- Esports has grown into a billion-dollar market and New Jersey would like to get some skin in the game with the introduction of bill NJ A637.
- NJ A637 would allow sports bettors in New Jersey to gamble on any esports tournament where the majority of players competing are over 18.
- Expanding into esports and games of skill under the new bill would only expand profits for the already booming sportsbooks in NJ.
TRENTON, N.J. – Bill NJ A637, sponsored by Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-Essex), would legalize esports betting in New Jersey. While betting on esports tournaments is available in the Garden State already, NJ A637 would allow gambling on the sport without the need for permission from the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE). The popularity of the game is thriving, and New Jersey would like to get in on the action on a more permanent basis; enter NJ A637.
What Is NJ A637 About?
NJ A637 was heard in late January by the Assembly of Tourism, Gaming, and the Arts Committee. Caputo serves as Chair of this Committee. Under the bill, which would be an expansion to sports betting, all esports, as well as any game of skill, could be bet on. Games of skill would include competitive eating like that of Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest held every Fourth of July.
Bets would be capped at $100 each, however, that is not a rule that is set in stone. The DGE would serve as the regulator of this market under the bill and would come up with the final rules and regulations once it becomes a law.
The biggest issue with making esports a regular event that can be bet on is the age of the competitors of a tournament. Many states have rules about sports betting not being allowed with teams younger than the collegiate level. Several of the top players in the esports world are under the age of 18. The bill touches on this by stating that if a tournament is comprised of more competitors that are minors than not, then that specific event may not be wagered on.
“With online sports betting now legal in our state and a rapidly expanding eSports industry already in existence, the time is right for New Jersey to expand legal wagering beyond traditional sports,” said Caputo during the Introduction of NJ A637.
Sports Betting In New Jersey
Sports betting in the Garden State has been quite a lucrative business. In the month of January 2020, sportsbooks took in $53.6 million in revenue from the market. The inclusion of esports tournaments and other games of skill could only help to increase that number. In 2019, esports was slated to take in $1.1 billion in revenue worldwide through a general interest in the games.
That number is expected to grow further as a market report conducted by Newzoo shows.
New Jersey would like to be one of the states that monetize on this market and expand along with the interest in it. The age of the competitors remains a big issue that will need to be dealt with if the bill wishes to move through the House. If NJ A637 stalls out, sports bettors in New Jersey have esports betting available to them, just not readily available as it’s currently only done on an event by event basis.
News tags: Assembly of Tourism - Gaming - and the Arts Committee | Division of Gaming Enforcement | eSports | Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest | New Jersey | NewZoo | NJ A637 | Peter Warman | Ralph Caputo
Christina has been writing for as long as she can remember and does dedicated research on the newly regulated sports betting market. She comes from a family of sports lovers that engage in friendly bets from time to time. During the winter months, you can find Christina baking cookies and beating the entire staff at Mario Kart…the N64 version of course.