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Matthew Waters

Matthew Waters is a reporter covering legal sports betting and the gambling industry. Previous stops include Fantini Research and various freelance jobs covering professional and amateur sports in Delaware and the Philadelphia area.

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