Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed into law Saturday a bill that adds esports events to the list for which betting is allowed.
Senate Bill 240, which goes into effect July 1, extends the already existing law to include competitive gaming, though it doesn’t explicitly mention esports at any point. Instead, it’s an extension of legal pari-mutuel betting events to include “other events,” under which esports and awards shows are considered.
Bookmaker William Hill, in partnership with the Downtown Grand, received permission to take bets about esports events in November ahead of IEM Oakland, and now esports betting is part of the statewide law.
Chairman of the Gaming Control Board AG Burnett said in a hearing about the bill in March he hoped people would eventually attend esports events at the T-Mobile Arena on the strip.
“Ideally, you would have people coming from all over the globe to compete, with people paying to come in and bet on that event like you would a sportsbook,” Burnett said.
Las Vegas has become an increasingly more intriguing city for esports. Millenial Esports is building a 15,000-square foot facility that has already hosted esports events in Halo and Madden. The Esports Arena recently announced a partnership to launch a new esports-dedicated venue next year. The city hosts the EVO fighting games tournament every year, and in the last 14 months has hosted the 2016 North American League of Legends Championship Series summer finals and DreamHack Las Vegas, a Counter-Strike tournament in February.