Posted on: September 5, 2022, 12:00h.
Last updated: September 5, 2022, 12:38 PM.
Despite the explosive popularity eSports has seen, it’s still a black sheep for some — nothing more than teen fashion. There is overwhelming evidence to disprove this, and a lawmaker in the Philippines wants to give the activity more recognition.
Players and spectators come together for the World Esports Championship. A lawmaker in the Philippines hopes to get approval for a bill that would designate October’s National Esports Month. (Image: Bullfrag)
Representative Christopher de Venecia fights the stigma that is sweeping the eSports industry. He claims that many do not consider eSports athletes to be legitimate professionals. That’s because they see video games as a vice, a distraction, or a form of gambling.
As a result, according to Philstar, the Venecia has drafted a new bill, House Bill 01285. Its working title is An Act which declares the month of October as “National Esports Month” and the aim is to do what the title suggests.
Giving Esports More Recognition
de Venecia said Philippine eSports teams are struggling to compete in international tournaments. In many cases, players face rejection of their travel documents and visas. This is because they are not recognized as legitimate representatives of the Philippines in eSports.
For example, one of the country’s Bren Esports teams for Valorant had to withdraw from a tournament in Berlin, Germany last year. This followed the rejection of a travel request, even though the team members qualified for the tournament.
As a result, industry insiders hope to work with the State Department to improve the treatment of eSports athletes when they participate in international tournaments. In addition, they also plan to meet with the Ministry of Labor and Employment to develop a more efficient counterattack that will protect the team’s owners and the players themselves.
For the legislator, eSports is a legitimate sport, as well as a creative industry. He compares it to dance sport, competitive ballroom dancing. It is both a sport and a performing art recognized as a sport by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Although dance sport has yet to appear in any Olympic competition, recognition by the IOC is an important first step. Also eSports players and supporters have fought for years to get competitions at the Olympics.
World Esports Day, only better
There is already a World Esports Day, celebrated on October 23. However, instead of just one day, the Venecia wants the entire month to be devoted to the ecosystem.
Moving forward with legislation would facilitate collaboration between various government agencies, such as the Philippine Information Bureau and the National Academy of Sports, with the private sector. One of its goals is to create and disseminate information related to eSports events and competitions. They would also focus on educating about the activity.
The Philippines has its own eSports governing body, the Philippine Esports Organization. It would play a leading role in facilitating the collaboration while continuing to shape the industry.
eSports sports betting still catches up
According to the National Law Review, only 13 US states have currently taken action specifically on eSports sports betting. All but one, Nevada, did so after the passing of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2018.
There is still a long way to go and some states have even gone out of their way to block legal eSports sports betting. However, it is impossible to ignore the money that the industry can bring.
Sports betting analysts predict the industry will be worth a staggering $2 billion in global revenue this year. However, according to Research and Markets, that could rise to $12.5 billion within eight years.
That would reflect a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.9%. In addition, sponsorships could see a CAGR of 40% and media rights 23%. Around the world, all markets will see significant growth.
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