August 24, 2017

August 23, 2017

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

August 22, 2017

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

August 21, 2017

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

Nevada Passes New Law That Provides Flexibility for eSports Wagering

The Nevada Legislature has just passed Senate Bill 240 (SB240). This bill clarifies that the pari-mutuel system of gaming may be used for events other than horse racing, dog racing, or sporting events. Pari-mutuel is a betting system that allows the sports book or “house” to minimize risk in taking wagers because the wagers are placed together in a pool, with the winners sharing in the pool (after taxes and the house take or “vigorish” are removed).

This legislation was brought by the Boyd School of Law (at University of Nevada, Las Vegas) gaming law class of adjunct professors Greg Gemignani and Jennifer Roberts, working in close coordination with the Nevada Gaming Control Board and Gaming Commission and the bill sponsor, Boyd alum Nevada Senator Becky Harris. The Boyd School of Law has a long tradition of bringing a gaming law bill to the Nevada Legislature each session – a tradition started by the late Bob Faiss, who was a professor of gaming law at Boyd for many years and is considered by many to be the “grandfather” of gaming law due to his involvement in drafting the original set of laws governing modern regulated gaming in Nevada.

With the growing popularity of “eSports” – competitive video games, where players often compete in a stadium-style tournament – the gaming law class believed that it would be helpful to provide flexibility to gaming operators in offering wagers on such events. But SB240 opens the door to the pari-mutuel system of gaming to not only eSports but also any other type of “other event” approved by Nevada regulators. This means that creative sports books could potentially take pari-mutuel bets on a wide range of events, including on the winners of competition shows like Dancing with the Stars.

Before a sports pool may take wagers on such “other event,” it must receive the approval of Nevada’s gaming regulators. Nevada’s gaming laws require that such other events must not be ones where the outcome is predetermined. As provided in the gaming regulations, a “licensed sports pool shall not accept a wager on an event unless the date and time at which the outcome of the event is determined can be confirmed from reliable sources satisfactory to the [Gaming Commission] chairman or from records created and maintained by the book in such manner as the chairman may approve.”

Other conditions for approval include that the sports book must provide a full description of the event and the manner in which wagers would be placed and winning wagers would be determined; a full description of any technology which would be utilized to offer the event; and “such other information or documentation which demonstrates that:

(1) The event could be effectively supervised; 

(2) The outcome of the event would be verifiable; 

(3) The outcome of the event would be generated by a reliable and independent process;

(4) The outcome of the event would be unlikely to be affected by any wager placed;

(5) The event could be conducted in compliance with any applicable laws; and

(6) The granting of the request for approval would be consistent with the public policy of the state.”

And, unlike in the United Kingdom, where the presidential race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton brought heavy wagering action, wagers on the outcome of political elections remain specifically verboten under Nevada law.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board has already noticed its workshop to revise its regulations to implement SB240. On June 22, 2017, the Board will workshop its proposal to revise Regulation 26B, which governs pari-mutuel wagering on sporting events, to clarify that this regulation applies to pari-mutuel wagering on “other events” and to add the term “other event” where necessary to Regulation 26B to allow such other wagers to be included under the provisions of this regulation.

© Copyright 2017 Dickinson Wright PLLC

TRENDING LEGAL ANALYSIS


About this Author

Jennifer J. Gaynor, Dickinson Wright, Carson City, Gaming Attorney
Member

Jennifer Gaynor represents clients before the Nevada Legislature in Carson City, Nevada. She also practices before various professional and licensing boards and state and local tax authorities, and represents clients on matters involving First Amendment law, public records and open meeting law, gaming law and regulatory agency actions.

Professional Involvement

  • Nevada State Chair, CARE

  • Board Member, Nevada Preservation Foundation

  • Member,...

702-550-4462
Gregory R. Gemignani, Dickinson Wright, Intellectual Property Lawyer
Member

Greg Gemignani's practice focuses primarily on intellectual property law, gaming law, technology law, internet law, online gaming law, and online promotions law. He has represented many clients ranging from the largest casino companies to start-up internet ventures.

Professional Involvement

  • Member, International Masters of Gaming Law

  • Member, International Association of Gaming Advisors

  • Member, Technology Business Alliance of Nevada

  • Member, Clark County Bar Association

  • Member, The Augustus Society 

702-550-4468
Kate C. Lowenhar-Fisher, Dickinson Wright, Las Vegas, Gaming Lawyer
Member

Ms. Lowenhar-Fisher is a leading Nevada gaming attorney who counsels many of the world’s premier gaming companies on regulatory issues in connection with mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring, reorganizations and financings.  She has extensive experience advising clients on issues related to Internet gaming, social gaming, fantasy sports, liquor licensing, sweepstakes, contests, and promotions. She regularly represents individuals and businesses before regulatory agencies, including the Nevada State Gaming Control Board, the Nevada Gaming Commission, the...

702-550-4459
Jeffrey A. Silver, Dickinson Wright, Gaming regulatory Attorney, Nevada
Of Counsel

Mr. Silver's practice focuses on every aspect of gaming, liquor licensing and regulatory law, as well as planning and zoning matters, contractor licensing and transportation law.

Mr. Silver’s representative clients include Gaming Laboratories International, Dubai World, Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, Tuscany Hotel & Casino, Riverside Resort (Laughlin, NV), The Stephen Siegel Group, Grand Sierra Hotel & Casino (Reno, NV), Century Gaming Technologies, Applebee’s Restaurants, Bell Transportation, United Coin, Ryan's Express, and Casino...

702-382-1661