For several months, gambling operators, game publishers, sports teams and other businesses have been focused on creating a stable presence with legal e-sports gambling in the US.
Thanks to the US Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the federal ban under which sports betting was prohibited in the country, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) was eliminated, with more states declaring an interest towards legal sports betting options. According to estimates provided by the market research firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, the US e-sports betting industry is expected to be worth a total of US$23 billion, with the expected annual revenue amounting to more than US$1.8 billion.
E-sports betting, however, has faced some difficulties before establishing its presence in the country. US states are required to explicitly include e-sports in their sports betting bills and establish regulators which are set to specialize in e-sports only. On the other hand, both gambling regulators and operators need to demonstrate their commitment to tackling underage betting, preventing cybersecurity breaches and making sure only fair and transparent online sports betting services are provided.
In addition, US states are required to determine whether online sports betting is categorized as a “sport” and gets the same treatment as major regular sports leagues or are classified as “other events”, which would make them subjected to special e-sports gambling regulatory regulation.
States Need to Roll Out Adequate Rules for E-Sports Betting
Despite the fact that a number of states have already expressed their willingness to include e-sports in their sports betting legislation, other ones still remain hesitant whether to make e-sports gambling legal or not. Such states’ indecisiveness is considered to be due to some problems associated with ensuring e-sports’ integrity, such as tackling underage gambling, battling match-fixing and keeping the fairness and transparency of the industry intact.
When it comes to underage gambling, online gambling operators could add an age verification system in order to check the players’ age in order to minimize the number of children betting on sports. Such systems, however, are not 100% foolproof. Special education programs could also be rolled-out in an attempt of states’ authorities to make sure that underage users are kept away from risks associated with gambling.
Cybersecurity breaches and match-fixing, as well as other problems related to e-sports, are also widely-discussed issues which need to be resolved in order for US states to be able to roll-out online sports betting legislation. Both e-sports league officials and game developers are required to make sure their players are well-acquainted with the risks of match-fixing. In addition, sports leagues need to implement adequate cybersecurity measures in order to make sure that customers accounts and website content cannot be accessed by cybercriminals.
States that are willing to roll out e-sports betting legislation are currently required to prepare the legal and regulatory framework that is essential, considering the widespread legalization of online sports betting across the country.