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Esports Entertainment Group has been given the green light to launch esports betting in New Jersey by the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE).

The Nasdaq-listed operator said it will become the first licensed firm to specialise in esports betting in the Garden State via a recently approved transactional waiver.

The company has today (24 January) launched a five-day trial period of its flagship VIE.gg betting platform in New Jersey to ensure the platform meets regulatory requirements.

If all goes according to plan, VIE.gg will go live for real next week, allowing customers in New Jersey to wager on their favourite esports teams, across titles including Call of Duty, CS:GO, League of Legends and DOTA 2.

A customer notice on the VIE.gg website says: “We are currently undergoing soft play regulatory testing with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.

“Throughout this period, VIE will be unavailable to our customers during certain hours. VIE will be back online at noon EST tomorrow. We look forward to seeing you again in a couple of hours!”

Commenting on the launch, EEG CEO Grant Johnson 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.

“On behalf of our entire team, I would like to thank the Division of Gaming Enforcement for their approval of our platform and the trust they have placed in our company.

“Global esports betting is estimated to exceed $205bn 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 US,” he added.

In September 2021, the company opened an office in Hoboken to prepare for the New Jersey launch.

Two months later, the operator reported net revenue of $16.4m as part of its Q1 2022 financial results, up nearly 100% year-on-year and 86% on Q4 2021.

However, most of that growth was inorganic and driven by the acquisitions of B2C sports betting operators Argyll Entertainment and Bethard Group.

Despite the firm’s pitch to investors, only a small proportion of revenue is generated via esports betting to date.

Esports Entertainment Group expects net revenue growth of at least 490% to $100m in 2022, driven primarily by “platform-building” and “strategic diversification” M&A activity.

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