The Nevada Gaming Commission has amended regulations to allow operators greater freedom when offering esports betting markets.
The change in rules further aligns competitive video gaming, better known as esports, with traditional sporting competitions. Previously, an operator wishing to offer markets on esports competition would have to have each individual competition approved by the regulator.
Through the amendment,operators will be permitted to offer markets on the condition that events are “appropriately supervised, have verifiable outcomes and have effective integrity safeguards in place.”
Esports betting getting easier, but doping language dropped
Per reports from Las Vegas Review Journal, the amendments, initially proposed in January, have been amended to remove a strict line related to doping. The prior language included a line related to integrity and “prohibitions on doping by participants and an effective program to defer doping.”
After lobbying from stakeholders, the doping line was dropped given the difficulty in ensuring all esports competitors were not using prohibited substances such as Adderall. Given several esports competitions and played remotely and not in-person, ensuring constant testing regimes and guarding against doping was deemed impractical.
In written testament, Tara Ryan, Vice President of State Government Affairs for the Entertainment Software Association stated: “The antidoping requirement is both unnecessary and will have the effect of making most esports tournaments ineligible for wagering, as most event operators see antidoping measures to be cost prohibitive.”
Nevada online sports betting has seen an inherent lack of esports offerings, due to the aforementioned difficulty in having a competition cleared for betting by the Gaming Commission’s chair. Previously, it was rare that an esports competition would be offered unless it was played within the state boundaries of Nevada.
Going forward, global competitions taking place such as League of Legends Worlds and Dota 2’s The International will be offered across the state, and given these are significant handle drivers for the category, esports betting may receive a much needed boost.