Nevada has remained the world’s premier sports betting market for decades. Home to Las Vegas, the Silver State handles over $5 billion worth of bets annually.
Popular American sports, including basketball, baseball, football, and hockey, are the bread-and-butter of this market. But bookmakers also make sure to offer lines on plenty of other sports and competitions.
However, Nevada has largely ignored esports up until this point. As I’ll cover later, complications have scared sportsbooks off from diving into esports betting.
With the coronavirus (COVID-19) in full effect, though, Nevada bookmakers are suddenly interested in professional video gaming. Below, you can read more about the Silver State’s past dealings with esports along with how sportsbooks are now embracing this type of wagering.
Nevada’s Past With Esports Betting
Esports gambling certainly isn’t a new thing. It has been growing in popularity for the past several years.
Many offshore bookmakers cover prime gaming events, such as the Fortnite World Championship, League of Legends World Championship, and Dota 2’s The International.
The Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) quickly realized that esports was a rising force in the betting world. They sent a committee to discuss the matter with former Gov. Brian Sandoval in 2016.
Sandoval and the committee agreed to put esports in an “other” category for betting purposes. They wanted to keep this type of gambling alive in the market.
However, bookmakers don’t have many