The unofficial US gaming capital – the state of Nevada – in a historic decision has approved sports betting outlets in the state to accept eSports wagers (initially for CS:GO bets), however, other leagues are also expected to be offered for wagering).
The decision could have been precipitated by the current worldwide crisis. However, more likely it is just a case of the Silver State catching up to some jurisdictions like the state of New Jersey in particular, that has leap frogged Nevada in terms of both sports and general online gaming.
The Nevada decision is a key turning point for the state’s gaming industry, that paves the way not only for CS:GO bets, but for more eSports betting in general.
What Bet Types are currently covered in Nevada?
Initially, Nevada’s licensed bookmakers have to follow certain stringent conditions in order to offer the initial rollout of CS:GO betting:
- Notify the State Enforcement Division of all eSports bets.
- Cease accepting eSports bets before the start of each match.
Currently, only the following bet types are available for betting for eSports matches:
- Head to Head
- Overall season winner
William Hill, one of the leading U.S. online sports books in both New Jersey and Nevada, was the first to offer betting on eSports in the Silver State. The first matches were live streamed on both YouTube and Twitch, and players were able to place bets with the William Hill mobile app on phones, tablets, PCs and other devices. A spokesperson for William Hill sportsbook commented on the enthusiastic bettor turn out;
“People are so hungry for sports and wagering right now, they were lining up as soon as we offered it.”
Nevada gets the jump on New Jersey in eSports betting
In November last year, New Jersey’s casinos (both land-based and online) and racetracks started taking bets on competitive eSports tournaments, following an approval from the state Division of Gaming Enforcement to offer it on an experimental basis on the League of Legends Championship Final. Nothing more however came of it – until now.
Now, New Jersey is also discussing legislation that would permanently allow legal betting on eSports events, a bill which advanced out of the Assembly Committee planning and drafting stage earlier in March 2020.
It’s been a significant coup for Nevada, which until now has been falling behind New Jersey in the last 12 to 18 months as the Garden State has cheekily stolen the mantle of leading online gambling state straight out of the Silver State’s grasp.
Whether other states look to legalize esports events approved for betting could depend on how much action Nevada’s books take on their inital foray.
While most U.S. states don’t specifically prohibit eSports wagering, some like Iowa, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, Indiana and West Virginia are exceptions to the rule in varying regards. Indiana has a comprehensive esports betting ban, while West Virginia only allows it as long as all participants are 18 or older.
Other eSports to follow?
eSports betting is already a massive industry in Asia and in Europe. It’s one of the favorite pastimes of millennials elsewhere in the world and with a surging trend in the USA, there is nothing to suggest that trend will stop any time soon. eSports viewership in the USA is growing in popularity, and you could possibly expect Nevada, New Jersey and other legal states to offer online betting not only on CS:GO tournaments, but also on;
- League of Legends
- Rocket League
- Call of Duty
- World of Warcraft
- Dota 2
- Dragon Ball FighterZ
- Streetfighter, and the;
- FIFA Interactive World Cup