A short time ago, a number of betting sites including Borgata, PlaySugarHouse, FanDuel Sportsbook and 888 Sportsbook announced that they would temporarily be trialing esports betting in New Jersey, by offering special odds on the League of Legends World Championship Final.
In our article, we speculated on whether this one-time offer would ever evolve into a more regular esports betting industry being developed across New Jersey in time and now it seems that we have our answer sooner than most people expected.
Sponsored Esports Betting Legislation
The reason for that is because one New Jersey Assemblyman, Ralph Caputo, a democrat based out of Essex, has agreed to sponsor legislation which would permanently include a number of skill-based competitions as a part of New Jersey’s current sports betting industry.
One of the foremost competitions to benefit from such legislation would be esports betting.
Explaining his decision to sponsor the legislation following a meeting of the New Jersey Assembly Tourism, Gaming and Arts Committee on Monday 27th January 2020, Mr. Caputo stated:
“I would say esports are the ‘next big thing’ when it comes to sporting events, but the fact of the matter is that video game tournaments are already a prominent form of skill-based competition.”
“Throughout the country and the world, video game enthusiasts are flocking to see expert players compete in all kinds of digital games. Whether they follow along online, or in person, hundreds of millions of people watch esports each year – and that number is only growing.”
“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.”
Significant Income from Esports Betting
It is abundantly clear why New Jersey lawmakers are looking to legalize esports betting within the state. Globally, esports betting totaled around $8 billion worldwide in 2019 and conservative estimates predict that within the next couple of years, that amount is set to double.
Given the success of the legalization of sports betting in New Jersey in the form of additional tax revenue raised, the ability to add further cash to an already burgeoning fund from the esports betting industry, which can then be used across the state on a number of different projects, is clearly attractive to those in power.
Hard To Hit Revenue Source
Additionally, the potential change of law would mean that New Jersey could find a way to attract younger gamblers, a demographic that traditional online wagering companies are finding it hard to engage with, but which esports betting sees as its core group.
With this 18-35, male and affluent demographic being so hard to hit, the fact that esports manages to achieve this, and the fact that the industry is scheduled to continue growing, growing from 454 million viewers in 2019, to 645 in 2022, it is easy to see why New Jersey would like to be at the forefront of the esports betting revolution in the United States.
Images courtesy of LoL Esports