Nevada State Bill 165 envisioned the establishment of an Esports Regulatory Commission. It was proposed by state Senator Ben Kieckhefer who believes that creating an esports regulatory body will help with establishing a healthy gambling ecosystem and boost the industry’s growth. However, the idea was scrapped, and the bill received some important tweaks before finally getting signed by Governor Steve Sisolak.
The Changed Bill Will Create an Esports Technical Advisory Committee
Instead of a regulatory commission, the bill will see the establishment of an esports technical advisory committee. This change was urged by the esports tournament organizers and video game publishers who refuse to be regulated as they fear that regulation will actually impact the industry negatively.
In Bill 165’s original form, the Esports Regulatory Commission would have been very similar to the Nevada Athletic Commission, which deals with the regulation of all unarmed combat martial art events in the state. The technical advisory committee that was voted instead will be there to give advice to the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
Kieckhefer spoke with The Esports Observer on the matter, saying that the idea of establishing a new regulatory body was unsettling to video game publishers and that they strongly opposed it. The senator attributes that to the fact they aren’t currently regulated in most of the world and fear such a change.
Game Publishers and Tournament Organizers Strongly Opposed Regulation
Kieckhefer describes that publishers and tournament organizers were so outraged by the idea that they even threatened to leave Las Vegas and Nevada for good if Bill 165 passed in its original form. If this were to happen, it would completely shatter Kieckhefer’s good intentions of economic development and making Nevada esports appealing to investors, and benefiting the industry.
Therefore the changes had to be made. But Kieckhefer is still content with the progress. According to him, this is a step in the right direction as it will create a platform where the government can work together with video game publishers and tournament organizers. Kieckhefer believes that such a relationship will be beneficial and will help build trust between the two sides.
Nevada and Las Vegas, in particular, have a huge betting industry that attracts many tourists from around the globe. This is an important argument for the introduction of gambling in countries where it is either forbidden or not a common practice. With their current rise in popularity, esports has become a crucial part of this gambling ecosystem in Nevada. A good relationship between the government and the gaming industry will surely benefit both in the long run.