Nevada regulators approve ESL One Rio betting

Update – 21/04/20: ESL One: Road to Rio was approved today by the Nevada GCB, meaning the entire Rio Major will be eligible for betting through state-licensed bookmakers.

Licensed sportsbooks will have the opportunity to offer wagers on the ESL One Rio Major, per an approval notice issued by the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

With this exemption, Nevada licensees are permitted to post and accept bets on the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive event in three different wager types: head to head, match winner, and overall winner.

ESL One Rio Nevada
Photo credit: ESL

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The approval is the latest in a long thread of esports betting exemptions issued by the Nevada regulators throughout the last several weeks; this includes League of Legends, Dota 2, iRacing, Overwatch, and other Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competitions such as the ESL Pro League and ESL Meisterschaft.

ESL One Rio markets are available to state-licensed bookmakers with immediate effect baring compliance with the following regulatory guidelines. Official rules governing ESL One Rio must be publicly available via the event organiser or sanctioning body’s website prior to the acceptance of bets. Nevada bookmakers hoping to adopt ESL One Rio markets should provide the Enforcement Division with a letter of intent.

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The Control Board notice states in-play betting options are not permitted for this event, and all wagers must cease prior to the start of each match. The positioning of odds will be at the discretion of the sportsbook, with rules and results governing these wagers based on a permissible source and available to the public. Licensees electing to offer additional wager types outside the approved three will require a separate application and approval provided by the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

In an interview with The Wrap, Nevada Gaming Control Board Senior Analyst Michael Lawton commented on the high frequency of esports exemptions coming from the state: “The approval of more esports betting in the past month is purely operator driven and more requests have been made recently amid suspension of traditional sports events.”

ESL One Rio is en route to becoming the first CS:GO Major hosted in Brazil, and the 16th Valve-sanctioned CS:GO tournament. Initially slated for May 11th, event organiser ESL had pivoted around the event cancellations brought on by COVID-19 to postpone the Major until November 19th. It’s unclear whether or not Nevada’s exemption will be in effect during the event’s regional qualifiers, ESL One: Road To Rio, which will begin on April 22nd.

Esports Insider says: Indeed Nevada punters now have a myriad of esports offerings at their disposal, the addition of an AAA calibre event such as the Rio Major, however, is a great extension of that. We anticipate more esports betting developments will rise up during this time while traditional sports are indefinitely on pause.

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