LAS VEGAS (Feb. 9, 2017) - As the video gaming and gambling industries continue to overlap in more meaningful ways, The Nevada Esports Alliance (NVEA), a new organization aiming to position Nevada as a core part of the esports phenomenon, will announce its official launch on Thursday, Feb. 9. NVEA is a not-for-profit organization with a single goal: to advance the development of Nevada as a global esports hub.
"As Nevada continues to reinvent itself to maintain its position as the entertainment capital of the world, resort operators are looking for ways to remain relevant and speak to the up and coming generation," said Seth Schorr, a founding director of NVEA, CEO of Fifth Street Gaming and chairman of the Downtown Grand. "Esports is one of the most important platforms to speak to millennials and create experiences that will drive continued visitation to our state."
NVEA's other founding directors include Dr. Brett Abarbanel of UNLV's International Gaming Institute, Chris Grove of Narus Advisors and Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, and Jennifer Roberts of UNLV's International Center for Gaming Regulation.
"Esports has had significant global impact. We're aiming to foster Nevada's role in this domain by bringing together stakeholders from all areas of esports, including industry, regulatory, academic, and more," said Abarbanel.
Nevada already hosts a thriving esports ecosystem. Several esports teams and startups call Nevada home. Recent regulatory advancements regarding skill-based gaming and the first-of-its-kind esports lab at UNLV provide a tremendous foundation for innovation.
Las Vegas - where William Hill US took the first legal bet on an esports match in November 2016 at the Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino - will host over a dozen major esports events in 2017, a schedule that is projected to attract over 100,000 unique visitors to the Las Vegas Strip and Downtown Las Vegas.
Initial members of the NVEA include the Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC), GameCo, Leet, Millennial Esports, Narus Advisors, Unikrn, the UNLV International Center for Gaming Regulation, the UNLV International Gaming Institute, and William Hill US.
Membership in the NVEA is open to anyone interested in supporting Nevada's emergence as both an esports destination and a locus for commercial, regulatory, and legal best practices at the intersection of video games and gambling.
To help fuel that emergence, the NVEA will curate relevant research for members, host events to educate and inform, and create a membership network that will serve as a resource for connecting companies and individuals who share the common goal of establishing Nevada as a global esports hub.