British sportsbook William Hill has become the first company to legally accept wagers on an eSports event in the United States.
After regulators approved the move earlier this month, William Hill opened markets for last weekend’s Intel Extreme Masters Oakland League of Legends eSports tournament with the first bet being placed at the Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
It represents not only a major step forward for the recognition of how quickly eSports is growing, but also for proponents of liberalizing the United States’ murky gaming regulations outside of traditional casino gambling.
“This announcement is a major step toward ensuring Nevada becomes the eSports capital of the world,” said Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval. “By embracing this unique opportunity and incorporating innovation and technology into our gaming industry, we’re expanding the potential of one of our oldest industries.
“Representatives from William Hill and Downtown Grand have been active partners with the Gaming Policy Committee as we examined eSports wagering in the State of Nevada. I would like to congratulate them on this approval and commend both companies for their swift work and determination.”