The SCOTUS Blog recently reported that the Supreme Court recently ruled against the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, which prevented states from recognizing the legalization of sports gambling and betting. The 6 – 3 ruling now opens the door for legalized state-based sports gambling, and there are already advocates looking to capitalize on this for e-sports as well.
ESPN’s Jacob Wolf is reporting that Dallas Mavericks owner and owner of the e-sports betting site Unikrn Corp., Mark Cuban, he’s excited about the possibilities that could spawn from the ruling, saying…
“I think Unikrn is going to benefit significantly. I don’t think people realize that gambling is legal in 118 countries already, and Unikrn already has a foundation there; it already has the technology in place. And so now it’s just about leveraging up, depending on what each individual state decides here in the United States.”
Some are hoping that skins betting – a popular form of gambling for games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive – will fall under the tarp of legalized sports gambling since it’s also considered a tangent of the e-sports industry.
Washington state’s gambling commission actually did not view skins betting as a legal form of gambling for those operating the gambling sites without a license and targeting minors.
As PC Gamer pointed out, this creates a whole new can of worms for e-sports betting, which is already big business in some regions. How do you ensure that underage kids aren’t participating in the gambling? This was something that parents became incensed about when they found out that YouTubers were targeting kids with Counter-Strike skins gambling sites.
This could also play a role in how loot boxes are viewed from the legal and regulatory bodies in the U.S., given that loot boxes operate identical to skins gambling sites. Belgium and the Netherlands have already made their stances known that predatory loot boxes are considered gambling, and that selling them in products without proper authorization makes it illegal.
However, if e-sports and skins betting — which is already a $1.5 billion dollar industry according to eSports Bet — is considered legal in most states within the U.S., then it will likely pave a way for protectionism against loot boxes as well.