With literally no traditional sports left to bet on amid the unfolding global coronavirus crisis, the Nevada Gaming Control Board on Wednesday came to the rescue of locally licensed sportsbooks.
The regulatory body approved wagering on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s ESL Pro League Season 11: North America.
Nevada bookmakers will be able to offer three types of wagers on the tournament to their customers, but under specific conditions set by the state Gaming Control Board.
The three different types of wagers approved by the agency are head-to-head play, the winner of each match, and the overall season champion.
Betting on eSports has seen a tremendous surge in popularity over the past few weeks as almost all major sporting events have been canceled or postponed in response to the unprecedented Covid-19 emergency.
eSports Betting Conditions
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was the second new betting offering introduced in Nevada this week after the state Gaming Control Board authorized local sportsbooks to take bets on chess for the 2020 FIDE Candidates tournament.
Here it is important to note that betting is limited to mobile apps as the state’s retail sportsbooks and casinos are shuttered as part of the measures invoked by Gov. Steve Sisolak to help curb the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus.
It should also be noted that betting on Counter-Strike is the first eSports betting offering in the Silver State since 2017 when regulators permitted wagering on that year’s League of Legends World Championships.
As mentioned earlier, licensed digital sportsbooks will be able to take bets on Counter-Strike under certain conditions.
Sports betting operators that choose to offer betting on Counter-Strike must send a notification of terms to the Enforcement Division. Betting apps are required to cease accepting bets before the start of each match.
The results should be “based on a permissible source in accordance with Regulation 22.060 (4)”, it also became known.
Operators must adhere to all audit procedures detailed in Industry Letter 2011-48. Sportsbooks will be able to set their own odds, but “rules governing these wagers shall be made available to the public”, as per the Nevada Gaming Control Board’s requirements.
And finally, any additional wagers that deviate from the three types permitted by the state gambling regulator will “require a separate application and approval.”
When Will Nevada Bettors Be Able to Wager on Counter-Strike?
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s ESL Pro League includes 24 teams with four groups of six teams. Group play kicked off March 16 and will continue through April 3. Two of the groups have already completed their round-robin play and the other two groups began play this past Thursday.
A date for the final round is yet to be announced.
William Hill, which holds the largest market share in Nevada’s sports betting space, already started promoting its Counter-Strike: GO ESL Pro League Season 11: North America betting offering, saying in a tweet on its official page that eSports is once again available at William Hill US.