South Carolina could be set to pass a bill which could see the state blaze a trail in the United States when it comes to specifically legalising esports wagering, as well as allowing its citizens to use cryptocurrency to engage in crypto betting.
The bipartisan supported House Bill 5277, which has been sponsored by Rep. William Herbkersman (R) and Rep. Todd Rutherford (D) goes a lot further than some similar bills that have been passed in other states.
In this Bill, not only is the arena of esports betting very clearly defined and legalised, but the bill also stated that cash and equivalents for cash, such as cryptocurrency, can be permitted to be used as methods to fund an account and also as a method for bettors to be paid out their winnings.
Crucially, the Bill further defines alternatives to currency to include “digital, crypto and virtual currencies.”
Other Key Details of Bill 5277
The bill also makes mention of allowing between 8 and 12 different online sportsbook providers to operate in the state, with each being allowed to operate both esports betting and crypto betting markets should they wish to do so.
Each of the operators awarded a license in South Carolina would be responsible for paying a $500,000 license fee each year, and revenue would be taxed at the 10% rate.
80% of the tax raised would go to the Education Lottery Account in the state, with 15% to the general rund and 5% to the Department of Mental Health.
Punters would be able to bet on college sports as well as professional sports.
There is also scope for professional sports organisations, golf courses hosting PGA Tour events and similar to partner with a licensed provider to offer betting on the event, as well as being eligible to gain a license themselves.
Furthermore, the legislation would also seek a Lottery Commission Sports Wagering Advisory Council to be set up in an advisory role.
Crypto Not Allowed
The two key points to allow esports wagering and betting using cryptocurrency makes this a landmark moment in the developing betting scene in North America.
While many states are now coming around to permitting their citizens to bet on sports, so far not too many have made specific provision for esports betting within their new legislation.
And prior to this South Carolina bill, no state has made the move to include allowing customers to use cryptocurrency and other digital and virtual currencies to allow their customers to bet with.
However, industry analysts have long insisted that betting on esports is a key component to drive future growth in the American betting industry.
Esports are widely viewed across the United States and are already incredibly popular and over the next few years, many analysts feel that Esports gaming will only be second to the NFL in terms of viewership, so quickly is esports gaining popularity across the region.
No Mention Of Which Digital Assets Would Be Made Available
Given that there are any number of digital currencies and other assets available online, it is perhaps surprising that the Bill does not mention specifically which cryptocurrency or similar would be legalised to use in the state.
However, experts feel that it is likely to be just a small number of the most popular cryptocurrencies that will be permitted, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin.
Bitcoin has been used successfully in both online and land-based casinos in recent times, but the currency is yet to make a major breakthrough into the US sports betting scene.
However, this new bill may well change that.
The move would likely be welcomed by sports books seeking a license in the state. Only last year, DraftKings CEO Jason Robins revealed that his company would accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment, but for the fact that state regulators do not allow it.