Is Esports Betting The Next Big Thing In New Jersey?

Written By Giovanni Shorter on October 3, 2022
Esports New Jersey

Lawmakers in New Jersey are looking to expand the available gambling offerings by adding esports betting lines. A new New Jersey esports bill presented by Sen. James Beach would allow online casinos to offer odds on esports events. Currently, the laws do allow for New Jersey sportsbooks to offer esports odds. This new bill would also see esports odds at online casinos.

Esports Expansion In New Jersey

Sen. Beach’s bill, S2986, is aiming to expand the esports market in New Jersey. The bill would create language to include esports in the state’s definition of iGaming. This would not remove esports from sportsbooks either, only allowing esports odds to be available at online casinos as well.

Esports would be permitted to be operated by Atlantic City casinos without affecting the five online operator limit set for each retail casino. As a projected $577 million people would consume esports content by 2024, NJ is attempting to stay ahead of the curve.

NJ is also working ahead of the upcoming expiration of the long-standing online casino law. The 2013 law expires before the end of 2022. Lawmakers plan to expand online gaming for another decade. Language tweaks are natural when revamping older laws.

Stipulations In The Bill

The bill does come with a few language changes for esports. It would define esports directly as an independent form of gambling, thus requiring the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement to approve all wagers. Esports being on traditional sportsbooks currently make them viewed as sporting events according to the law.

S2986 also specifically defines esports more clearly. It would view any authorized game where players compete in a game that is not solely a game of chance as esports.

“Authorized game” or “authorized gambling game” includes gaming tournaments in which players compete against one another in one or more of the games authorized herein or by the division or in approved variations or composites thereof if the tournaments are authorized by the division,” reads the bill.

The age of competitors is also a function of the legislation. The bill states that if the majority of the competitors are under 18, the event is not authorized to be wagered on. Esports betting could expand in New Jersey should this bill pass by lawmakers.

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Giovanni Shorter

Giovanni Shorter is a sports enthusiast and writer with a passion for the legal and industry side of the sports betting market. Giovanni got his education from Florida State University where he honed his writing style writing narratives and short stories. He has spent his professional career covering sports and entertainment through articles and blogs and continues to look at the industry from multiple angles.

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