Regulator gives go ahead
In a first for the US, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) has given Esports Entertainment Group the nod to launch esports betting in the state.
The NJDGE has approved a transactional waiver allowing Esports Entertainment to launch a trial test of its sports wagering site VIE.gg in New Jersey on Tuesday.
The Nasdaq-listed operator took to Twitter to share the news:
Following a five-day trial launch of VIE.gg, the platform will go fully live next week. Bettors in New Jersey will have the option of wagering on their favorite teams and players across games such as Call of Duty, FIFA 22, and League of Legends.
Esports Entertainment has secured the right to take esports bets through an affiliation with Bally’s Atlantic City’s casino license.
A booming business
In a company news release Monday, Esports Entertainment CEO Grant Johnson thanked the NJDGE for the approval, describing his firm as “thrilled to be playing such an important role in this fast-growing market.” He added: “Global esports betting is estimated to exceed $205bn by 2027.”
Esports Entertainment shares jumped 3.13%
In a video interview Monday, Johnson said his firm had been working on the New Jersey approval for many months, and that finally receiving validation was “huge.” Esports Entertainment shares jumped 3.13% on Monday on the back of the approval.
“New Jersey is the gold standard in the North American market when it comes to licenses,” Johnson affirmed, saying that if his firm could make it in the Garden State, it could make it anywhere. He forecasted “tremendous success” for his company after receiving the approval.
Switch to legal
Commenting this week, Johnson said that while it was no secret esports betting fans were wagering via offshore sites, Esports Entertainment believed “very strongly” they’d prefer taking the regulated route.
Who are you going to complain to?”
Unlike legal sites, said Johnson, offshore operators offer bettors nowhere to lodge complaints. Esports bettors “can’t just complain to a gambling regulator in Curacao” he said by way of example. “Who are you going to complain to?”
Regardless, Esports Entertainment can’t have any complaints after deciding to take the legal route in New Jersey. In September, the state’s sportsbooks broke the US record for betting handle by taking wagers of over $1bn.