Autumn tests the endurance of not only plants or people but entire industries. This October has become critical for two gambling operators in New Jersey at once. On the one hand, this is not surprising, since NJ is often used as an experimental platform for testing new projects in the iGaming industry. On the other hand, when there are so many shutdowns, it raises legitimate questions from players. Who did not survive in this competitive race this time?
- On October 17, Fubo Sportsbook announced its immediate closure.
- On October 25, Vie.gg, the first operator to venture into eSports betting, followed suit.
So what’s the problem in New Jersey — sports or betting?
Have Users of Closing Websites Been Refunded?
The question of the return of money left on gaming accounts is fundamental not only for players but for the entire gaming industry in New Jersey. The trust of players is earned with great difficulty but is easily lost due to unscrupulous operators or scammers.
However, this time, it seems the divorce was done without scandal. Both companies stated from the very beginning they intend to return the money to the players.
- Vie.gg gave NJ bettors only a week to withdraw funds and close accounts. After November 1st deadline, all remaining accounts were closed automatically, and deposits over $1 were sent to user addresses in the form of checks.
- Fubo Sportsbook gave a whole month to complete this procedure, allowing NJ clients to withdraw money using checks or payment services such as VIP Preferred (ACH) and Trustly.
Only Half a Year of Operation: What Happened to Vie.gg?
Esports Entertainment Group, which owns the bookmaker Vie.gg, sent out an official notice to its users explaining the reasons for such a sad decision. When, in April 2021, the company became the first eSports bookmaker to venture into the New Jersey market for iGaming, its prospects seemed inspiring.
However, six months of operation was enough to make a decision to leave not only NJ gambling space but also Spain and the UK. The main reason, according to Grant Johnson, current CEO of Esports Entertainment Group, is the failure of legislation that equates eSports with traditional sports. In an interview to NJGamblingSites, he stated that the amount required from bookmakers to contribute to the state budget is simply unbearable for the eSports betting industry that has just begun to develop.
Neither downsizing the staff nor cutting spending on marketing and other expenses helped. As a result, revenue for August amounted to only $590, while EEG shares fell to $0.14.
Difficult August: How FuboTV Decided to Close Fubo Sportsbook
If Vie.gg’s problems can be explained by a bad start to eSports betting in New Jersey, then Fubo is a completely different case. This platform, licensed by Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City, offered a full range of sports betting options. Moreover, it began its activities in Iowa, where it opened a year ago. Now, it has closed not only in New Jersey a little more than a month after its opening but also in three other states. What went wrong with traditional sports in NJ?
The secret lies in the position of FuboTV, whose subsidiary Fubo Gaming controlled the bookmaker’s website. The company’s management referred to global causes and macroeconomic difficulties in the country. In August, the report on profitability indicators for the second quarter forced FuboTV management to reconsider its position on the betting project and initiate a search for a strategic partner. This turned out to be fruitless.Let’s hope that other bookmakers in New Jersey will prove more resilient to macroeconomic difficulties in the US. Sports fans expect that the NJ iGaming industry will continue to delight them with the opportunity of betting on their favorite teams!