New Jersey Legalizes Esports & Pennsylvania Is Following SuitPublished July 22, 2021 by Elana K
New Jersey, a trailblazer in the gambling and sports betting spheres, has passed legislation to legalize esports. Pennsylvania is following suit with a new proposed bill to do the same.
More than two dozen states have legalized sports betting since PASPA was repealed by the Supreme Court in 2018. Now, New Jersey, a trailblazer in the gambling and sports betting spheres, has passed legislation to legalize esports. Pennsylvania is following suit with a new proposed bill to do the same.
The Garden State haspassed a bi-partisan bill making esports legal. The bill doesn't actually create new legislation. but rather, modifies and expands the definition of “sporting events” to include esports.
The bill was a long time in the making. It was unanimously approved by the state Assembly in July 2020, but it took nearly a year to reach the legislature.
As of now, operators can accept bets on esports, but only up to $100. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement may up the limit in the future.
Prior to this bill, New Jersey sports betting operators were allowed to accept esports bets, but only on a case by case basis.
In early June, lawmakers introduced a bill to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives that would legalize esports betting statewide. The state’s current allowance of sports betting allows betting on “sporting events,” which is defined as professional and collegiate sports or motor races. Like New Jersey prior to its new bill, esports is not included.
The new legislation seeks to add esports to the definition of the term “sporting event” so that it will be allowed. As written, the bill would not create a new regulatory framework for esports but rather extend the current requirements that exist for sports betting operators.
Will More States Regulate Esports?
New Jersey is a market leader and it’s likely that its precedent of legalizing esports will encourage other states to do so. If Pennsylvania can follow suit, it seems that there is the beginning of a trend among states that have legalized sports betting.