A bill has been put forward in New Jersey, which would allow operators to offer eSports betting without approval from the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE).
The legislation was put forward by Ralph Caputo, a state representative.
Current eSports betting regulations in New Jersey
eSports wagering is already permitted in New Jersey, but only in certain circumstances. To offer this vertical, permission must be obtained in advance by the DGE. Moreover, wagering limits are capped at $100 and take-outs at $500.
So far, this has only happened once – for last November’s League of Legends World Championships Final. However, critics in the state feel as though the market would grow if it enjoyed the same freedom as other verticals.
Caputo was chair for last week’s Tourism, Gaming and Arts Committee – where the bill was debated. He believed that now online sports wagering is established, it’s a good time to grow elsewhere too.
“With online sports betting now legal in our state and a rapidly expanding esports industry already in existence, the time is right for New Jersey to expand legal wagering beyond traditional sports.”
The vertical has potential, according to experts
eSports industry personnel have commented on the possibility of the vertical being successful in the US. One such individual is Quintin Martin, Chief Operating Officer for Lockbox – an Isle-of-Man-based operator.
His thoughts on the market were as follows.
“The US is a huge percentage of the global esports market and with so many fans residing there, it is inevitable that betting will grow.”
Martin continued: “My favourite stat is that 18-25 year-olds watch more computer computer games than traditional sports. This is the future.”
Chances of approval
According to Bill Pascrell, who is a lobbyist for Princeton Public Affairs Group, support for the bill exists in the Garden State. He also felt that it’s very possible we could see more relaxed eSports regulation come to New Jersey in 2020.
Pascrell thinks that the state can be an example to others in the US by moving forward with legislation. His words were as follows.
“New Jersey will continue to be the lead on this, just as it was with online poker, casino and sports betting“.