New Jersey Offering Esports Betting for This Weekend Only

  • New Jersey regulator has given sportsbooks a weekend pass to accept esports wagers
  • Betting markets have been created for the 2019 League of Legends World Championship
  • Each bettor can only place a max of $1,000 on each match, no in-play markets allowed
  • Rule on not allowing betting on events with underage participants frozen for this weekend
team of professional gamers
New Jersey sportsbooks have been granted permission to open esports betting markets for this weekend’s 2019 League of Legends World Championship Finals. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

State gauging interest

New Jersey is allowing bets to be placed on esports this weekend in a bid to gauge how much potential the market may hold for the state.

Approval for this weekend’s esports markets was given by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. This will be the first time that bets have been accepted on esports since sports betting became legal in the Garden State in June 2018.

bets can only be accepted by the state’s sportsbooks on the 2019 League of Legends World Championship Finals

Sportsbooks in the state were informed about this weekend pass on Wednesday. There are a couple of terms and conditions sportsbooks need to follow if they want to offer these markets.

Firstly, bets can only be accepted by the state’s sportsbooks on the 2019 League of Legends World Championship Finals, which is taking place over the course of the weekend.

This includes not allowing a bettor to place more than $1,000 on each of the matches. The regulator has also stressed that no in-play betting markets should be offered.

Initial trepidation to allow esports betting

When New Jersey legalized sports betting in June 2018, a few markets were noted as being off-limits for sportsbooks.

These markets included high school sporting events, esports, and video gambling contests. Not long after these stipulations were added, the Division of Gaming Enforcement made an attempt to make esports betting available.

The promise for this change would be as long as any esports competitions were not under the sponsorship of a high school and that nobody that was under 18 years old was going to be taking part in the event.

The main issue is that a large portion of esports players are underage. For this weekend only, this age rule is going to be discarded. If it proves to be a successful weekend of betting, then the age rule may be scrapped to allow for full offerings of esports betting. 

This weekend’s event

The League of Legends World Championship is one of the most prestigious events in the esports industry each year. The Finals for this competition will be taking place in Paris, France starting on Saturday.

the winner will be walking away with about $834,000

There are teams from all around the world gather in the European city to battle it out for the game’s biggest title. The prize pool sits at $2.235m and the winner will be walking away with about $834,000. 

Popularity of esports

Only one state in the country has allowed esports betting with no restrictions and that is in Las Vegas. It is a popular betting market across the world, with the popularity of esports constantly growing.

As a whole, the esports sector is valued at about $1.5bn with sector’s revenue growing by about 30% annually. 

A lot of major brands are now getting involved with teams, events, and players, with many predicting that esports will soon be competing with traditional sports for viewership and corporate deals.