Esports wagering

Nevada's Esports Technical Advisory Committee's first meeting focuses on integrity

Esports Technical Advisory Committee Chairman Paul Hamilton.
Reading time 1:57 min

Nevada’s Esports Technical Advisory Committee had its first meeting Tuesday, taking its first step toward moving Nevada further into the multimillion-dollar esports industry, debating best practices for its execution in the state.

The eight-member committee held its inaugural session and heard from four experts on various aspects of esports. 

As reported by Las Vegas Review-Journal, Committee Chairman Paul Hamilton expects Nevada to become the gold standard for regulating esports. He said he expects fact-finding and collecting data and information would continue into the group’s next meeting. However, committee members will eventually start making recommendations to the Control Board and the Nevada Gaming Commission. 

“I think that’s going to take a little while, but I think the meetings will probably start to evolve into commentary and discussion among the board on how to move forward. Do we agree with what we’re hearing and, if so, what does that actually mean? The ultimate goal is to get esports regulated and the ability to gamble on it safely”. 

One of the experts who addressed the committee explained the circumstances that need to be considered for players, gamblers and casinos to feel safe. 

According to Ian Smith of the Esports Integrity Commission, a nonprofit association formed in 2015 that works to investigate and prevent all forms of cheating, there are four ways in which people can cheat at esports: to win using software, online attacks to slow or disable an opponent, match fixing and doping.  

The Esports Integrity Commission has recommendations on how to combat cheating, including banning cheaters from future participation and getting players to join the integrity association.

“The willingness to deliberately underperform - match or spot fixing to commit betting fraud - was poorly understood and only dealt with when exposed by third parties”, Smith said, and pointed out that 92% of match-fixing is driven by betting fraud. 

He also added that most complaints about match-fixing come against participants from China or Eastern Europe. 

Current regulation in Nevada authorizes esports betting on a per-event basis. This requires operators to submit an application to the Gaming Control Board for vetting and approval for each competition.

In 2020, Nevada regulators approved a record 12 esports events and leagues for wagering across a variety of game titles, including Dota 2, iRacing, League of Legends, Overwatch, and Call of Duty. Licensed operators could accept bets on three wager types: head to head, match winner, and overall winner.

The Esports Technical Advisory Committee will meet quarterly, and its members will hold their positions until November 2024. The members include executives from UNLV, Penn National Gaming, Allied Esports and others. In December, Yogonet spoke with one of its members, Dr. Brett Abarbanel, Director of Research for the UNLV, International Gaming Institute, who provided a description of the current panorama of eSports gambling and the reasons for the creation of this new committee. She said there are no static recommendations for esports betting regulations.

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