Americans who partake in sports betting are probably aware of their country’s complex betting laws. New Jersey is one of four states where esports betting is welcome in the US.

NJ is home to the most-impressive sports betting market in the USA today. The Sports Geek reported that NJ sportsbooks made nearly $300 million in 2019. In 2018, NJ repealed a federal betting ban to the Supreme Court, to reduce state restrictions on sports betting.

With relaxed betting laws, NJ was able to introduce esports betting options. Today, NJ’s casinos, racetracks, and online gambling sites can offer esports betting.

NJ betting operations have an advantage over other states because of its relaxed restrictions. While other states forbid esports betting, NJ state laws allow betting operators access to the esports betting market.

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Legal esports betting sites in New Jersey

NJ has legalized esports betting options for online gambling sites. These options are more convenient for users when compared to traveling to a casino or race track.

Some of the most popular legal esports betting sites are Draftkings, Fanduel, Luckbox, and Bet365. People may also use these sites outside of NJ, depending on your state’s laws. Draftkings and Fanduel offer esports and are widely popular betting sites.

Be sure to read up on the operations of an esports betting site before placing a bet. Specific state laws may limit or ban online betting.

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How New Jersey legalized esports betting

NJ assemblymembers approved Bill A637, which includes esports in the NJ betting market. They proposed a bill after seeing NJ sports betting take in $550 million in its first year. The timeline below details Bill A637’s beginning, up to where it currently sits.

  • January 2020: Assemblyman, Ralph Caputo, introduced legislation to authorize sportsbooks to accept esports wagers permanently. Caputo saw the opportunity for the state to expand its sports betting options to gain more tax revenue.

  • March 2020: NJ pitches a bill that categorizes esports as a skill-based game. The assemblymembers made Bill A637 to revise current sports betting permits to expand esports betting entirely.

  • August 1, 2020: Bill A637 was passed unanimously with everyone in the New Jersey Assembly, agreeing that esports should be included in existing sports betting rules. The assemblymembers sent the bill to the Senate for final voting.

As of now, the bill is awaiting a final vote from the Senate, but confidence is high that it will pass. Thanks to Bill A637, gambling operators in NJ have permission to add esports to their sports betting menus.

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What the Future Holds

NJ esports betting markets may still be young, but they’re way ahead of most states. Other states have pushed for legalization, following the success of esports betting in New Jersey.

Esports betting has seen expansion amid the global pandemic, with Nevada and other states looking to ease restrictions. A significant cause is a rise in the number of esports betting activities due to the cancellation of traditional sports seasons.

One question is, will esports betting survive once traditional sports start again? Sportsbooks will have to analyze if esports bets are still doing well once other sporting leagues start their seasons.

The Size of Esports Betting Markets

The growing popularity of competitive gaming makes it difficult to assess precisely how popular esports betting is. Any numbers that are researched are likely to be superseded almost immediately. However, there are a handful of significant figures we can look at to judge the size of esports betting.

How Much Money Goes to Esports Bets?

OddsMatrix reports that there are at least 500 million esports fans worldwide. Bettors only represent a portion of that number, but esports gamblers are high-rollers when it comes to significant events. OddsMatric also reports that up to 15 billion dollars will be wagered on esports matches in 2020.

How Quickly is the Esports Market Growing?

Viewership numbers for big esports events have exploded over the past few years, with totals that rival traditional sports leagues. Part of this is due to accessibility. Most esports tournaments are available to watch for free in HD, and many of the games themselves are free to play. The esports industry is more eager than ever to create betting opportunities.

NewZoo estimates that there were 443 million esports fans in 2019 and 495 million in 2020. This presents a year-over-year growth of over 10%. They also believe that the number of esports fans will increase to 646 million by 2023. This year alone, the esports market has generated over 1.1 billion dollars in revenue from media rights, sponsorships and merchandising.

Which Region Bets the most on Esports?

While NJ esports betting is growing more and more popular, some regions have taken to it with more enthusiasm than others. This is due to different laws regarding betting and accessibility and the varying popularity of esports worldwide.

As far as popularity goes, Southeast Asia is the biggest market for competitive gaming. OddsMatrix estimates that 57% of total esports viewership comes from SEA, though other regions are also growing rapidly. NewZoo reports that Latin America and the Middle East are the fastest growing regions in terms of viewership, which will naturally lead to a higher volume of betting from those countries.

Which Esports have the biggest betting Markets?

There are several different video game genres in esports, and not every bettor bets on every game. The most popular esports to bet on generally fall into two categories; sports simulation titles and the Big Three.

Sports simulations like NBA2K, FIFA, and Madden Football have grown increasingly popular in recent years. Sports simulation bets have increased by more than 3500% in 2020. Traditional sports bettors appreciate these titles for their similarity to real sports. They use the same ruleset and oftentimes the same controllable players as their respective sports leagues.

nba-2k-leagueThe Big Three refers to a trio of dominant esports titles that make up the esports industry’s core; Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, and League of Legends. These games make up almost 90% of non-sports simulation esports bets.

DraftKings Esports Betting

In addition to legal progress, esports betting in New Jersey and beyond is being pushed by several bookmakers. DraftKings is especially enthusiastic when it comes to supporting the esports industry; in November, a firm partially owned by Draftkings invested in Boston-based esports organization Warriors International. Draftkings is primarily a traditional sports betting site, making their foray into esports even more interesting.

Draftkings has a longtime relationship with the esports betting market. DraftKings brings the fun of fantasy sports to the gaming world with offerings for Call of Duty, Counter-Strike, Rocket League, League of Legends and eNASCAR fantasy esports betting markets. Their user-friendly mobile site and support for cryptocurrency make them an ideal choice for an esports bettor with fantasy on the mind. Learn more about DraftKings with our official review here.

Bet365 USA Esports Betting

If you’re new to online betting or only have experience with traditional sports, you probably want a more streamlined experience than the fantasy-centric offering at DraftKings. For those who want a simple betting experience for both basketball and Counter-Strike, Bet365 is the ideal website to start with.

Based in the United Kingdom and licensed by the UK Gambling Commission, Bet365 is a common sponsor for physical and virtual sporting competitions. They’re known for excellent customer service, and their wide variety of deposit options is second-to-none. Read our official review to learn why Bet365 is one of our most recommended esports betting sites.

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Esports Betting in New Jersey FAQs

  • Can I bet on esports in New Jersey?

Esports betting in New Jersey is perfectly legal. Only four states have officially legalized esports wagers, and New Jersey’s laws allow for both in-person esports betting and gambling through esports betting sites.

  • Can I make online esports bets in New Jersey?

New Jersey gambling laws are slightly less clear when it comes to online gambling. Their legality depends greatly on where the esports betting site is licensed. Legal NJ esports betting websites include Draftkings, Fanduel, Luckbox, and Bet365.

  • Can I gamble at 18 in NJ?

Before 1983, 18-year-olds could gamble in the state of New Jersey. Now, you must be at least 21 to bet in licensed New Jersey casinos. That age limit applies to online bettors in New Jersey as well, even if the site only requires 18 years of age.

  • Is DraftKings legal in NJ?

DraftKings is explicitly legal in New Jersey. Thanks to a specific exception in the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, fantasy sports do not have to be licensed to continue their business. Understandably, this intentional legal loophole extends to esports betting in New Jersey.

  • Is Bet365 legal in NJ?

Bet365 is licensed by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, one of the world’s most respected gambling regulatory groups in the world. Bet365 is particularly suited to esports betting in New Jersey, as the company runs both an online sportsbook and an extensive mobile app available only in the Garden State.