Las Vegas Makes Plans To Become The Global eSports Hub

Las Vegas, the casino gaming hub in the United Sates is now preparing to become the global hub for the nascent eSports industry.

Industry stakeholders gathered recently in Las Vegas to attend the first meeting held by Nevada eSports Alliance, a non-profit that is working towards making the state the preferred spot for esports.

There were more than 30 stakeholders present at the meeting and some of them were from major casino brands as well as representatives from eSports companies and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

eSports is being looked at as a convergence between the casino industry and video gaming. The casino industry is looking to get involved in eSports by hosting eSports tournaments and offering patrons the opportunity to wager on eSports. A report from market intelligence firm Newzoo indicates that the global esports industry produced $352 million in revenue in 2015 and is likely to go up to $1.1 billion in 2019.

Esports Arena

Although in-game betting on eSports currently takes place in Nevada, it is illegal. A report from Narus Advisors and Eilers & Krejcik has estimated that esports gaming wagers this year will be around $3 billion and will climb to $12.9 billion in 2020.

In a statement Jennifer Roberts, alliance founder and associate director at UNLV’s International Center for Gaming Regulation said,

This is the market for it. If we could get regulation and facilitation, creating the convergence between wagering and eSports, that right there would be huge

According to experts, the esports industry is an entirely new area for casinos and operators would need to learn from scratch on how to cater their products and services to this new market. Frank Villarreal, the founder of Las Vegas-based esports organization Rogue stated during the meeting that the esports community places high value on authenticity and companies will need to keep that in mind while creating events.

Apart from appealing to fans, the gaming industry also need to tackle the tough challenge of regulating in-game wagering. Regulation of in-game wagering is considered to be tricky from both the regulatory perspective and the technical aspect. Effective regulation for this new type of gambling would require cooperation between the regulators, game publishers and the technical support providers.

Nevada has already commenced the process by enlisting the services of Ian Smith who serves as the commissioner of the eSports Integrity Coalition. Smith is currently working with the eSports industry to create standards for regulating the eSports in Nevada. A.G. Burnett, chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, entered into a memorandum of understanding with Smith in February 2017.

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