While Nevada has remained the de facto leader of the US gambling industry, New Jersey has quickly become the hub for sports betting. The Garden State is beating its peers in terms of revenue and regulations, filling its coffers with precious tax dollars. Now, the state is eyeing esports betting- a new frontier it may soon conquer.
A new bill in the state assembly
Ralph Caputo, a Democratic Assemblyman from Essex, introduced a new bill that could bring non-traditional games of skill, like esports, within the sports betting regime of the state. The state has already experimented with esports in the past. In November 2019, the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) allowed sportsbook operators in the state to act on world championship for League of Legends.
New Jersey’s regulated gambling market is relatively new. The state only allowed sports betting when the Supreme Court struck down PASPA in 2018. The earliest New Jersey sports wagering regulations didn’t include esports betting. However, since then, the state has allowed betting on video game tournaments. It requires all participants to be older than 18 years.
What does the Caputo plan?
Caputo is a former gaming executive from Atlantic City. His legislation will bring esports betting on the same rank as traditional sports like football and basketball. If the bill passes through the house, it will open a new world of opportunities for the state to earn revenue and cement its reputation as the sports betting hub of the US.
Esports betting hasn’t been fully explored around the globe, even though it has massive potential. Will Hershey, CEO of Roundhill Investments, said that esports is one of the fastest-growing wagering markets in the world. He quoted VentureBeat statistics which suggest that esports wagering was an $8 billion market last year. This figure could double in the next few years.
A move to start wagering on esports could be helpful in bringing younger punters into the fold, who have remained elusive of the industry. The population of 18 to 35-year-old males is expected to grow consistently. Their numbers will grow to 645 million to 2022, from 454 million in 2019. If the demographic continues to grow, New Jersey will experience exponential growth that could help it take over Nevada.