Nevada Approves Dota 2, eNASCAR, and CS:GO Betting

by in CS:GO | Apr, 7th 2020

Traditional sports being on the back-burner is going to put a damper on the betting scene, that’s for sure. But interest in esports, as well as virtual racing, has to be at an all-time high, thanks to this COVID-19 pandemic. It’s with that in mind, that Nevada has approved esports betting on specific events. This includes the ESL One Los Angeles for Dota 2 and Counter-Strike. Interestingly enough, this also includes eNASCAR!

Change in Policy?

Nevada is the first state to legalize esports betting with a string of events being active markets for their wagers. The Nevada Gaming Control Board authorized bets on the aforementioned events which also includes the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series. On its own, it had more than 1.3 million viewers, making it the most-watched gaming event on TV in the United States.

This announcement for esports betting in Nevada was made back on April 3, but it is for specific events only. Perhaps the most interesting event at first glance at the eNASCAR bets. Thanks to the suspended NASCAR season, the racing association put their effort into this virtual racing. That gives it a fair amount of legitimacy and clout, which would stand to reason why Nevada’s betting commission would want to get behind it.

What is allowed? Match winner, overall winner, and head-to-head bets are allowed. Sportsbooks willing to offer this service will, of course, have to liaise with the Enforcement Division before they can receive an official go-head to accept esports betting wagers.

I want to come back to NASCAR though. Many of the drivers have little-to-no experience in esports, despite spending a lot of time in simulators for practice. Just because a racer is excellent in real life, doesn’t mean they’re good in the simulator for esports. This could create some radically different results and may throw esports betting into chaos.

The gears used in the simulator may also be different than what the racers use in real life, which could also skew bets and results. This, in particular, is something the Nevada Gaming Control Board has asked the sportsbooks to make people aware of before they lay their wagers. Will they though? I can’t imagine they’d want it to be as fair as possible.

However, not all esports are being allowed right now. The Nevada Control Board is still reluctant to offer all esports as potential betting services. Bettors won’t be able to participate in in-play markets, the regulator specified. They also pointed out that odds will be determined by sportsbooks themselves, based on the principles of fair competition.

Nevada’s watchdog has cautioned sportsbooks to issue bets and allocate wins under the newly-set regulatory measures. Many sportsbooks have responded to the call-to-arms to offer esports markets.

What will it take to see more esports being allowed to be bet upon? Perhaps it’s the younger average player age or the “unpredictability” that comes from esports that are not anchored in real-life sports or events. With that in mind though, CS:GO is available to bet on, and that’s just a first-person shooter. I’m curious as to what it would take to allow greater esports betting, and if people are putting time and money into those kinds of bets.

Where do you stand? Does esports betting legitimize it, or does it ruin the competition somehow? We’d love to know what your take is! I’m fine with betting, as long as it doesn’t lead to rampant match fixing.


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