A new Nevada law signed by the Governor late last month clarified the legality on esports betting. The new bill allows parimutuel esports betting within the state.
The new law amends language to ensure that “other events” are included in parimutuel wagering. The gaming laws and parimutuel laws are different in Nevada and thus the law sought to clarify the legality of betting on esports.
The move is another sign that Vegas wants to be the hub of esports. Some Vegas hotels are converting some of its space to host esports gaming tournaments. The lure is to bring in the younger demo with hopes of it spilling into their casinos. The new bill grants the chance for a broader opportunity to bet on esports.
A new bill seeking to repeal the current ban on sports gaming was introduced into Congress on Thursday.
The bill is a likely response to the U.S. Solicitor General’s recommendation that the U.S. Supreme Court not take the sports gambling cases litigated in New Jerseys.
The Gaming Accountability and Modernization Enhancement Act or GAME Act was introduced on Thursday per an ESPN report. The GAME Act would repeal PAPSA, the much-litigated federal legislation which prohibits sports gambling.
The GAME Act defines a bet or wager as “the risking of something of value including virtual currency or virtual items, upon the outcome of a contest of others, a sporting event or a game of skill or a game of chance, on the expectation that the person will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome.” This includes daily fantasy sports.
The Act, according to the drafter of the bill, is an opportunity to update the gambling laws.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the MGM Resorts in Las Vegas is turning a former nightclub at its Luxor Hotel and Casino into a permanent venue in hosting esports contests. The restructure should be done by next year according to the company.
The move is a nod to attract younger visitors to Vegas at a time with “subdued growth.”
Gambling on the Las Vegas Strip is down 7% since 2007.
With the average esports fan between 21 and 35 years old, the move to attract younger people to Vegas hopes to spur growth for the gambling industry. Certainly, younger adults have more disposable income due to a lack of a mortgage or children. Esports is a niche industry that is trending upwards.
As Major League Soccer opened its season earlier this month and with it came news from MLS Commissioner Don Garber that he would not be opposed to legalized gambling.
Speaking at SXSW in Austin, Texas, Geekwire was able to catch up with him. Garber spoke at Geekwire’s Sports Tech Summit last summer.
“We have a project going on now to really dig in deeply and understand it. I’ll be the third commissioner (along with NBA’s Adam Silver and MLB’s Rob Manfred) in and say I’m very open to understanding how we can get more engaged in this market in a way that I think if done properly, can be regulated and managed and controlled. I’ll join the chorus of saying it’s time to bring it out of the dark ages. We’re doing what we can to figure out how to manage that effectively.”
In addition to this news that the MLS will be open to hearing about the possiblility of regulated gambling of its sports, he announced a Facebook streaming deal which will expand its reach across an untapped platform. The MLS will be the first league with an extended package on Facebook.
Embracing new ideas and technology are two characteristics new to leagues. The opportunity to engage with as many fans as possible is key as well as monetizing them.
ESPN reports that 5 Richmond University baseball players have been ruled ineligible by the NCAA due to their involvement in fantasy sports.
The university, through the athletic department, decline to offer further comment.
Per ESPN, the NCAA considers fantasy sports contests with an entry fee to be a form of sports wagering and therefore off-limits to student-athletes, regardless of sports.
In the state of Virginia fantasy sports, including Daily Fantasy Sports, are legal.
According to the original report from the Richmond Times Dispatch, the players were involved in Fantasy Football. However, there is no detail as to whether it was Daily Fantasy Sports are a regular weekly fantasy football league.
While the amounts that the players were playing for were not disclosed, the overarching issue was the players involved in fantasy sports.
A bill to legalize Daily Fantasy Sports in the state of Kentucky has failed in the state’s General Assembly.
Similar to other DFS bills across the country, the bill would define DFS as a game requiring skill rather than luck. It would also require a DFS operator to register with the state.
The bill fell on the House floor by just one vote, 37-36
H/t: Sara Friedman
New Jersey Democratic Senator Frank Pallone has issued a statement regarding unregulated online gambling and underage betting in which he specifically pointed out esports gambling and skin gambling.
“Gambling is taking new forms—from daily fantasy sports, to betting on e-sports, and even online casino games using virtual ‘skins’ instead of cash—that attempt to bypass the law,” the Senator went on to state in a press release, “Current federal gambling laws are hopelessly out of date, leaving the American public vulnerable to unscrupulous behavior. No matter the form of the games, we must ensure integrity, accountability, and basic consumer protections, including appropriate age limits, are in place.”
Earlier this week, a New York Senate committee unanimously passed an online poker bill in another effort to legalize it in the state.
The Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee voted unanimously to move the bill along to the Assembly.
The bill authorizes the New York State Gaming Commission to issue 11 online poker licenses to casinos and tribal casinos.
Yahoo Finance reports that Major League Baseball is re-examining its stance on gambling according to commissioner Rob Manfred.
Manfred indicated at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit that MLB was “monitoring the issue and re-thinking pro baseball’s long-held stance on the issue.”
The call for possible federal regulation falls in line with the NBA’s Adam Silver opining a sentiment on behalf of the league he oversees.
Baseball’s commissioner noted that it can be a way of “fan engagement” and “fuel the popularity of the sport.”
He recognized that sports gambling, including baseball, will happen whether or not there is regulation and it’s something that the league will consider moving forward.
The obvious questions loom about regulation which would help retain integrity of the sport while also providing a stream of revenue for the league. But the question of the vice of gambling as well as the perception of the sanctity of the game will be considered as opposing viewpoints.