Esports betting might be coming to New Jersey

  • New Jersey is looking to get esports and other events approved for wagering with A637 and S2670.
  • With the popularity of esports, the Garden State believes it to be a very profitable addition for gamblers in the state to help the industry with revenue that would go toward a post-COVID-19 economy.

TRENTON, N.J.New Jersey Bill A637 that would make amendments to topics like esports in their current sports betting law passed unanimously in the Assembly on July 30 with a vote of 74-0 and has since moved onto the Senate for approval.

Prior to its continued progress, it’s companion bill Senate Bill 2670 which was introduced to the Senate on July 6 by its sponsor, Senator James Beach, will need to go through one of a handful of hearings with its first stop being to the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee.

That’s currently where A637 has landed as well as it waits on its counterpart.

What Lies Within A637 And S2670?

Both A637 and S2670 are one and the same. They are companion bills that are identical but come from separate areas of the New Jersey Legislature. These bills are meant to broaden the list of things that can be wagered on in the Garden State.

As CEO of Monmouth Park and legal sports betting advocate Dennis Drazin told LegalSportsBetting in June, A637 and in that same vein, S2670, are meant to add further clarity to the language in the current NJ sports betting law by adding more specifics to it.

“Under the existing law, there are certain types of events that are prohibited sporting events and you can’t wager on them at all. This bill expands prohibited sports events to include electronic sports competitions. Where you have contests that related with high school competition or competitors where the majority of competitors are under age 18, the list is expanded to prohibit those events to protect the younger population,” said Drazin.

Senate Bill 2670 has eating contests such as the famous Nathan’s Hot Dog eating contest every Fourth of July and events like the Academy Awards as things that could be open to gamblers in New Jersey.

Esports is also listed as Drazin and many lawmakers behind sports betting have noted that esports are gaining in popularity and could be very lucrative to the market.

There is still much to be discussed within the Senate for each bill as far as which events should be allowed to be wagered on and if there should be betting limits set for specific categories.

This has a lot to do with the integrity of any one single event because things in the entertainment world like awards shows tend to have inside information which might take away from the strict policies of integrity for wagering purposes within the gambling laws of New Jersey.

Now What?

The New Jersey Legislature adjourns on December 31, 2020, giving the Senate plenty of time to greenlight both bills to go to Governor Phil Murphy’s desk to be signed into law.

A637 has already made its way through their Assembly, now it’s S2670’s turn in the Senate. There is no set date yet as to when Senate Bill 2670 will be given its next hearing.

But of all the things that could be added, the addition of esports is something that many people in the Garden State want to see, especially now as it could add to the revenue stream and be helpful toward the budget deficits caused by COVID-19.

“I think the future of esports is huge and will become a thriving market in New Jersey and throughout the world. It has received a boost in attention due to sports being on hold during COVID-19. There would be additional tax revenue for the State and esports tournaments will boost tourism,” said Ron Dancer, Assemblyman and Sponsor of A637, to LegalSportsBetting on Thursday.

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