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Published: March 23, 2021

Written by: Stefan Velikov

  • A new bill by Senator Ben Kieckhefer will regulate esports
  • A three to the five-person committee will oversee and regulate events 
  • The goal is not to limit esports but rather make them more approachable for investors

As interest in esports grows globally, Nevada takes steps to regulate them with the ultimate goal of growing the industry and making it more appealing.

The Growth of Esports Imposes the Need of Regulations

In Las VegasNevada, esports has been growing alongside all other games. It is home to the HyperX Esports Arena. There is a gargantuan-sized playground for all kinds of esports. The infamous city has proven itself to be fertile soil for the growth of competitive video games. As with most games in Las Vegas, gambling and competing for cash prizes have also been an inseparable part of gaming. 

Jud Hannigan, the CEO of Allied Esports, the company that owns the HyperX arena, has commented that there is no better place in the world for the growth of esports than Las Vegas. He considers the city’s infrastructure to be unmatched for that ends. Hannigan hopes that his company will remain a major factor when it comes to the future resolutions of any esport-related issues. 

The growing popularity of esports has made them a target of the Nevada legislature’s gaze. Nevada’s Senator Ben Kieckhefer has talked about how viewership is expected to cap 650 million viewers by 2023 and ad revenue to exceed $225 million. Thus he has taken action to assemble a commission that will be purposed with overlooking and regulating gaming events. The senator was quick to assure that these actions are with the ultimate goal of supporting the industry by making it safer and more appealing. 

The Esports Organizations’ Opinion and the Commission’s Goals

Paul Hamilton, CEO, and president of Atlanta Esports Ventures, confirmed Kieckhefer’s words. He said that regulations are needed to make the genre flourish, not to suffocate it with unnecessary rulings. The Nevada Esports Commission will aim to deeply understand esports and take the actions needed to improve the scene. Hamilton has personally said he covets to turn Las Vegas into an “esports mecca,” so it is obvious that he wouldn’t have agreed with the bill if its goal was to cripple esports. 

The Nevada Esports Commission will be aided by a committee comprised of professionals that are well-familiar with video gaming. Those will include game publishers, tournament organizers, and the like. The first version of the bill intended it to be a party of three members, but Kickhefer has proposed to up that number to five. 

The committee will be responsible for guiding the Nevada Esports Commission’s judgment. As there are plenty of different leagues – professionals’, amateurs,’ collegiate leagues, and so on, the sanctions and regulations will also vary. 

The commission will also occupy itself with preventing and sanctioning all kinds of match-fixing and cheating. Senator Kieckhefer believes that some slight regulations will improve esports as they will make them look more legitimate and thus appealing to future investors. 

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