Nevada Committee Inches Closer to Widespread Esports Betting

  • The plans would allow Nevada to host league events and championship series
  • Esports generated $243m in revenue in the United States in 2021
  • Lawmakers are still deliberating how they will control who can host events
  • The new regulations could go into effect before the end of the year
esports tournament
Esports betting received a major boost after a Nevada committee advanced a plan to expand the industry in the state. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Moving through the chambers

A Nevada committee has finished drafting regulations for esports betting expansion in 2023.

if passed, the state would host tournaments and championship events

The Nevada Esports Technical Advisory Committee voted Monday to advance the plans to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, after which they would go to the Nevada Gaming Commission for the ultimate decision. If passed, the state would host tournaments and championship events across different esports.

Esports has proven to be a lucrative and growing sector with tons of betting draws. Nevada’s interest in being a hub for esports moving forward reflects its commitment to entertainment and sports wagering.

Esports betting growing in prominence 

The proposed regulations would give sportsbooks months of wiggle room to deliberate over and promote betting lines for different esports. 

There is quite a bit of money in play for what is still an underdeveloped community. According to Statista, esports generated $243m in revenue in the USA and $641m worldwide in 2021. Several of the top esports leagues, most notably the Call of Duty League, are franchised, meaning that teams are tied to physical locations like Los Angeles, Atlanta, and New York, instead of simply belonging to a gaming organization.

The committee previously considered several plans to expand esports betting, though a revision of a plan proposed on September 21 ultimately allowed all parties to advance the current proposal.

allow licensed books to accept wagers on esports events in the manner of traditional sporting events”

“This change was made on the committee’s discussion concerning amateur events with prizes sanctioned by esports leagues and the difficulty in defining esports leagues,” Michela said. “With the proposed regulation before you, the concept of esports leagues is replaced with event organizers. The overarching intent of the potential changes is still to allow licensed books to accept wagers on esports events in the manner of traditional sporting events.”

If the draft receives approval at the next levels, the implication is that betting lines will become available on many of the top sportsbooks operating in the Silver State. So, next to the NFL and NBA tabs, gamblers could find an esports tab with upcoming events.

Opportunities at multiple levels

Although the current proposal would expand esports betting drastically, the chairman of the Control Board would be able to block events hosted by certain operators if issues arise. That remains a point of contention for several policymakers, including committee member Seth Schorr.

“I would like to put it on the record that should these regulations be approved, an action item afterward, in the first quarter of next year, would be to have further discussion with the Board and the chair around this item to make sure there’s an efficient process,” Schorr said. “And this committee can continue to provide our experience to the Board as a very important part of these regulations.”

responsibility to uphold “integrity”

Fellow committee member Che Chou spoke in agreement with Schorr, highlighting the committee’s responsibility to uphold “integrity” in the process.

Halo, one of the more popular esports, just wrapped up its season at the world championships in Seattle. OpTic Gaming successfully navigated a bracket of 20 teams and took home the biggest share of a $1m pool.

Players competed for over $2m in prize money across four events from December 2021 to last weekend. Prior to any tournaments taking place, the game (Halo Infinite) sold 81 million copies before its launch date. To say that multiple parties, including local entertainment venues, sportsbooks, the esports community, and Nevada itself would benefit from the new plans would be an understatement.

Schorr remains confident that the plans will receive approval at the next level.

“I do hope that as a committee, we have an opportunity to discuss the next steps once we see how the Board and Commission respond,” said Schorr. “Should they approve these regulations, I look forward to regrouping and seeing how the committee can help the licensees in our industry take advantage of these regulations.”