Gov. Phil Murphy is feeling cautiously optimistic about esports betting in the Garden State. At least this is what we make from the governor’s decision to sign a bill into law that allows betting operators to start accepting wagers on competitive video gaming.
The bill was signed on Monday and it effectively paves the way for esports betting in one of the youngest and most populous states in the country. The bill was originally pushed by Assemblyman Ralph Caputo and three other lawmakers who saw the value in advocating for more liberal esports gambling rules.
During the pandemic, many sportsbooks in New Jersey turned to various esports competitions in a bid to make up for the dearth of regular sports events which were suspended due to the pandemic.
Take Esports on Its Merits
Yet, esports’ own merits were also factored in the language of the bill. Assemblyman Ronald Dancer, another sponsor of the bill, argued that esports has achieved significant growth over the past years and that competitive video gaming presents an opportunity for betting businesses to generate additional revenue.
The bill was originally introduced in March and it sent ripples across gaming communities in the United States. A637/S2670 faced very little opposition along the way and received final approval by both legislative bodies in July, leaving it to Gov. Murphy to sign off the draft and pass it into law.
This has now happened with esports developing rapidly. Most sportsbooks were oblivious of the benefits to their bottom line that esports can generate.
Sports Fans Find Value in Esports
While the bulk of the action is still focused on three main gaming titles, name League of Legends, Dota 2, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, a growing number of people are turning towards esports wagering.
Even some mainstream sports fans are interested in placing bets on the FIFA and NBA2K simulators developed by Electronic Arts. New Jersey isn’t the only state to have taken steps towards the legalization of esports betting on a state basis.
Connecticut featured esports betting language when introducing interactive sports gambling and Nevada has been actively probing the matter. While the esports ecosystem is fairly new from a betting point of view, there seems to be a growing level of interest.
Suppliers such as Betsy Games and Esports Technologies have been evolving their offer to feature more esports-ready products for business clients who may soon be interested to have a compliance-ready project to fire off.