New Jersey has been given a one-time permit by the Division of Gaming Enforcement to allow bets to be placed on the 2019 League of Legends World Championship finals.
It is still unclear exactly which venues, apps, and websites will have the ability to accept wagers on the event. As of this writing, only the Borgata is officially covering the match.
Online sports betting is legal in New Jersey, with only five other states allowing the practice. New Jersey is the only one currently able to accept bets on esports. Though esports betting is well-established among online sportsbooks that are regulated by international gaming authorities, the gambling industry in the United States has been much slower to adapt.
In 2017, the Downtown Grand Casino in Las Vegas was the only place open for bets on the LoL World Championship that year. They also held a watch party for the event at the venue.
The adoption of the Worlds 2019 finals hints at a possible regulatory thaw in esports betting in the United States.
While this is technically a one-off affair, fans might be able to expect an increase in esports coverage among United States-based betting providers. That said, fans looking to put some skin on the line have some hoops to jump through first.
Currently, no bets over $1,000 can be made and no in-play betting will be allowed. Gamblers must also be 21 or over to gamble in New Jersey and must prove that they live in the state in order to have access.
Originally when New Jersey introduced sports betting, the DGE stated that they were not allowing bets on high school sports events, electronic sports, and competitive video games. Their stance eventually changed to allow betting on events that were not sponsored by a high school, or involved players that were under the age of 18.