Esports Entertainment Makes US History With New Jersey Betting Site Launch

  • Esports Entertainment launched a trial run of its sports wagering site VIE.gg on Tuesday
  • VIE.gg will go fully live next week, with NJ bettors able to wager on video games
  • Esports Entertainment is the first regulated esports betting firm to launch in the US
  • Its CEO estimates global esports betting handle will exceed $205bn by 2027
  • The firm “very strongly” believes esports bettors will prefer switching to regulated sites

 

Team of esports gamers celebrating a win
Bettors in New Jersey can now wager on their favorite competitive video games after the state’s regulatory body gave Esports Entertainment the go ahead to launch its esports betting site. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

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.

Esports Entertainment and its affiliates also have a footprint in casinos and brick-and-mortar LAN cafes. The European firm has also established multiple partnerships with US major league sports franchises, such as the NBA Cleveland Cavaliers, for which it hosts a branded Cavs platform for esports tournaments.

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.