David Main, head of US sports trading at Roar Digital, said he believes esports betting presents huge opportunities to the industry after the Borgata casino’s GVC-operated sportsbook and Roar Digital’s BetMGM app took New Jersey’s first esports bet last Thursday (7 November).
The League of Legends World Championship was the first esports event approved by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) for wagering.
The first bet was placed by sports radio host Howard Eskin, who bet $100 on Team G2 to win the competition at the Borgata Casino.
Although no further esports events have yet been approved by the DGE, Main said that Roar believes the market offers huge potential.
“We are very bullish on the future of eSports betting, not just in New Jersey but around the globe, and are working with all relevant regulators on the best path forward,” Main said.
“Esports is the fastest-growing spectator sport in the world — the sky’s the limit for its betting appeal, although again, regulatory uncertainty is definitely a near-term consideration. Certainly, for some, eSports already draws as much passion as traditional sports, and we expect wagering interest to continue to grow in the years ahead as esports enters the mainstream.”
Uptake of esports betting has been slow since sports betting became legal across the US through the repeal of PASPA, which Main said was largely down to operators awaiting regulatory approval and legal clarity.
However, Main added that he believes the popularity of esports would mean that it is very likely to become an important betting market for Roar.
“Clearly there is a great passion for esports in the United States, and it’s a betting market we’re very interested in at BetMGM,” Main said.