Pennsylvania May Legalize Esports Betting In The Near Future
If HB 1580 becomes approved as a law, then it will be an enthralling time for Pennsylvanians. The bill currently in the PA House would legalize esports betting in the state. PA regulators are working on a sportsbook to take action on esports even with their constantly growing prominence in the commonwealth. While there is no assurance that will happen soon, it may be a matter of time.
The Present Status of Pennsylvania Sports Betting
If you are not able to put any money down on the exciting action on the Temple of Anubis or Summoner’s Rift on sports betting apps, do not put the blame on the Keystone State Legislature. At least do put all the blame on the legislature.
The existing enabling statute of legal betting in PA is not saying anything on the esports matter. However, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board had to come to a decision. According to them, legalizing esports on the market does not align with the intent of what encompasses as a sporting event. Therefore, these competitions continue to be off the table for licenses.
The board was clear that the legislature could bring changes to the same. This is exactly what the bill extended by Rep. Ed Nielson aims to fulfil. The bill would make esports with specific parameters legal for sportsbooks to collect wagers on. The major qualifier in the bill is that the participant in the event should be of a minimum 18 years old. Moreover, there is nothing in the bill that specifies the sanctioning of a governing body. It might be a decision that PGCB will take upon.
Presently, the bill is at the PA House Judiciary Committee. As of now, there have not been any votes on the bill in the committee. Additionally, there is no hearing scheduled in this matter. In fact, Nielson or any of the five co-sponsors are not on the committee. They are all democrats in a legislature controlled majorly by Republicans. There are chances that other parties across the state might oppose Neilson’s efforts.
Esports Economy Pennsylvania
There are many esports companies in the state. For instance, The Philadelphia Fusion of Overwatch league is among the oldest franchises in the fixture. Moreover, the Philadelphia 76ers operate the NBA 2K League franchise. One of the strongest representations of the sports industry in the state is the Fusion Arena. It was all set to be opened this year, but the impact of COVID-19 delayed the construction. It is being designed to host the Overwatch League series and a place for other big esports events.
Moreover, the Philadelphia Eagles have partnered with Esports Entertainment Group. The Eagles have their stake in the company for online betting, Esports Entertainment Group is likely to host esports competitions at Lincoln Financial Field. EEG has received approval from the government to operate a sportsbook in New Jersey. While it is yet to be launched, it is planning to do so by this year. If legislation such as HB 1580 is passed in PA, it will pave the way for massive opportunities.