The House of Representatives in the state of West Virginia is eyeing the prospects of esports betting as it seeks to make a new amendment that will categorize professional video gaming as a legitimate wagering discipline.
House Bill 4826 Will Change the Status of Esports
West Virginia is seeking to profit from the rapid growth of the esports betting sector. The state is increasingly favorable to the idea of betting on gaming and has proposed a new amendment that might see esports as an officially-recognized sporting discipline. The amendment is envisioned in House Bill 4826, which is dedicated to establishing a firm definition of esports and categorizing it as a legitimate sports betting category in the Mountain State.
According to the bill, an esports event is everything that corresponds to the following description: an electronic sport or competitive video game played as a game of skill for spectators. Additionally, the amendment plans to categorize esports as a professional sporting discipline. The bill reads:
‘“Sports event” or “sporting event” means any professional sport or athletic event, any collegiate sport or athletic event, motor race event, e-sports event, or any other special event authorized by the commission under this article.”
The Bill Has Received a Decent Support
West Virginia is one of the first states to legalize sports betting once the sports betting ban was lifted in 2018. Since then, the Mountain State has been a pioneer in the industry. Right now, people in the state can freely bet on both professional and collegiate sports events, provided that they are of legal age.
By categorizing esports as professional sporting events, the state will effectively establish esports as a legitimate betting discipline under the sports betting category. As of now, several delegates in West Virginia have backed House Bill 4826. Those include Bennett Queen, Clay Riley, Daniel Linville, Moore Capito, Shawn Fluharty, and Steve Westfall. The House Finance Committee will now review house Bill 4826.
Esports Betting Continues to Grow
The last few years have seen a vast expansion in the esports industry as esports has grown globally. This, in turn, has sparked an unprecedented interest in esports betting, which has been further fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, where traditional sports leagues had to cease their activities.
Several US states have already recognized esports betting, with Connecticut being one of the most recent. On the other hand, Nevada is already deeply involved with esports and has established a whole regulatory body that oversees the expansion of the esports betting industry.
While some have remained skeptical of the prospects of esports betting, many regulatory bodies and gambling companies have decided to throw their bet with the youth and their beloved esports events.