Monday May 16,2016 : NEVADA INTEREST IN E-SPORTS IS GROWING
Possibilities discussed, and a further session on the vertical scheduled.
According to a report in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Nevada government is becoming increasingly interested in the eSports vertical as an additional revenue source through betting and hosting eSports events.
The potential was reportedly discussed during a recent Gaming Policy meeting, and a further and more in-depth exploration has been scheduled for August by Gov. Brian Sandoval, the newspaper reports.
The Journal quotes Steve Hill, who heads the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, and believes that eSports is a good example of the type of industry the Silver State is seeking to diversify the economy.
Hill explained that it is an industry related to the state’s primary economic asset, gaming and tourism, it touches the high-tech sector, and it has the potential of drawing international interest.
The vertical is already big business in Europe and Asia, he pointed out, warning that by waiting too long Nevada could fall behind as it has with online poker and daily fantasy sports.
However, a Station Casinos executive told the Journal that part of the problem was putting together the right operational teams and experience in the new vertical to run and adjust eSports lines.
Another potential area of difficulty may be the Nevada gambling age limit of 21 years, the Journal observes.
"Craig Levine, CEO of Electronic Sports League North America and founder of the e-sports Team 3D, says the average starting age for entering a league is late teens with many of the top players exiting in their early 20’s. Nevada gaming laws prevent those under the age of 21 from gambling at state casinos," the publication notes.
In related news a press conference last Friday unveiled the new trade body World Esports Association (WESA).
The entity is apparently the fruit of joint efforts between professional eSports teams and ESL, the world’s largest eSports [events] company.’
The new body describes itself as: "…an open and inclusive organization that will further professionalize esports by introducing elements of player representation, standardized regulations, and revenue shares for teams. WESA will seek to create predictable schedules for fans, players, organizers and broadcasters, and for the first time bring all stakeholders to the discussion table."
The executive board comprises ESL co-founder Ralf Reichert; Fnatic’s Wouter Sleijffers; Ninjas in Pyjamas CEO Hicham Chahine and Senior VP at ESL Sebastian Weishaar, along with law expert Pietro Fringuelli, who will serve as Interim League Commissioner.
Fringuelli outlined plans for a WESA Player Council to be formed in the near future.
Founding members of the new body include include Fnatic, Natus Vincere, Ninjas in Pyjamas, G2 Esports and Mousesports.