Looking to allow New Jersey residents to bet on a wide variety of sporting events, Assemblymen Ralph Caputo and Eric Houghtaling sponsor legislation to permanently include additional skill-based competitions such as electronic sports (eSports) in the state’s legal sports wagering industry.
Upon the bi-partisan bill (A-637) unanimously passing the full Assembly Thursday, the sponsors released the following statements:
“I would say eSports are the ‘next big thing’ when it comes to sporting events, but the fact of the matter is that video game tournaments are already a prominent form of skill-based competition. Throughout the country and the world, video game enthusiasts are flocking to see expert players compete in all kinds of digital games,” said Assemblyman Caputo (D-Essex). “Hundreds of millions of people watch eSports each year – and that number is only growing. This bill will amend our existing sports betting law to include eSports and ultimately expand on the industry to make it more successful. Especially with the economic toll this pandemic has taken on our state, anything we can do to increase revenue right now is very important.”
“It’s important for our state to capitalize on this rapidly growing industry in order to both give our residents what they want and boost our economy,” said Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling (D-Monmouth). “With online sports betting now legal in New Jersey, a large number of people already interested in this type of gaming and a lack of physical sporting events to bet on right now due to the pandemic, the time is right for us to expand legal wagering beyond traditional sports.”