A proposed Digital Republic Bill would enable the growth of eSports gambling events in France, and many in Las Vegas eye eSports as a potential windfall.
France currently bans eSports, which it associates with unregulated gambling. But the proposed bill would separate
eSports from gambling, and enable competitions to be held there.
Currently, eSports operators have to apply for gaming licenses to hold events in France. Such events typically include teams of participants from around the world competing online in video gaming.
The measure in France would enable the government to develop partnerships capable of regulating eSports and helping the fledgling industry to gain a foothold in France.
French lawmakers also hope the enabling bill would spur additional investment in the nation’s economy by eSports operators looking to establish themselves in Europe.
Studies show eSports are very popular among members of the millennial generation, who grew up playing video and online games. Audience participation is growing globally by double digits each year, and the online format helps eliminate national borders and other traditional boundaries to holding online events.
That’s why gaming operators in Las Vegas view eSports as a potential windfall for Sin City, as casino operators look for ways to bring in more millennial bettors.
Unlike their older counterparts, millennials greatly prefer interactive gaming experiences such as eSports, rather than the traditional slot machines that previously drove most of Las Vegas’ gaming revenues.
Nevada gaming regulators are working to make daily fantasy sports legal in time for the fall football season, and eSports regulations might follow soon after, which would allow individuals and teams to compete for money and prizes.
The Downtown Grand casino hosts a professional e-gaming team from Australia, and constructed a special viewing area for casino visitors to watch the team practice and play between events.
And the Mandalay Bay Events Center hosted the North American League of Legends season championship April 16-17.
The actions in France and activities in Las Vegas are sure signs that eSports is a winner that is just awaiting regulatory approval.