Esports betting legislation just got another leg up in Connecticut with HB 6451 introducing legal sports gambling in the state last Tuesday, and acknowledging esports as an official “sporting event.” While the debate whether video gaming constitutes a form of athletic competition rages on, to Connecticut lawmakers the issue has been settled insofar as wagering opportunities go.
Under HB 6451, esports is an official contest that you can bet on, a fact that is going to give the esports betting industry another claim to legitimacy at a time when competitive video gaming has repeatedly proven its staying power. What this means is that licensed Connecticut operators can legally accept wagers on esports competitions, and while Dota 2 The International 10 is now in the books and the League of Legends World Championship is almost over, there are exciting opportunities up ahead.
Easy Entry for Esports in Connecticut’s Betting Landscape
The idea of allowing esports as an official betting contest in the United States isn’t new. When the pandemic hit in early 2020 and then stretched out throughout the year, New Jersey and Nevada scrambled to their feet to introduce more contests to bet on. Besides, tennis table in Europe, regulators quickly began licensing individual esports events on a per-case basis, giving a bit of a broader scope to available betting.
Many sports fans switched to betting on FIFA and NBA2K, two-sport simulators developed by EA. Yet, few states so far have embraced esports as an option to bet on, and that is where Connecticut bucks the trend. The state expects each operator to establish its own esports betting platform and provide a diverse range of game titles and markets.
Enter Collegiate Esports Betting
The state doesn’t intend to limit the scope of esports betting either and intercollegiate esports events are also allowed to wager on. In fact, the United States has one of the biggest collegiate esports networks, with organizations like NACE bringing together hundreds of schools and colleges from across the entire country. Understandably, Connecticut prohibits betting by people directly involved in esports competitions, i.e. athletes, coaches, or referees.
Esports has proven a particularly tempting opportunity to many with Entain finalizing its acquisition of Unikrn just recently. Esports has been in the headlines, with Pinnacle, an established sports betting company with a dedicated B2B division, developing a plug-and-play esports betting platform for sportsbooks interested in integrating a ready-to-go esports betting solution.