Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed off on a bill this week that legalizes parimutuel wagering on esports. It’s a big move that both solidifies the state’s status as an esports betting hub, and frees regulators from some major headaches.
Bookmakers in Nevada were already pretty far ahead of the curb when it came to esports betting. Several local casinos have been actively courting the esports crowd. But accepting wagers on unregulated events like video game tournaments was not without its headaches.
In parimutuel wagering, punters are really wagering against each other and the odds of any wager are determined by the number of people betting on a certain outcome. The odds (and subsequent payouts) are not fixed and can vary wildly based on how people are betting.
Parimutuel wagering is a good tool for sportsbooks to help manage the uncertainty that comes with events that are generally classed as, “others.” This group includes, but is not limited to, wagering on the outcome of awards ceremonies or beauty contests.
The bill was the brainchild of students at the University of Nevada Las Vegas William S. Boyd School of Law. As part of their coursework, some students participate in crafting gaming legislation that’s sometimes submitted as an actual law. In this case, former UNLV law student and current Nevada State Senator Becky Harris sponsored the bill.
In an interview with eSportsBettingReport, Harris explained why she was on board with esports parimutuel wagering saying:
The hope is that this bill, along with other legislation, will encourage growth in the gaming, hospitality and events industry statewide. Esports events are events that we would like to encourage in Nevada as I believe that our state has the best combination of available event locations, technological infrastructure, lodging, and additional entertainment offerings for esports event operators and fans.
As of this writing, no Nevada sportsbooks have signed on to offer parimutuel esports wagering.
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