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New Jersey Files Bill to Reclassify Esports as Its Own Internet Betting Option

Written by: Mike Lukas
Updated October 14, 2022
10 min read
  • NJ Senator Files Legislation to Include Esports Under Definition of Internet Gaming
  • New Esports Classification Would Give Resident Gamblers “Infinite” Betting Categories
  • NJ Wagering Committee Has Until State Legislative Session Ends Dec. 31 to Act
New Jersey Files Reclassify Esports

NJ Senator Files Legislation to Include Esports Under Definition of Internet Gaming

New Jersey bettors have been placing regulated wagers on pro and college sports events since that state’s legal market launched in August 2018, and in that time Esports have grown in popularity but they have remained categorized amongst online casino offerings.

Now a new piece of legislation – S2986 – aims to potentially change that and if it were to become law suddenly Esports – a form of competition using video games – would be considered its own betting option which would allow Atlantic City casinos to operate that market differently.

Instead of having to run the esports market as a part of the casinos’ traditional online offerings, that new law would allow it to exist separately, and more importantly, it might give those operators a chance to bypass the state law that limits each retail casino to five online permits.

This follows an earlier move this year when the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement granted approval to Esports Entertainment Group to accept bets on esports games via its VIE.gg betting platform, a potential multi-billion dollar market that continues to expand.

New Esports Classification Would Give Resident Gamblers “Infinite” Betting Categories

This proposed bill and subsequent law would affect New Jersey’s brick-and-mortar locations since they would be able to repackage what they offer as well as it would shift how legal eSports platforms (including Discord, Twitch, YouTube Gaming, and others) would operate in the US.

It might also affect all the organized, multiplayer video game competitions between professional players (individually and as teams) because once betting on them becomes easily accessible, that handle will increase and that would affect revenue as well as the size of the prizes.

Earlier this year, the National Law Review pointed out what Esports gambling does for betting fans of those competitions, saying:

Given the nearly infinite amount of outcomes and actions that occur in any particular esports game, bookmakers will likely be able to offer fans a much greater number of in-game betting opportunities for esports competitions than they can for traditional sporting events.

The more bets, the bigger the handle, and the larger the cut New Jersey gets via tax revenue, so this expansion could mean millions more dollars for a state that takes billions to operate.

NJ Wagering Committee Has Until State Legislative Session Ends Dec. 31 to Act

There are still a few months in which the New Jersey lawmakers can move forward with this bill, and right now S2986 is in the hands of the Senate’s State Government, Wagering, Tourism, and Historic Preservation Committee, and they have until the end of the year to proceed.

So far, no promises have been made and no dates have been set, but the potential changes such an Esports law would make are already causing ripples in New Jersey’s sports betting world in which every existing operator would no doubt want a slice of this new betting pie.

There is a lot of money at stake in this so expect there to be forward motion sometime soon and keep checking back for all the latest news and updates on this ongoing story.

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Mike Lukas

1205 Articles

Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]

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