Expect e-sports betting to blossom thanks to new Supreme Court ruling

Gambling and gaming are two sides of the same coin. You guys wouldn’t believe how many gambling companies request to put ads on MOP every month (unsuccessfully!), so clearly advertisers believe there’s plenty of overlap in the groups. And the debate over gambling in video games – whether we’re talking about lockbox monetization schemes or watching bureaucrats home in on skin gambling – isn’t going away. In fact, it’s about to get much bigger as gamblers are walloped from still another direction.

This week the Supreme Court effectively overturned PASPA – the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act – in deciding Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association. The ruling hinged on the section of PASPA that basically barred local governments from licensing betting on sports games, reserving that power for the federal government. The act had been interpreted to include e-sports once e-sports became a thing as well. The state of New Jersey and the NCAA went to war over the statue, battling in court over the last seven years, and now, New Jersey, or at least the gambling institutions of New Jersey, has won.

“The decision is extremely consequential to sports bettors, who will now be able to lose their savings close to home, and would-be legal bookies, who need not share their local suckers with distant casino owners,” The Atlantic commented dryly. That’s one impact. The impact on already historically exploitative collegiate athletics has yet to be seen. But we have a pretty good idea how it’ll affect e-sports; as GIbiz reports, fantasy sports conglom DraftKings has apparently already announced plans to leap into the betting market for both the sports where you burn calories and the e-sports where you stare into monitors.

“Today’s Supreme Court ruling is welcome news to the millions of Americans who currently wager $150 billion illegally each year through off-shore, black market bookies,” claims the company. “States are now free to allow their residents to place mobile sports bets with licensed, trusted companies based in the U.S. and that pay taxes here.”

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36 Comments on "Expect e-sports betting to blossom thanks to new Supreme Court ruling"

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Dobablo

Slightly off topic but I wonder if this will kill the US drafting system. Teams are currently able to get away with tanking because there is nothing riding on those games. If sports gambling is legalised, secretly playing to lose because a fraudulent activity.

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Sally Bowls

http://www.espn.com/esports/story/_/id/23507383/how-us-supreme-court-gambling-decision-affect-esports

Narus Advisor most recent report concluded that $5.5 billion worth of cash and in-game items would be wagered globally on major esports titles in 2016. That same report estimated this number would grow to $12.9 billion by 2020. Notably, the majority of this betting occurred through the use of in-game items such as betting currency. But both the growth curve and the predominance of skin betting was in a world with PASPA on the books.

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Bryan Correll

“The decision is extremely consequential to sports bettors, who will now be able to lose their savings close to home, and would-be legal bookies, who need not share their local suckers with distant casino owners,”

That rather depends on where they live. Just because state’s can legalize sports betting doesn’t mean that they will. The states that do choose to legalize betting will almost certainly regulate it heavily. Local bookies will probably remain illegal (but profitable) just about everywhere.

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Sally Bowls

That rather depends on where they live

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Dobablo

What are the location rules for remote gambling? Are licences operators permitted to take bets from out of state customers?

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Bryan Correll

Hey! It’s North and South Carolina, not East and West Carolina.

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Sally Bowls

Two things struck me:

1) IANAL, but if the US Congress lacks the authority to bar states from banning sports gambling, then I wonder if the US Congress lacks the authority to tell states how to regulate lockbox “gambling?”

2) I noticed this took seven years to get through the appeals process. Even for a law passed today, it is, alas, not certain that MMOs and I will be healthy and around in seven years.

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Denice J. Cook

The key part of this Supreme Court ruling is really the “pay taxes” part. :P

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Arktouros

LOL and you people think they going to crack down on gamble boxes.

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Schmidt.Capela

This is a whole different can of worms, despite the common gambling theme. For starters it’s regulated gambling, meaning it has to follow all the rules and regulations that already exist around activities officially recognized as gambling.

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Arktouros

The whole “think of exposing the children to gambling” sound byte loses meaning when your game supports legitimate, official gambling as well.

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Schmidt.Capela

Legitimate, official gambling that requires age checks and all the other trappings of legal gambling. Legitimate gambling is supposed to be out of reach for children. Having gaming IPs popular with children associated with official gambling can potentially bring a shitstorm that would make the SWBF2 imbroglio seem like a gentle rain.

And any potential association between the IP and official gambling might have the opposite effect you suggest, making people more aware of how similar lootboxes and gambling are; plus, having licensed gambling already exist for the IP might weaken any argument that classifying lootboxes as gambling would be detrimental to the gaming industry, potentially making it easier to get lootboxes regulated.

It’s hard to tell right now how this will develop, but if I was managing a game that relies on lootboxes for monetization, or else one that relies too much on minors for its revenue, I would block official betting on it. I don’t think the risks are worth it, even if you disregard ethical and moral considerations.

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Arktouros

Having gaming IPs popular with children associated with official gambling can potentially bring a shitstorm that would make the SWBF2 imbroglio seem like a gentle rain.

I mean shit storm all you want the Federal law preventing it was just overturned by the Supreme Court.

