NASDAQ-listed esports betting company Esports Entertainment Group (EEG) has announced the opening of a new office in Hoboken, New Jersey.
The company has additionally named its Chief Financial Officer Dan Marks as Head of Office, in accordance with New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) requirements.
Grant Johnson, CEO of Esports Entertainment Group, commented on the news in a release: “We are in final preparations for our launch into the New Jersey market. Our application was formally accepted by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) in May, and we are now awaiting approval of our Transactional Waiver, which we expect to receive shortly.”
EEG revealed its gaming license had been approved by the NJDGE in May and could begin submitting software to the regulatory authority for testing. Anticipated to be complete this year, the license would allow EEG to operate and service bettors in the Garden State. This includes its esports-focused sportsbook VIE.bet.
Dan Marks, CFO & Head of Office, added: “Securing access to what is currently the largest market for sports betting in the US is very exciting and will provide a strong advantage as we look to expand into additional markets in the US moving forward.
“We are ready to move quickly with our esports-focused wagering platform rollout once the DGE permits us to do so, which we expect in the near term.”
New Jersey is one of the top gambling destinations in the US – second only to Las Vegas – and its sports betting handle has been leading the country in wagers. According to Front Office Sports, NJ recorded $12.5M in transactions following the start of the 2021 NFL season, the highest of the 18 states where sports betting is legal.
While not reflective of the esports betting handle, these figures help demonstrate the audience and appetite of bettors in the Garden State, which EEG may have a shot at activating with a physical presence in the city.
It’s additionally worth noting that New Jersey has been a strong advocate for advancing regulated esports betting. This was seen first-hand in a September 2020 initiative backed by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) to support businesses that ‘accelerate’ the esports industry’s development in the Garden State – the wagering of esports outlined as a key area of focus for the programme.
In June, New Jersey lawmakers passed bi-partisan bill A673 to include esports betting in the state’s legal sports betting industry. Operators will now be authorised to accept bets on esports, but only up to $100 (~£72), with a potential winning bet of up to $500 (~£361). However, if sanctioned by the NJDGE, that wager limit could increase.
Esports Insider says: For esports betting in the US, New Jersey seems to have a great deal of support and momentum behind it. It’s indeed a smart move for Esports Entertainment Group to establish a local presence in this market which they seem to be putting quite a lot of energy towards.