April 16, 2020 3 min read


Nevada Approves More Esports Betting Events: OWL, LoL

With Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak stating that casinos in the state would remain closed indefinitely on Tuesday, Nevada Gaming Control has issued permissions to sportsbooks to begin accepting esports wagers on three new events.

More Esports Competitions Added to Wager on in Nevada

Nevada Gaming Control continues to add more esports events to bet on after the regulator approved betting on Counter-Strike, Dota 2, and eNASCAR last week. On Tuesday, April 14, the Nevada Gaming Control expanded this list with a number of key events that generate millions of hours watched on popular video sharing and streaming platforms as Twitch and YouTube.

The updated list of events will now include the Overwatch League, League of Legends European Championship and the North America League of Legends Championship.

Esports events have a big demographic and geographic footprint with teams from all over North America and Europe participating in these electronic sports competitions, and therefore exciting their fair share of interest.

Indefinite Casino Closure, More Offbeat Sports Betting

While Nevada Gaming Control has been previously opposed to introducing esports, as they have a “different risk profile,” Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak warnings that casinos in the Silver State, Nevada’s principle source of income, will remain closed indefinitely, have given the regulatory an incentive to seek an alternative to traditional sports betting.

Gov. Sisolak specified that easing the restrictions will be considered based on medical opinion rather than economic factors, forcing local sportsbooks to adapt. With professional sports on a temporary suspension, William Hill U.S. has already reported increase in other activities, such as table tennis and pingpong.

WH director of trading Nick Bogdanovich spoke to ESPN saying that there has been a significant increase in pingpong as well. Some 300,000 people applied for unemployment benefits last week in the state.

Major Leagues Shift to Soccer

With the professional sports on hold, there have been a big shift towards esports. The NBA 2K Player Tournament and the regular NBA 2K season have been a qualified success, although the Player Tournament was associated with a gambling scandal.

Meanwhile, eNASCAR viewership pulled a steady 1.3 million people watching the simulated race, revealing the competition’s immense potential. Now, Major League Soccer seems bullish about the value its planned esports tournament would bring in.

Exciting viewership for esports based traditional sports has proven difficult, however. The peak viewers for the eMLS League Series reached 46,000 people during the first event in Philadelphia.

Meanwhile, the NBA 2K Player Tournament hit only 327,000 viewers, even though the event had much more prominent stars than NASCAR, which completely obliterated all other esports based on sports.

In this context, the eMLS Tournament Special will take place on Sunday, April 19, but no official approval has been given by Nevada Gaming Control to wager on this event. One of the concerns has been to not create the illusion that traditional sports and esports share the same risk profile.

With realistic competitions such as FIFA 20, bettors could be misled by the way camera angles replicate what you see in both a real game of soccer as well as in the simulation. However, the players in the game do not necessarily correspond to their actual skill in the real world, as they are controlled by gamers.


Stoyan holds over 8 years of esports and gambling writing experience under his belt and is specifically knowledgeable about developments within the online scene. He is a great asset to the GamblingNews.com team with his niche expertise and continual focus on providing our readers with articles that have a unique spin which differentiates us from the rest.

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