Sports betting in the Keystone Stone is almost becoming a reality having been set in motion by license applications by some of the state’s interested operators. It is also just a matter of time before the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) finally finishes up on furnishing the regulations that will be governing the industry.
Placing bets on regular or traditional sporting activities has been the buzz for centuries and will certainly continue being as big of a deal as it is now. However, the advent of esports now presents a whole new opportunity for both the gambling industry as well as the fans of esports games. That is right, in case you have not heard about it, placing bets on video games is a thing.
“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, the chief counsel for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
According to the PGCB chief counsel esports is a phenomenon that the state regulator is taking very seriously – the board has reportedly been studying and researching ways of integrating esports betting within the state’s gambling industry. Some of the key considerations are based on the interest in the activity from both the residents and casino operators.
Esports already boasts of multitudes of followers and therefore the key to the activity’s success in the Keystone State all boils down to whether the licensed casino operators are welcoming to the idea or not.
“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,” Sherman added.
One of the other considerations that the gaming board will be considering is ways of ensuring that minors or people under the age of 21 do not gain access to the esports betting.
Lobbying Has Already Begun
Discussions about the future of Esports in the state have been going on for a while now. About two months ago, a Harrisburg-based non-profit organization was formed to assist in fostering the budding Esports industry in Pennsylvania.
Referred to as the Pennsylvania Esports Coalition, the organization’s main goals are advocation for, educating and promoting esports in the state.
“This is an exciting time for those involved in esports. Competitive video gaming has been around for a while, but to see this industry explode over the last few years is electrifying. Our coalition will be out in front, advocating for positive public policies, rules, and regulations that will allow this industry to continue to grow while ensuring integrity and safety for those involved,” said Bill Thomas, chairman of the Pennsylvania Esports Coalition’s board of directors.