For the first time ever, you will be able to bet on esports in New Jersey.
According to a report from EGR, the New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement told sportsbook operators this week that they would be allowed to accept bets on the League of Legends Final on Sunday. This marks the first time you will be able to bet on esports in the United States outside of Nevada. And it is a big deal.
How To Bet
At the moment, it’s unclear which online sportsbooks in New Jersey, if any, will offer action on League of Legends (we’ll update this post when we find out). But the Borgata is in person, as it accepted a bet from Howard Eskin on Thursday morning.
But there are a few caveats.
This is considered a one-off approval, for a major sanctioned esporting event, but it will almost certainly serve as a test for the entire United States market going forward.
Bettors can wager a maximum of $1,000, and there will be no in-play betting.
If all goes well, you can expect to see more opportunities to legally bet on major esports events.
If it doesn’t go well and there are issues with data or, the worst case, betting irregularites, then you can expect esports betting in the US to face a long, tough road ahead.
Esports Are The Future
Quickly entering the mainstream and already wildly popular all over the rest of the world, esports are quickly gaining traction as a major American sport.
In Philadelphia, an entire arena is being built at the sports complex. One of the most exciting aspects of esports, however, is the opportunity to bet on matches.
Thus far, the legal online gambling industry has not embraced betting on esports in the United States.
There is a range of reasons behind this.
Issues of match fixing over the pond, lack of consistent infrastructure for data, and young competitors, many of whom are under 21, have all been compelling reasons for regulators to steer clear of allowing operators to take action on esports.
To many, this felt more like a fear of the unfamiliar than a sound policy decision.
While it’s true that esports matches are more varied with less widely-accepted infrastructure than regular sports, especially when it comes to data, they are high stakes contests in which organizers have a very vested stake in maintaining the integrity of the matches. That is to say nothing of the widespread public interest. As a generation of esports players and fans age toward their twenties, making them legal to bet, the appetite to place a wager on esports events will be substantial.
Regardless, this weekend you will be able to bet on the League of Legends final in New Jersey. We haven’t yet seen which sportsbooks will offer action, but we’ll keep an eye out and we’ll update this post once they do.