It is unlikely that legal gambling will draw more comparisons to lockboxes as gambling. It’s more likely to show what true gambling is compared to the more benign nature of the RNG box. You can now actually make a direct comparison to gambling on the outcome of a baseball game and a pack of baseball cards. Getting the latter, or it’s gaming equivalent in the lockbox, regulated as gambling seems incredibly unlikely.

The organizations that things are being bet over (IE: Sports teams, etc) rarely have any hand in the gambling/betting going on it. This is done for what should be fairly obvious reasons. It’s unlikely Blizzard could ever shut down Overwatch gambling since there’s no direct 1:1 interaction.

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Bruno Brito

Legitimate pornsites are supposed to be out of reach for minors and…well…

I normally agree with you, Schmidt, but let’s be honest here. We don’t trust the government to enforce anything rightful correctly. It never did. It never will.

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Schmidt.Capela

Legitimate pornsites are supposed to be out of reach for minors and…well…

Now, imagine the outcry from parents and politicians if Blizzard had officially licensed Overwatch characters for porn movies. Or Disney had official Star Wars porn.

I’m not arguing about whether or not children will be able to bypass restrictions and access eSports-related gambling sites. @Arktouros was saying that having official gambling on eSports (i.e., the result of video game competitions) would water down the push to regulate lootboxes; I think the likeliest effect would be the opposite, strengthening the push for regulation, as it showcases how not even games are safe from gambling. Having children bypass the restriction and access the official game-related gambling, undesirable as it would be, would provide even more reason to regulate anything that even looks like gambling inside games.

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Arktouros

That’s not really accurate representation of the scenario however.

It would be like if there was a law in place that prevented people from creating Overwatch Porn. Yet people were still upset that Blizzard has such sexualized outfits and character models that it might as well be porn. Furthermore you feel Blizzard shouldn’t be allowed to offer such sexualized characters/outfits without being regulated. However then, today, the Supreme Court overturned the law banning Overwatch Porn.

Your argument that them overturning Overwatch Porn seems unlikely that they will now push further to regulate the costumes/models when they just undid real Overwatch Porn seems really unlikely. It shows a direct comparison between the two and how hardcore (:eyes:) one is compared to the other.

My argument is that because now the actual thing exists legally, regardless if for adults only (:eyes:), one can no longer claim ignorance regarding the topic. Gambling and video games will be a thing that culturally will just be accepted over time like betting on sports games or the fact that there’s Porn for just about anything (:eyes:)

(I had fun writing this)

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Sally Bowls

Red Alert, numbers incoming!

FYI: Re Overwatch Porn:
https://www.p****ub.com/video/search?search=overwatch&o=mv

Shows 1,602 entries with the most viewed having 4.6M views. Hmm, I wonder how many MMOs are actually more successful than Overwatch Porn. “-)

P.S. for you hypercompetitive types, “Elder Scrolls” had 450 videos.

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Dobablo

Now these are the numbers that matter. Are you listening SuperData Research? This is the information we want, not those boring revenues and active users counts.

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Schlag Sweetleaf

.

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Cosmic Cleric

Just a “Thank you!” shout out to you Schlag, for the Vudu, that you do, so we’ll. Always a pleasure seeing your insight/work. You’re like MoP’s Sunday morning newspaper’s political comic strip.

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Schlag Sweetleaf

Ty CC:)

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A Dad Supreme

This can be bad news. Really bad news.

Given the money these guys make and the “physical” nature of the “sport”, it seems prime for corruption worse than even Boxing proportions.

You have plenty of young males, looking to get rich with in many cases, no skills other than video game playing in a sport where it’s extremely easy to throw a match.

Why would anyone want to bet on an 18 year old playing a video game with so many potentially controllable factors involving gambling?

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Dobablo

Made even worse the head in the sand policies of games companies who:
1) Claim it won’t happen because “We tell our Pro’s it is against the rules”
2) Have anti-gambling stances that prevent them from collaborating with the bookmakers organisations who hold the information about active market manipulation.

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Cosmic Cleric

This can be bad news. Really bad news.

Given the money these guys make and the “physical” nature of the “sport”, it seems prime for corruption worse than even Boxing proportions.

And so, it begins.

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Zora

I’m all for it. If couchpotatoes sports are real sports (like the companies that profit from it insist they are) then they are destined to be afflicted by the same crap traditional sports are.

It also incidentally bring us one step closer to the romantically dystopian futuristic societies of cyberpunk literature and after a lifetime of being promised flying cars, I want one!

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Ashfyn Ninegold

Well, this is a shot in the arm to e-sports. Anything a bet can be placed on becomes popular.

This is also a door flung wide open to corruption, manipulation and money laundering, as if we didn’t have enough of that already. In gaming.

How is this going to work with most states requiring you be 18 (no booze served) or 21 to gamble? This puts loot boxes a distant second for gambling in games. And hard-core gambling at that. None of this soft-porn stuff where you get something even if you lose.

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Armsbend

A secondary cottage industry where out of work bookies now take the book for kids mayhaps?