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August 19, 2017

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Nevada Esports Alliance launches

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David Goldman / AP

Spectators watch a gaming competition in the ELEAGUE arena at Turner Studios, Tuesday, May 24, 2016, in Atlanta.

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Seth Schorr, CEO of the Downtown Grand, speaks during an official opening ceremony for the Downtown Grand in downtown Las Vegas Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013.

An organization co-founded by Downtown Grand Chairman Seth Schorr dedicated to promoting Nevada in the e-sports industry launched on Thursday.

The goal of the Nevada Esports Alliance (NVEA) is to advance the development of Nevada as a global e-sports hub as the video gaming and gambling industries continue to overlap.

"Resort operators are looking for ways to remain relevant and speak to the up-and-coming generation," said Schorr, CEO of Fifth Street Gaming. "E-sports 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 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.

"E-sports has had significant global impact,” Abarbanel said. “We're aiming to foster Nevada's role in this domain by bringing together stakeholders from all areas of e-sports, including industry, regulatory (and) academic (representatives).”

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.

William Hill took the first legal bet on an e-sports match in November at Schorr’s Downtown Grand. Las Vegas is scheduled to host more than a dozen e-sports events this year, attracting more than 100,000 unique visitors to the Las Vegas Strip and Downtown Las Vegas, according to a press release announcing NVEA’s launch.

The nonprofit NVEA will curate research for members, host information events and create a membership network to connect companies and individuals interested in e-sports in the state.

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