Most sportsbooks around the country have little to offer because the major sports are on hiatus during the coronavirus outbreak, but a historic decision in Nevada is changing that. The state approved sports betting outlets in the state to accept esports wagers for Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO). Previously, regulators had only approved gambling on specific esports event, not entire leagues. William Hill was the first Las Vegas sportsbook to adopt esports betting and they had odds for the first two eligible esports contests on Thursday.
Both matches were streamed on websites, including YouTube and Twitch, and bets were able to be placed via William Hill's Nevada mobile app.
The decision to allow esports betting is a big one due to the fact that the coronavirus outbreak has forced the majority of professional sports leagues in North America to suspend play. With that in mind, Las Vegas casinos shut down operations and the majority of physical sportsbooks are closed to avoid people gathering in large groups, which the CDC has been adamant about.
Betting on esports has already been accepted in Europe. New Jersey has tested esports betting the past, but it isn't currently legalized. However, this Nevada decision opens the door for other states to look at legalizing esports wagering.
Currently, William Hill is also offering odds for 2020 NFL Draft Props, 2020-21 NFL Regular Season Win Totals, 2020-21 College Basketball Futures, Table Tennis, Belarus Extraleague Hockey Finals and Props, Chess, and European Soccer and Other America's Soccer.