SB 165 aims to bring eSports events under the jurisdiction of a new body, in order to both regulate and promote the state’s rapidly-growing market. It would require those involved with events to register with the state, and organisers to pay a flat-fee should prizes exceed $1,000. Any tournaments would additionally have to abide by centrally-mandated regulations.
A three-member Nevada eSports Commission – based on the existing Nevada Athletic Commission, which oversees boxing and MMA – has been mooted as oversight body, however, amendments that have since been proposed would see this expanded to five members.
“This is an effort to bring new events to our state by doing one of the things that Nevada has always done well, which is working with industry to make them want to be here,” State Senator, Ben Kieckhefer said.
Regarding the commission specifically, he added: “I’m looking at it primarily from an economic development perspective. Just like the success story of the Athletic Commission and MMA. That partnership with those events really helped that industry explode and grow to what it is today.”
In support of his bill, Kieckhefer said that an estimated $15bn a year is wagered on eSports globally, making it the seventh-largest sports betting market in the world. Further highlighting the economic strength of eSports, he added that viewership has increased from 454m to 646m in the last two years, and digital ad revenue has grown from $142.5m in 2018, to $225.8m this year.