New Jersey regulators clarify esports betting ban

Those in favour of betting on esports in the United States earned a big win last month as the Supreme Court ruled the Professional and Amateur Sports Act of 1992 unconstitutional. This made sports betting legal in the eyes of the federal government, leaving regulations up to each state. Last week New Jersey lawmakers passed a bill with sports betting regulations including what seemed like a ban on esports events held in the United States.

The bill was then signed into law by Governor Murphy on Monday but only two days later the New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement put out emergency regulations concerning the law. These regulations included a change in the wording of the regulation: “A ‘prohibited sports event’ includes all high school sports events, including high school electronic sports events and high school competitive video game events, and any electronic sports event in which any participant is 17 years old or younger.”

It seems as though the original wording in the bill was meant to regulate against esports events sponsored by high schools or consisting of players under the age of 18 which has now been adjusted to reflect as such. This minor change now opens up room for esports betting to potentially take place in New Jersey.

Lars Lien, CEO of esports betting start-up Luckbox commented on the developments: “While it’s still unclear exactly how the new laws will be interpreted, the fact that esports might be included is fantastic news. If indeed New Jersey will allow operators to offer regulated esports betting, it is another important step towards ensuring that the esports community is served by operators with the highest standards of player protection.”

Esports Insider says: This is a welcome change to the wording on such an important piece of legislation. While it might seem minor, it now opens up many doors for legal esports gambling in New Jersey and the rest of the United States.