Take-Two Interactive chief executive Strauss Zelnick has said that esports gambling in the US—which the Supreme Court opened the door for last week with a law change—could be "meaningfully positive" for the publisher.
The Supreme Court ruling struck down a law that prohibited gambling on sports events, and although it didn't reference esports specifically it's almost inevitable that it will impact the industry, given the continued blurring of boundaries between conventional sports and esports. In an earnings call, Zelnick praised the law change, and said that it's likely to effect gaming "at some point in the relatively near future". That would have a "meaningfully positive impact" on Take-Two, he said.
“We certainly think it’s a good decision, we think there may indeed be an influence, and a meaningfully positive influence, on our business," he said. "However, it’s not in our current sights, we don’t have any expectations right now, [we’re] simply observing that there are potential opportunities in the future. And I’d be very surprised if sports gambling didn’t intersect with the industry at some point in the relatively near future.”
Take-Two owns a 50% stake in the NBA 2K esports league in partnership with the NBA. I imagine that, if esports betting does happen, publishers will want to get in on the act, but the fact that different states will set different laws does complicate things. Let's see how it pans out.