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More rules coming on esports wagering

The eight-member committee guiding the Nevada Gaming Control Board on developing regulations for wagering on esports unanimously voted to forward a regulatory proposal to the board and the Nevada Gaming Commission.

The Esports Technical Advisory Committee on Monday recommended amendments to Regulation 22, the board’s regulation overseeing race books and sports pools.

If the amendment is adopted by the board and commission, bettors in Nevada will soon be allowed to wager on a variety of video game competitions staged online or in Nevada venues.

The committee has been working since March to draft a regulatory framework to allow sportsbooks to take bets on competitions, which have a worldwide following involving teams of players that compete in a variety of video games.

The committee decided early on that it preferred to amend the race and sports pools regulation instead of drafting a separate set of rules for esports.

Since first meeting in March, the committee took testimony from several experts in the field to determine the best way to maintain integrity in competitions.

The final draft approved by the committee on Monday gives sportsbooks the flexibility to take wagers on events, but also gives the Gaming Control Board chairman the ability to step in and prevent books from taking wagers on events that have had a questionable past.

“The chair is hereby granted the authority to issue an interlocutory order prohibiting books from accepting wagers on events conducted by an event operator,” the amendment says.

The amendment also addresses building the list of sanctioning organizations.

“Whether or not a book has notified the chair of the book accepting wagers on events conducted by an event operator, the chair may place an event operator on the list of sanctioning organizations,” the amendment says. “However, a book shall continue to monitor the integrity of events on which it accepts wagers and continue to follow all other requirements regarding wagers.”

Eventually, the board is expected to develop a list of sanctioning organizations that have conducted trouble-free events for faster and easier approval of wagering on upcoming tournaments.

The 1 1/4-page amendment to Regulation 22 defines esports as “competitions between individuals or teams using video games which are hosted at a physical location or online.”

The amendment says a sportsbook “may accept wagers on an esports event without the approval required … if the book obtains complete information about the video game used for the event, including … the publisher of the video game …”

Like wagering on traditional sporting events, esports wagering will require events to be effectively supervised, have effective integrity standards in place, have verifiable outcomes, have outcomes generated by a reliable and independent process, have outcomes unlikely to be affected by any wager placed, and be in compliance with all applicable laws and public policy.

Sportsbooks would be required to maintain records of esports wagering and results as well as send quarterly reports to the Control Board on accepted wagers.

The Control Board and commission are expected to consider the amendment at future meetings, possibly as soon as November.

Committee members offered to continue to assist the board as the list of sanctioned operators grows.

What the committee accomplished Monday “checks the box for job No. 1,” committee member Seth Schorr said in the meeting, adding he looks forward to assisting in the further development of wagering on esports in the future.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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