This weekend William Hill‘s sportsbook at Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas became the first venue to legally accept wagers on esports.
It was revealed late last week by the US bookmaker that it would be accepting wagers on the IEM Oakland event over the weekend which showcased both League of Legends and CS:GO.
It came just a matter of days after the latest meeting of the Nevada Gaming Policy Committee, and Governor Brian Sandoval said in a press release:
“This announcement is a major step toward ensuring Nevada becomes the e-sports capital of the world. By embracing this unique opportunity and incorporating innovation and technology into our gaming industry, we’re expanding the potential of one of our oldest industries”
“Representatives from William Hill and Downtown Grand have been active partners with the Gaming Policy Committee as we examined e-sports wagering in the State of Nevada and I would like to congratulate them on this approval and commend both companies for their swift work and determination.”
It has long been known that CEO of Fifth Street Gaming and Chairman of the Downtown Grand, Seth Schorr has been one of the leading advocates of esports in casinos over the last year. The Downtown Grand hosted a viewing party and wagering opportunities for the League of Legends part of IEM Oakland on Sunday.
When speaking to ESBR, Schorr revealed the next event with wagering available will be during MLG Vegas which takes place at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino between 16-18 December.
Esports Insider says: This is obviously a landmark moment in the U.S. for esports betting. It certainly opens the door for esports wagering and we would assume more casinos and sportsbooks will follow suit shortly. Judging by the coverage of the (somewhat smaller) League of Legends part of IEM (compared to CS:GO) and the next event being MLG Vegas – there’s still a while to go until we can call the coverage “comprehensive”. Nevertheless, the buzzword in Nevada at the moment seems to be “esports capital of the world”. Taking bets and having a small venue offering esports tournaments is a start – but it’s got a long way to come before the truly global world of esports starts to call Nevada the capital. We’re sure that the space will be extremely busy come the start of 2017, though.