Thousands of dollars have been invested in competitive video gaming by investors. Government authorities have established measures aimed at attracting esports to their respective states. Esports are being included in the curricula at schools ranging from Stockton University to Harrisburg University.
Despite the rising popularity of sports betting across the country, most American states prohibit gambling in video gaming tournaments since they are not considered sports activities.
Change is on the cards with the expansion of a unanimous decision by the New Jersey Senate endorsing a bill. Traditional sports are seeing esports as a top runner as a cultural and economic force equivalent to its stature.
David L. Redbuck, the Gaming Enforcement Director for the New Jersey Division, stated how New Jersey is slowly accommodating esports in a speech last year. This is to cater to the multitude of fans and the way they are engaging with their favorite teams. This introduced the push by Trenton to project New Jersey as an attractive market that will fuel the esports industry.
Not far behind, Pennsylvania State Representative Ed Neilson, a Democrat from Northeast Philadelphia, has filed a measure that would broaden the definition of “sporting event” under state gaming legislation.
Nerd Street Gamers, a Philadelphia-based esports training and competition facility developer has also risen to prominence in the video game industry.
Legalizing esports wagering, according to gaming specialists, will not fundamentally alter sports betting in New Jersey or Pennsylvania. It’s possible that just a limited number of bets will be placed initially. However, like in Europe, it has the potential to expand the business and attract new, younger people to gaming.
The state regulators are yet to see the sports betting and casino operators showcasing any interest in the inclusion of esports under the gaming law. A spokesman from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, Doug Harbach, stated how there is no jostling amongst the operators in viewing this from a different standpoint. While New Jersey and Pennsylvania will not see any massive rehaul in sports betting with the legalization of esports wagering, as predicted by gaming analysts. The future will see esports growing as an important arm of the legalized U.S. sports betting market. Esports boasts immense possibilities and is expected to grow into a multi-billion-dollar business that targets the younger generation.