EEG Making Garden State Esports Betting History As Platform Is Approved To Begin Soft Launch Period

Written By Bill Gelman on January 25, 2022
EEG Launch

For those wondering in and when an NJ esports Betting app will be available the wait is just about over. Esports Entertainment Group (EEG) sent out a press release on Monday announcing they have been granted approval to begin betting operations in New Jersey. The transitional waiver from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement clears the path for a five-day “soft play” period that will begin on Tuesday, Jan. 25.

However, unlike NJ online sportsbooks, only esports events will be available for wagering.

So we can chalk this launch up as another historic moment in NJ sports betting, or shall we say, esports betting history.

Grant Johnson, CEO of Esports Entertainment Group, said “We couldn’t be more pleased to be the first esports-dedicated operator to be granted the right to commence business in New Jersey.”

Esports Entertainment Group ‘soft play’ details

ESG will be the first online sports betting skin to launch under Bally’s Atlantic City license. And like other NJ sports betting apps, there will be limitations during the “soft play” period.

There is no iOS or Android app, at least not yet. Instead, users will gain access via the betting platform. The company is limited to  100 signups a day. As far as the operating hours go, here is the schedule for the first five days:

  • Tuesday, Jan. 25: Noon-8 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 26: Noon-10 p.m.
  • Thursday. Jan. 27: Noon-1 a.m.
  • Friday, Jan. 28: Noon-2 a.m.
  • Saturday, Jan. 29: 24 hours

And as to what esports events EEG users will be able to wager on, there will be several options:

With the Counterstrike Global Offensive (CS:GO) there are the Blast Premier League, ESL-Pro League and IEM ESL events.

The esports betting menu also will include:

  • Defense of the Ancients 2 (DOTA2): ESL events
  • Valorant: Riot run tournaments only (as opposed to locally organized tournaments)
  • League of Legends: Riot run tournaments only (as opposed to locally organized tournaments)

EEG pointed out that with League of Legends, this is in addition to the previously approved world championships/qualifiers.

Esports Entertainment Group provided additional details regarding the schedule. Players will be able to wager on the events listed above, which will be taking place on and beyond Feb. 11. So if users register today, they could place bets on matches happening Feb 11 and beyond.

 What we know about this esports betting newcomer

Esports Entertainment Group enters the Garden State market without the brand recognition of market leaders like FanDuel, DraftKingsBetMGM and Caesars.

But that’s OK as EEG is just getting started here in North America. Besides Malta and the United Kingdom, the company also has an office in Hoboken.

As far as who they are, the short summary is a “full stack esports and online gambling company fueled by the growth of video-gaming and the ascendance of esports with new generations.”

Here in New Jersey, the company is partnering with Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City to host the first sanctioned esports skill-based wagering event in the U.S. The tournament, originally slated to take place in January, is now scheduled for March 19 and 20.

EEG ‘playing an important role’

So the bottom line is this Esports Entertainment Group platform will be unlike anything currently available to NJ online sports gamblers. For instance, don’t bother looking for Super Bowl XLI odds. Basically, this platform (and eventual esports betting app) are focused on the untapped esports betting market. Well, at least here in the United States.

As far as market potential goes, Jonhson sees a very bright future for the entire esports betting industry.

“Global esports betting is estimated to exceed $205 billion by 2027, and we are thrilled to be playing such an important role in this fast-growing market with the launch of our first esports wagering offering in the United States,” said Johnson.

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Bill Gelman

Bill Gelman has been reporting on the NJ gambling market since 2018, right around when the Garden State launched sports betting. Bill transitioned from lead writer for PlayNJ and NJ Gambling Sites to his current role as managing editor in 2020. Besides offering in-depth analysis on NJ gambling market trends and news, Bill regularly sits down with Atlantic City casino industry executives to offer readers exclusive interviews and comprehensive coverage. Bill received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ithaca College. He has contributed to other Catena Media sites including The Lines, Legal Sports Report, PlayPennsylvania and PlayCanada.

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