Nevada Could Soon Have An Esports Czar Overseeing Competitions

Written By Marc Meltzer on March 10, 2021

Nevada could be home to the first-ever US governmental regulatory body for esports. Reno Sen. Ben Kieckhefer (R) recently proposed Senate Bill 165, a piece of legislation that would do just that.

The bill would create the Nevada Esports Commission. This commission would be similar in structure to the Nevada Athletic Commission which governs boxing and mixed martial arts competitions.

Esports is a billion-dollar industry around the world. Nevada and the gaming industry in the Silver State have been trying to tap this market for years. If this bill passes Nevada could become the esports Mecca the state has been hoping it to be.

Senate Bill 165 wants oversight for esports competitions

Senate Bill 165 is looking to create the Nevada Esports Commission to regulate esports competitions taking place in Nevada. The committee will create and uphold esports standards that will ensure the integrity of esports events in Nevada.

If this bill passes, the new commission would be under the Nevada Department of Business and Industry. Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak would appoint the executive director for the committee. That person will have two other people on the esports committee.

The commission will create rules, policies, and regulations for esports events. Hosts, participants, and venues will have to abide by the regulations. For example, hosts for an esports event with a purse of $1,000 or more will have to register with the commission. Once registered hosts must submit details about the event including tournament rules.

The bill would also require participants of esports events to register before participating in a competition with a purse greater than $1,000. Today, anyone can participate in any esports event.

Finally, the commission will have to approve venues for hosting these esports events.

The integrity of esports competitions is an important factor in growing the industry. As esports grows, the industry continues to fight cheating among players.

The goal of creating an oversight committee for esports would be to improve Nevada as a destination for more major esports events. Not only would events bring participants to Nevada but the hope is fans, media, and players will spend money on hotel rooms, restaurants, bars, and clubs.

Esports is a billion-dollar industry

Esports is currently a $1 billion industry and growing. By the end of 2021, esports could be closing in on being a $2 billion industry around the world. Nevada is hoping to help grow the industry in North America with the passage of this bill.

The esports industry includes everything from competitions to gaming units. While the overall industry is huge, North America accounts for approximately $300 million according to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC). For reference, that’s more than twice as much as the entire continent of Europe.

Prior to the coronavirus forcing many live events to cancel, Las Vegas played host to esports competitions large and small. Mandalay Bay has hosted the Evolution Championship Series (Evo) in the past and plans to host the event later this year. The event should take place in the recently renamed Michelob Ultra Events Center.

The Hyper X Esports Arena at Luxor has been host to smaller esports competitions since opening in 2015.

Senate Bill 165 could make Las Vegas a destination for more large esports tournaments in the US. By improving the integrity of the events, the commission could make sportsbooks more open to taking wagers on video game competitions.

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Marc Meltzer

Marc grew up on the mean streets of the South Bronx. He's the rare combination of Yankees and Jets fan which explains his often contrarian point of view. Marc is a freelance writer and social media consultant. Writing about steak, booze, gambling and Las Vegas is a tough job but somebody has to do it.

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