Earlier this month, legal esports betting became officially available in the state of New Jersey.
After recently completing the “soft phase” and the “soft play” period, the new esports betting platform, VIE.gg, has received the blessing of the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) of the state that has already signed off on the service’s full launch.
The new esports betting platform is owned and run by Esports Entertainment Group, a London-based company that has opened an office in Hoboken, New Jersey to operate the new betting service in the state and accept wagers on video game championships and tournaments. The online gambling platform is being operated in partnership between Esports Entertainment Group and Bally’s Atlantic City because online gambling companies are required by state laws to be tied to one of the 9 casinos that currently operate in Atlantic City.
What makes VIE.gg so unique is not only the fact it became the first-ever esports betting operation that has received a license from the local regulatory authorities but the fact that the new esports betting platform’s owner has received a special blanket approval by state authorities that would not only keep relative independence from the watchdog’s esports events schedule and approved list of games.
Previously, New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement had provided licensed sports betting operators with the opportunity to accept esports bets on a so-called case-by-case basis, which required sportsbook companies to ask the gaming agency to approve the schedule and offering of tournaments such as “The International”.
The aforementioned blanket approval, however, will provide Esports Entertainment with some independence, meaning that the company will not be required to seek such approval for most major esports tournaments offered by its VIE.gg platform. Instead, the gambling operator will be given the chance to open up markets to a range of esports events and tournaments, as long as the game titles are part of New Jersey DGE’s approved list of games. Although the Division of Gaming Enforcement has not reported a large number of requests from New Jersey gambling companies for such approvals, the owner and operator of VIE.gg still believes that betting on video game competitions is a booming industry.
Addition of Legal Esports Betting Services to Result in Vigorous Growth in the Betting Market
How can this new esports betting license affect the sector in the longer term? According to a recent esports market research provided by Newzoo, the esports sector is set to generate revenue worth about $1.6 billion on a global scale by 2024. Last year, the industry reported revenue that was worth a little over $1 billion.
The owner of New Jersey’s new esports betting platform believes that the next few years will see extremely vigorous growth in the global betting market and projected that the sector will surpass $200 billion annually by 2027. In 2021, the legal gambling industry in the US reported taking $52.7 billion in sports bets. Furthermore, Esports Entertainment is expected to generate up to $2 million in gross esports betting revenue by the end of 2022, thanks to the fact that the gaming vertical remains attractive to the younger audiences of people between 18 and 35 years of age.
The expected growth, on the other hand, is also associated with increased competition in the sector. Over the past ten years, New Jersey casinos have been investing heavily in the development of new gaming formats in various verticals as part of an effort to make their services more attractive to younger people, especially considering the fact that slot machines are not that popular among younger audiences.
Since the US Supreme Court lifted the federal ban on sports betting a few years ago, an increasing number of states have been willing to add the new form of gambling to their legal gambling markets in order to draw the financial benefits from it. Now, esports betting is experiencing the same, with the interest in the service rising in various states. The beginning of April saw one of the most progressive US states in terms of gambling – West Virginia – make some further steps to expand its existing gambling industry. The state’s Esports Betting Bill, known as House Bill 4826, was passed by the West Virginia Senate so that the regulations of the state’s legal sports betting industry are amended so that betting on esports events is now allowed.