Esports Entertainment Group has closed its New Jersey online gambling product, Vie.gg.
The esports betting and entertainment company is pulling out of New Jersey while also shutting down its business in Spain and the United Kingdom.
The decision was revealed via an email sent to platform users on Oct. 25, 2022.
As the company informed customers, the site will remain active until Nov. 1, 2022, to allow users time to log in and close accounts.
New Jersey online gambling company makes difficult decision
The email to customers affected in New Jersey, Spain and the UK reads:
“Dear Patron. We have made the difficult decision to close Vie.gg. The site will remain open until November 1, 2022. Until then, you will be able to log in to close your account.
Any accounts remaining open at that date will automatically be closed and any remaining balances of $1 or more will be returned by check sent to the address registered on the applicable account.
If you have any questions, please contact our Customer Support team at [email protected]
Thank you for playing on our site.”
All remaining balances will be returned via physical check, Trustly or VIP Preferred.
Restructuring to enhance stability
As Esports Entertainment Group’s CEO, Grant Johnson, told NJGamblingSites:
“Esports was categorized [the] same as sports. So the skin [costs] seven figures a year, which is waay [sic] too much for esports in its current stage as an evolving vertical.
Had the market not turned so radically, we had anticipated raising capital and then adding a sportsbook. But by the time we were approved, clearly, the world had changed.
We are restructuring to last through to more stable markets. [And] at this time NJ, Spain, and the UK are all jurisdictions that we don’t have the required capital to stay active in. So we are reducing our burn and putting some cash back in the bank.
These are stressful times and companies need to make difficult decisions. This falls into the difficult but necessary category.”
New Jersey’s first esports-focused betting site
Vie.gg initially got its New Jersey license in September 2021. It was the first esports-focused vertical to launch in the state but also the first one to die.
EEG’s Vie.gg platform fully rolled out in April 2022, in affiliation with Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino. But with the high licensing cost, the expenses were too much to keep the operation going.
Bally’s financials from August showed just $590 in sports wagering gross revenue, which wasn’t enough to run a profitable operation. However, gambling operators in the US aren’t all looking at getting out of offering esports betting. In fact, regulators in Nevada are looking at expanding options for casinos to offer more action on esports.
Not the only case of contraction
EEG announcement is not the only example of the company withdrawing its platform from a particular US market recently.
Fubo Sportsbook, with the Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City license, announced it was closing with immediate effect. The sportsbook is giving players until Nov. 17 to gather their funds. As the Fubo Sportsbook site says:
“New Jersey customers can withdraw funds through Trustly, VIP Preferred (ACH), or by requesting a physical check.”
This announcement came one month after the sportsbook had launched its New Jersey site.
Similar betting platforms also closed in Arizona and Iowa, with FuboTV announcing the company was going to “exit the online sports wagering business effective immediately.”