Nevada Law Clears the Way for eSports Betting

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval has signed Senate Bill 240, which amends the state’s pari-mutuel wagering rules to add eSports tournaments. The move paves the way for legal eSports betting in Nevada.

The bill, sponsored by Senator Becky Harris, was signed into law over the weekend. Along with eSports tournaments, the legislation will also allow for betting on award shows, like the Grammys and the Oscars.

The law goes into effect on July 1.

SB 240 was passed unanimously by the Senate and the Nevada Assembly. Under the law, the Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) may issue licenses that permit the pari-mutuel wagering system. The commission may also amend, repeal and adopt regulations related to the conduct of this wagering system.

The NGC may also require fingerprinting of those obtaining licenses and information regarding the applicant’s habits, antecedents and character.

The bill states the following: “The Nevada Gaming Commission shall, and it is granted the power to, demand access to and inspect all books and records of any person licensed pursuant to this chapter pertaining to and affecting the subject of the license.”

All licensees will be required to pay 3% of all wagered money on any sporting event or race to the commission on a quarterly basis.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board already allows eSports wagers to be taken, but the law formally adopts the practice into legislation.

The state, particularly Las Vegas, is no stranger to the eSports industry. Las Vegas has hosted several tournaments, including the Halo World Championships at the Millennial’s Esports Arena.

MGM Resorts has also announced that the Luxor will be the new home of a dedicated eSports arena, scheduled to open early next year. The 300,000-square-foot space that formerly housed the LAX nightclub will be transformed into a multi-level arena with top quality production studios and an LED wall behind the stage.

The eSports industry is gaining tracton around the world. Across the pond, the Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the UK Gambling Commission. The MOU will put eSports in the same category as cricket, football and traditional sports.

“This MOU is a significant step for ESIC and the esports community,” said Ian Smith, Commissioner. “The Gambling Commission has significant resources and powers that will be invaluable in helping to combat any emergence of organized crime or serious fraud within our rapidly growing sector.”

The ESIC said it will be issuing guidance notes in the near future that explains the MOU’s implications and its effects on the eSports gambling scene in the UK.