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William Hill achieves US first with legal eSports betting launch

William Hill received approval from the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) last week to launch eSports betting at Downtown Grand Casino, allowing it to roll out its offering to coincide with the Intel Extreme Masters tournament, held over the past weekend.

Nevada law classes eSports as sporting competitions, requiring sportsbooks to secure approval to offer odds on events.

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval hailed the roll-out, which he described as "a major step toward ensuring Nevada becomes the eSports capital of the world”.

"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," he said. "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."

Seth Schorr, chief executive of Downtown Grand Casino operator Fifth Street Gaming, said that it had been a privilege to work with Sandoval and the Gaming Policy Committee to gain collective support for wagering on eSports.

“This has been an excellent example of a public/private partnership working together to create a new innovative way of gambling which will have a positive impact on State revenues,” he said. “We are proud that the Downtown Grand will be the home to the first regulated eSports wager in America. The team at the Downtown Grand has worked hard to establish itself as a truly unique eSports destination.”

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