Esports Entertainment Group, an esports entertainment and online gambling operator, has submitted a gaming license application with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.
It would be the first esports sportsbook in the U.S., according to the Malta-based company’s news release.
“This is our first gaming license application in the U.S., and once approved, we believe we will be the first esports-vertical focused sports book with a state license in the US,” Grant Johnson, chief executive officer of Esports Entertainment Group, said in a news release. “According to a study from data firm Interpret, over 50% of U.S. esports fans said they are likely to engage in esports betting so we are confident that demand will be strong.”
RELATED: More on New Jersey sports betting
New Jersey allows betting on a limited number of esports.
Johnson said the company is ready to move quickly with the platform rollout once it receives approval from the division of gaming enforcement. He said he expects that to happen in the second quarter of this year.
“Securing access to what is currently the largest market for sports betting in the U.S. will provide a strong advantage as we look to expand into additional markets in the U.S. moving forward,” Johnson said. “We look forward to updating our stakeholders on continued progress on these initiatives in the months ahead.”
The company announced on Thursday a multiyear partnership with the Baltimore Ravens to be the esports tournament provider for the NFL franchise. As part of the deal, Esports Entertainment will operate bi-annual esports tournaments for the Ravens utilizing its Esports Gaming League (EGL) platform, the news release said.
EGL enables live and online events and tournaments where gamers can compete and enjoy a wide range of content relating to esports and video games on a proprietary technology platform, the release said. Services include full turnkey esports events, live broadcast production, game launches and online-branded tournaments.
“Our esports tournament platform continues to gain strong traction among top-tier professional sports franchises,” Johnson said. “We are delighted to add the Ravens as our latest partner. Our robust tournament platform will help the Ravens strengthen connections with their fans, while providing new avenues for engagement.”
Esports Entertainment said it will leverage player imagery within the Ravens’ local market and will also work with Ravens players to create custom videos that will promote the tournaments and be featured across Ravens digital channels.
“The growing popularity of esports provides a great opportunity for our team to create deeper connections and engagement with our fans," Kevin Rochlitz, chief sales officer for the Ravens, said in Thursday’s release. “We look forward to a long and mutually rewarding relationship.”