Legal Hurdles in Esports Wagering Detailed by Sharma in the Hennepin Lawyer
Stinson LLP Partner Aalok Sharma authored an article for the Hennepin Lawyer, "Esports Wagering Needs Legal Certainty." The article details legal challenges for esports betting in a largely unregulated space.
Sharma writes that the U.S. sports betting market drastically shifted in the summer of 2018 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was unconstitutional under the 10th amendment. Though PASPA prohibited state and local legislatures from enacting laws that favored sports betting, the unconstitutional ruling "turbocharged" state legislatures to enact laws creating a framework for regulated sports wagering.
"To date, dozens of states and Washington D.C. have enacted regulatory and statutory schemes for legal sports wagering. There remain significant ambiguities, though, including how legalized sports wagering intersects with amateur and professional video game contests ("esports")," Sharma writes. "As a result, sports betting operators, consumers, and esports enthusiasts have been left in the dark about how to operate in this novel arena."
With the fall of PASPA and an uptick of new sports betting laws, esports wagering could become an attractive opportunity for operators to acquire new customers. Sharma says the market will need additional guidance from federal and state legislators and assistance from interested parties to maintain integrity within esports competitions.
Sharma is the former chair of the Sports Division of the ABA Forum on Entertainment and Sports and was named a leading sports lawyer of the next generation. He has experience in managing protracted litigation in sports, construction, finance, health care, automotive, retail and manufacturing industries. Sharma counsels his clients on matters relating to the future of sports, including esports, sports technology, legalized sports wagering and integrity.
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