A Nevada senator introduced Senate Bill 165 (SB 165) on March 2 to the state legislature, which aims to form the Nevada Esports Commission to govern and regulate esports in the state within the Department of Business and Industry. This type of esports commission would be a first in the United States. The proposed bill defines “esports” as “a contest of multiple players using video games.” The purpose of the bill is to form a relationship with the growing industry of esports and to promote and protect the integrity of esports competition. Participation and viewership of esports competitions are rising, which also creates a substantial opportunity for digital advertising.
SB 165 proposes a structure for the commission, which would consist of three members appointed by the governor, who are residents of Nevada. Action or decision-making by the commission would require two of the members’ agreement. These members would not be compensated for their role on the commission, and they cannot be members of the legislature or hold office in the state. In the spirit of promoting the integrity of competition in esports, the bill sets out specific expertise requirements of the members of the commission. One member of the commission must have an expertise in esports, one must have expertise in information technology, and one must have training or experience in law enforcement related to cheating in esports through cybercrime, hacking, or fraud. Each member would serve a four-year term.
In addition to the members of the commission, the governor would also appoint an executive director, who may apply for grants and accept gifts and donations to support the commission and its role in regulating esports in Nevada. The bill also outlines the requirements for hosting and participating in esports events that offer winnings over $1,000, including registering with the commission and agreeing to certain rules within each event. The bill also reserves the ability of the commission to adopt regulations to establish and enforce rules and policies, and generally provide for procedures that make the commission effective. If passed, the commission would be effective starting January 1, 2022.