Nevada Sportsbooks No Longer Need Regulatory Approval for Esports Betting Markets

  • One scrapped provision related to esports tournament anti-doping prohibitions
  • Operators had found it hard to plan ahead and promote events in advance
  • Doping in esports is a topic that is coming more and more under the spotlight
esports competitor
The Nevada Gaming Commission has accepted recommendations to end the requirement that sportsbook operators receive approval to offer wagering on specific esports events. [Image:]

Relief for operators

With the interest in esports betting constantly growing, the authorities in Nevada have made it easier for sportsbooks to offer these types of markets. The Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) approved new regulations on Thursday eliminating the requirement that operators get approval before accepting wagers on specific esports events.

The eight-member Nevada Esports Technical Advisory Committee made a number of proposals last year regarding the matter and the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) accepted most of the recommendations in January. The only provision it added was one relating to doping, with the regulator wanting drug testing to be more stringent at events.

concerns that it would dampen betting handle

The NGC ultimately removed this provision during the hearing on Thursday over concerns that it would dampen betting handle as licensees would have to verify that each event had a code of conduct in place that contained defined anti-doping prohibitions.

NGC Chairperson Jennifer Togliatti said that the anti-doping provision was a “nice idea,” but would be very difficult “logistically, financially, and practically.” The onus will be on specific sportsbook operators to do their own due diligence when it comes to specific events.

An important change

The previous rule that required sportsbooks to receive approval before offering markets on specific esports events often frustrated bettors who would then turn elsewhere to get in on the action. Operators also found it hard to plan ahead and promote certain notable events in advance. NGCB Member Brittnie Watkins spoke at the hearing and explained how the “regulations are very important” to the industry and have been a long time coming.

Esports betting is legal in fewer than 18 states despite over 30 states having sportsbooks up and running.

Operators offering esports betting have an obligation to monitor the integrity of events just like they do for more traditional types of sports. This means reporting any suspicious betting activity, stopping participants and coaches from engaging in betting, as well as keeping an eye out for any potential signs of match-fixing.  

Doping in esports

A major concern in the esports space when it comes to doping is protecting the health and safety of the participants, particularly as they tend to be young. The presence of big money in the scene has also been a motivating factor for certain people to try to gain an edge on the competition.

One of the main types of doping in the esports world is the abuse of stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin. Participants often take these drugs to improve their focus over longer periods of time.

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