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NEWS 17 May 2016

Vegas is taking a closer look at eSports

By Priscillia Mudiaki
A recent report published in the Las Vegas Review-Journal states that the Nevada Government has grown interest in the development of the eSports betting market in the state. There is currently no legislation specifically aimed at eSports in the state, but taking bets on eSports is seen as potentially an additional profitable asset to sports-betting and casino operators.

Steve Hill, who heads the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, has pointed out that this burgeoning business has the potential of drawing international interest to the Silver State. Las Vegas has hosted events related to the video game industry regularly in previous years, adding live eSports tournaments to the existing gaming and sports schedule would therefore make a lot of sense.

However, many challenges appear to still need consideration. The most striking hindrance to the industry’s expansion is the age limit of 21 to enter a casino, as this would be the most likely destination for hosting any eSports tournament and the majority of fans attending live eSports events are under this age.

The professional video gaming industry is already highly lucrative for sports-betting operators in Europe and Asia already and growing quicker than any other sports-betting vertical, so a decision to offer betting on eSports in Vegas will probably be made promptly.

The committee is due to discuss this gambling potential further in another meeting next August.

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