Many states across the US have had a bit of a spotty past with different betting rules and regulations, particularly as different regulation around laws for tribal casinos in states like California continue to be a thorn in the paw of many legislators trying to get bills passed. The past year has brought a lot of different awareness around the gambling and betting scene as a whole as many land-based locations face risk, particularly in betting as land-based betting shops are starting to close across the world, and with the recent rise in esports – it has helped raise the question of whether or not esports can help change US betting regulation as many new sites like these are growing in popularity.
The rights to the games are different to traditional sporting – Major sporting events and the rights around them can cover some murky water – different broadcasting rights mean that different estalishments have to jump through hoops in order for fans to watch, and certain trademark rights mean it can be difficult for all sports to be represented across all markets. Things are a little different with esports, with games being broadcast for free online, and different betting markets popping up independent of the big games, it’s a very different envrionment and needs to be treated differently from traditional sporting – whether this will require different betting regulation, or just an expansion of any exisitng options is a question within itself, but for states that haven’t yet legalised betting it could certainly be a grey area.
Economic recovery may spur change – For the states that are yet to legalise betting and gambling, the pandemic has been suggested as a reason that many may change – with incentives and taxes on betting being proposed as a way to encourage legislators to pass bills and an incentive to recover from the pandemic, and with a growing number of viewers in the esports space it’s yet another part of the market that is encouraging change. Whether or not this will be considered in the time frame needed is another issue entirely, but does provide an opportunity for esports betting to make a space for itself.
There are of course some states that may not see any change moving forward – particularly in spaces that focus on gaming rather than more traditional sporting and will continue to be a heel there, but as attitudes change esports may certainly help move regulation forward for some – and given the speed at which things are changing, it may not be long until esports is amongst the most represented options within US betting as a whole.