With the exception of Las Vegas, there is little doubt that New Jersey and, in particular, Atlantic City have been trailblazers in gambling in the USA. The state was one of the first to welcome online gambling and sports betting, as well as mobile poker. Now, in a further move to get ahead of the curve, Atlantic City is working to become the top destination for Esports in the country.
Esports is certainly the hottest trend in sports. This emerging market is just crying out for a real hub here in the USA and Atlantic City wants to be the number one destination for Esports. It has already started to make moves to achieve that goal.
Taking Strides In The Industry
In June, we wrote about one of the first subtle Esports movements the city made which involved Esports Entertainment Group’s launch of a subsidiary in NJ. At the time, not too much was known about this launch, but 3 weeks ago we revealed, in an exclusive article, that it would involve a partnership with Twin Rivers Worldwide Holdings.
Twin Rivers manages three sportsbooks in the state and the deal with the Esports operator was to launch a betting service here. Speaking at the time, George Papanier, President and CEO of Twin Rivers Worldwide Holdings, said:
“Esports Entertainment will be a fabulous addition to our constantly growing partnerships with leading sportsbooks around the world”
Soon, Allied Sports arrived in the state and launched the first Esports tournament here in Atlantic City. This company worked with mobile betting companies in NJ to allow gamblers to place bets in real time during the tournament.
Conference One, One Giant Leap For Esports
In Its biggest move yet, Atlantic City will now be the HQ for Conference One, a college sports league, the likes of which has never been seen. This is a bold plan which, if successful, will certainly see Atlantic City become the hottest destination for Esports in the country.
Speaking to a popular New Jersey radio show, William Penders, the Senior Advisory at the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, believes this will be a huge event:
“I would use the analogy that Conference One will be to collegiate esports what the NCAA is to traditional sports”
Rise of Esports in the Wake Of Lockdown
When it comes to the rise of any sporting event or company, a certain set of conditions must be present to allow it to enter the field. This year’s lockdown has provided the perfect opportunity for Esports to gain a stronger foothold among gamblers. In the absence of traditional sports, the industry has also been able to convert fans to Esports aficionados.
Make no mistake, prior to the lockdown this was not a struggling industry; twelve professional Esports leagues exist. These leagues are on course for bringing in a billion dollars in revenue this year. This is, of course, the reason why Atlantic City wants a slice of the pie and to become the number one destination for Esports in the US.
Atlantic City, The Perfect Destination For Esports
Not only is New Jersey one of the most forward thinking states when it comes to gambling and online betting, This year it has shown just how much revenue there is to be had here. Current monthly figures for online gambling are surpassing Vegas by more than double, a reflection of just how popular sports and online gambling really are.
Last month we spoke about the complicated legislation around Esports and just how much bipartisan support there is in the state for this to push forward, something other states cannot say.
Some wrinkles need to be ironed out with this emerging industry, such as the prevalence for cheating, which we discuss in this piece. One point which is certainly clear, however, is the desire by both New Jersey and Atlantic City to become the top destination for Esports. As is apparent from the deals already brokered, those in the Esports industry want the same.