William Hill is set to become the first gaming operator in Nevada to receive an eSports license to offer betting lines on video gaming competitors. Last week, the Nevada Gaming Control Board (GCB) approved William Hill and the Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino’s application to accept wagers on eSports tournaments.
Although online platforms have been participating in skins gambling and fantasy eSports, William Hill is the first legal gambling entity permitted to run traditional sports betting moneylines on the rapidly growing industry. The decision came about after the Gaming Policy Committee determined that branching out into eSports betting required only some regulatory tweaks rather than a complete legislative overhaul.
Nevada Governor, Brian Sandoval appreciates the importance of the GCB’s decision saying: “This announcement is a major step toward ensuring Nevada becomes the e-sports capital of the world. By embracing this unique opportunity and incorporating innovation and technology into our gaming industry, we’re expanding the potential of one of our oldest industries.”
William Hill U.S. CEO, Joe Asher says: “We are excited to partner with Seth Schorr and the Downtown Grand to become the first sportsbook in America to offer legal wagering on eSports. William Hill always tries to offer the most innovative and largest wagering menu and this reflects our commitment to innovation.”
Esports are expanding at an immense rate in the US and already games such as Hearthstone have taken the country by storm. Whilst William Hill may be the first US-licensed sportsbook to take an eSports wager, it undoubtedly will not be the last.