One of the biggest sports stories of the year so far has been the Supreme Court's decision regarding sports gambling. For those unfamiliar with the story, the SCOTUS ruled 7-2 to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which outlawed sports betting in most states. This looks to open the door to legalized gambling for all major sports, but the question has naturally popped up regarding betting in esports.
At least one state has already struck down this idea. New Jersey is on the cusp of legalizing sports betting, but the current law, as drafted makes a few notable exceptions. Among them is esports, which the law explicitly prohibits, with few exceptions.
"A prohibited sports event includes all high school sports events, electronic sports, and competitive video games but does not include international sports events in which persons under age 18 make up a minority of the participants," reads the official bill from New Jersey's 218th Legislature.
NJ's sports betting law excludes ALL esports events unless they are (1) international and (2) more than 50% of players are over 18.— Bryce Blum (@esportslaw) June 6, 2018
The law treats esports the same as high school sports, which is actually insane. Obvious problem w/ ppl regulating something they don't understand. pic.twitter.com/WbzcULETph
As esports attorney Bryce Blum points out on Twitter, the exceptions to this rule involve international competition and the ages of the competitors. That means there could be an exception waiting in the wings for the Overwatch League, given that all of its competitors are over 18 and three of the League's teams (London Spitfire, Shanghai Dragons, Seoul Dynasty) are based outside the United States. Likewise, competitions like Dota 2's The International and the League of Legends World Championships could eventually become open to betting.
The topic of legalized esports betting is one that's sure to pop up more in the wake of this SCOTUS decision. Shacknews will endeavor to follow this story.
Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, New Jersey Sports Betting Law Excludes Domestic Esports
"put me down for 700 dollars on the RAMS. OH, and put sideshow Mel down for 2 grand"
At first I thought that eSports not having to deal with the scandals that come from gambling, but I realized that's already happening and tons of shady sites sponsor many events. Legalizing eSports can only clean it up.
It's also silly that Valve didn't ban Solo.