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Nevada regulators give green light for esports betting

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Last week, gambling regulators in Nevada gave the state’s sports betting operators the right to accept wagers on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) esports contests.

William Hill became the first Las Vegas bookmaker to post odds for CS:GO when it opened markets for two ESL Pro League matches on Thursday, March 26.

The first of those fixtures saw 100 Thieves rally from a map down to justify their -500 favouritism with a 2-1 win over +375 underdogs Swole Patrol, while Team Liquid (-333.33) made short work of MiBR (+275) in the second clash.

This landmark development comes as betting operators the world over search for alternative revenue streams while the vast majority of professional, amateur and collegiate sporting competitions are on hiatus due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Esports betting is already a mainstay in the gambling industries of Asia and Europe, but many US states prohibit wagering on video games on the grounds that they are not classified as real sports or games of skill.

New Jersey tested the waters last year when it allowed licensed sportsbooks to take bets on the 2019 League of Legends World Championship finals, and now Nevada has taken a big step towards full-scale esports betting.

Esport is one of the world’s fastest-growing industries, with professional leagues and tournaments now operating all over the world for popular games such as Call of Duty, Dota 2, FIFA, F1 Racing, Fortnite, NBA 2K and StarCraft II.

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