Next meeting Oct. 24

Nevada panel gets closer to making a formal recommendation on esports wagering regulation

2022-09-27
Reading time 2 min

The Esports Technical Advisory Committee took a further step during its latest meeting toward making its first official recommendations for Nevada’s esports wagering regulations. With esports growing in popularity, not only at a state but at a worldwide level, gambling interests see it as the natural step for Nevada to find a way to craft the rules for betting on it, as millions of people watch esports matches online or in person, including events at Luxor’s HyperX Arena and Mandalay Bay’s Michelob Ultra Arena. 

The Esports Technical Advisory Committee, an eight-member panel created last year, got its first look at a proposed regulation Wednesday, and ultimately decided to send a proposal back to the attorney general’s office for revisions. 

The committee has been collaborating with the attorney general’s office to create the regulatory framework, which would legalize esports wagering by 2023. Per the presented proposal, the sportsbooks would be allowed to accept bets on esports competitions without special approval from the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB). The new esports regulation will be lodged within Regulation 22, which includes the oversight of sportsbooks.

As reported by Las Vegas Review-Journal, a critical amendment states that a sportsbook may accept wagers on events conducted by an esports league, provided it obtains complete information concerning the manner in which the events are conducted by the league, including its rules.

It is also required that the sportsbook gets complete information demonstrating that the events will be effectively supervised, have integrity safeguards in place, have verifiable outcomes which are generated by a reliable process and are unaffected by any wager placed, and more. 

The reason for the committee to send the proposal back for revision is that members were not sure about the “esports league” reference, due to the fact that many competitions are one-off tournaments, not organized by leagues. 

While state regulations ban betting on amateur competitions, the committee made the case that all esports events involve professionals since they are compensated with prize money. 

Committee Chairman Paul Hamilton expressed that he expects sportsbooks will have to hire esports experts to make sure their betting lines will draw two-way action, and be on the lookout for “cheating."

They are going to have to employ somebody that understands the game, the operators, and what is out there the same way they do in traditional sports,” Hamilton stated before the unanimous vote to revise the first draft of the regulations next month, Review-Journal added. 

He pointed out that the level of technology that these sportsbooks and licensees have now “created an environment where they more often than not are the first ones to figure out if somebody’s cheating or doing something incorrect,” and added that “if we get too far into the weeds, we’re going to create a document that’s impossible to navigate.”

The committee will meet again on October 24 to revise the proposed regulations, and possibly vote to advance them to the Nevada Gaming Control Board and the Nevada Gaming Commission, which would conduct public hearings on the proposed rules. 

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