In March of 2022, the Nevada ETAC (Esports Technical Advisory Committee) held its inaugural meeting in the state. This all-new team was formed in 2020 with the intention of applying a layer of governance and regulation around the esports industry activities in Nevada. At present, the goals of the team are to promote developing regulations and to seek the legitimate implementation of esports betting in the state.
With team members hailing from Ubisoft, Activision, Fifth Street Gaming, and UNLV, the ETAC is undoubtedly well placed to accomplish these goals. On Monday 18th of July, the ETAC settled down for its second meeting of the year, which reportedly lasted three hours and featured in-depth presentations from industry experts. There were demonstrations by Oddin.gg, GRID.gg, and Bayes Esports, all of which are seeking to help the ETAC blaze an esports betting trail in Nevada.
The Future of Esports Betting
According to a report published by FinancialNewsMedia.com in 2021, the esports betting industry was worth around $66 billion at the end of 2020. Since then, the market has continued to grow exponentially, and it’s anticipated to grow further, boasting a predicted CAGR of 10% from 2022 to 2028. As the esports industry, in general, becomes increasingly popular and more mainstream, the value of investments is becoming something quite remarkable.
For the esports betting vertical, the only way is up. Every day, more betting operators are picking up betting APIs that open up the door to advanced esports betting markets, and the pool of data, users, and odds are becoming broader as time goes on. For the Nevada ETAC, the chief goal at the moment is to legalise esports betting in the state, and in the coming months, the committee will reconvene to address key objectives:
- Determine the best way to take wagers on competitions that revolve around video games.
- Determine whether esports betting should fall under Regulation 22, a document that governs sportsbooks and their operations.
- Work with the Nevada Gaming Control Board to open up esports betting opportunities in-state.
Since 2020, work has been done to organise and host a number of esports tournaments in Nevada, but they’ve been few and far between. It has been a long while since we’ve seen any hosted, and there’s a long, arduous, and expensive path to follow to have an esports tournament approved by the NGCB.
Can The ETAC Gain Ground?
According to Seth Schorr, committee member and CEO of Fifth Street Gaming, the ETAC certainly can make waves in Nevada. He has suggested that esports wagering is so close to traditional sports wagering that it should be treated the same. Typically, esports is considered to be a sport in itself, which is a point that sits at the core of this ongoing debate.
On the other side of the table sits Eric Bowers, the VP of Innovation at Boyd Gaming. Bowers’ perspective is that while esports wagering should be included under Regulation 22, it should be considered a separate beast entirely:
If we can have the best of both worlds, that would be great. Put it under Reg 22, but maybe on a technology aspect, launch it on its own.
There’s a planned meeting for the ETAC in August, before a mass meeting takes place in October. It’s here that decisions will be made, presentations will be hosted, and changes might just take place.