Sports betting is on the verge of its official launch in the state of Pennsylvania which is by no means an easy task. However, the state is going to have to work much harder to ensure that its sports betting industry is offering more than what the same industries in other states do. This has led to discussions regarding the future of esports in the state, something that will certainly go a long way in breathing new life into the sports betting industry while at the same time elevating the state of the nascent but rapidly growing esports sector.
“Now with the advent of sports betting proliferating through a number of other states, the opportunity to consider eSports for sports wagering is now upon us,” said Doug Sherman, chief counsel for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
Sherman pointed out that the board considers esports as an interesting phenomenon and they have been studying and researching the esports industry to see if it would be a great fit alongside the traditional sporting activities such as basketball or football. He further noted that it would depend on the way the state’s licensed casino holders perceive esports in general, that is, whether or not it is a viable product.
“At that point, we would look at it in more depth and say, yes, we think it can be offered or it can be offered with some modifications,” he added.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board in its study has found that it will have to consider the market’s concerns and perception towards esports as well. One major concern would be finding effective and appropriate ways of ensuring that minors are not able to indulge in esports betting.
Long Time Coming?
According to Sasha Sacavage, a McNees Law attorney with the eSports Practice Group, the idea of esports betting has been floated around several times before. She drew inferences from other jurisdictions like the United Kingdom where gambling on esports is allowed unlike in the United States where there are certainly a number of setbacks which have in turn led players to crypto-powered esports betting sites.
There are groups that are currently collecting data that will help in solving some of the problems associated with sports betting such as match-fixing but unfortunately, not many of these fixes will apply to the esports industry which operates differently in a number of ways.
“The differences between traditional sports and eSports are something that between the advocacy groups, like the Pennsylvania eSports Coalition, and the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and the legislature will have to be worked out,” Sasha Sacavage said.