Nevada governer passes “esports betting bill”

Senate Bill 240 may not sound like a particularly exciting bill, but the bill, dubbed the “esports betting bill” has enshrined into law the right for people to have a flutter on esports events in gambling capital Las Vegas.

The bill, signed into law by Nevada governor Brian Sandoval, comes into effect on July 1, and will allow parimutuel betting systems to bet on several different events, including competitive gaming but also the outcome of high-profile award shows like the Oscars or Grammys.

The bill was sponsored by Republican senator Becky Harris and was debated in March with one of the witnesses including FPS legend Johnathan ‘Fatal1ty’ Wendel, who sought to convince gaming lawmakers that esports players were athletes.

Las Vegas has seen plenty of esports events already, with Millennial Esports arena already host to both the Halo Championship Series and Madden NFL Championships. The Downtown Grand esports lounge offered wagering on esports events for the first time in the US in 2016, with support from the Gaming Control Board.

This bill won’t open any doors for esports betting, but it has enshrined the practice into law, meaning the Pandora’s Box of esports betting is that much harder to close.

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