Nevada looks at esports regulatory framework

11 November 2016

The Nevada Gaming Policy Committee will hear presentations from a range of stakeholders and experts next week as it moves towards implementing an esports wagering framework for Nevada sportsbooks.

Seth Schorr, chief executive of Fifth Street Gaming; Sam McMullen, chief executive and founding partner of FiveGen; Ian Smith of ESIC; and Rahul Sood, chief executive and co-founder of Unikrn, will contribute to Item 5 on the Committee's meeting agenda for November 16, 'Esports in Nevada: how Nevada can become the esports capitol of the world'.

Schorr, whose Fifth Street Gaming's Downtown Grand property launched the Vegas casinos' first dedicated esports lounge earlier this year, will provide an overview of esports events and the future of the industry in Nevada, while technologist McMullen will present on creating technical standards for legalising esports wagering.

Smith, integrity commissioner of UK/EU eSports Commission ESI, will present on maintaining integrity in esports contests, while Sood, chief executive and co-founder of real-money esports wagering site Unikrn, will present on the future of esports.

FiveGen's McMullen confirmed to iGaming Business that his presentation will “directly cover Nevada wagering on esports”, and that the overriding aim of their presenting to the Committee was to move towards “setting standards, and creating a commission and environs for Nevada Books to begin taking wagers”.

He added: “Each presenter is providing more colour and information so that the GPC can be sure to do the best thing and make the best decision.

“My team and I are suggesting technical standards to align with Ian's integrity standards that will be adopted by groups like Unikrn and the publishers, leagues, teams, operators like Seth, and be enforced by a commission on esports still in discussion.”

Schorr was reported to have applied to the Nevada Gaming Control Board to take wagers on the Evolution Championship Series held at the Downtown Grand in July, but confirmed to iGaming Business North America this summer that this had been put on hold as: “We felt it was more appropriate for the Governor and his Gaming Policy Committee to go through their whole process and move from there.”

The convergence of esports with the US' gambling capital has accelerated this year, with Vegas casinos playing host to high-profile competitive gaming events such as the North American LCS for League of Legends, held at the Mandalay Bay in April.

It was also reported by VegasInc in February that the Chinese parent company of the World Poker Tour, Ourgame International Holdings, was considering a Vegas Strip casino as one potential location for a network of permanent esports arenas around the world to be built over the next three-to-five years.