Atlantic City may be the next hub for esports.

According to an article published on Monday by Press of Atlantic City, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority is in the final stages of a deal with network solutions company Continent 8.

The company hopes to install 6,000-square-feet of secure servers in a space inside the Atlantic City Convention Center.

“A … new, independent Continent 8 data center location in Atlantic City will be added shortly to further capacity and provide additional secure data redundancy and disaster recovery,” the company said in a June 26 press release.

While this deal has yet to be finalized and, therefore, is not a certainty, Continent 8’s presence in AC is an ever-growing reminder that the company believes Atlantic City is the premier choice for building an online gambling and esports hub.

Possible Continent 8 project third such endeavor in AC

Continent 8 first arrived in New Jersey in 2014 in the form of a data center in Atlantic City.

Continent 8 said in a press release that year that the data center would act as a hub for parts of New Jersey and New York.

Then, this past June, the company made headlines again when its newest data center debuted in Ocean Resort Casino.

Of that debut, CEO Michael Tobin said in the aforementioned press release that his company’s data center is part of the city’s resurrection.

“The new data center provides independent licensed infrastructure and cyber security services for online gaming operators, particularly sports betting providers,” he said. “Utilizing our connected and secured global network allows multi-state customer data to be consolidated in New Jersey, leading to reduced costs and increased service availability to users.”

The company’s data center at Ocean Resort acts as a hub for the nation and connects overseas, Continent’s press release said.

“The Ocean Resort Casino data center, in conjunction with the other upcoming location, provides connectivity to Pennsylvania and Nevada locations, and a direct link to Continent 8’s global network of 30+ data centers,” the release reads.

Continent 8 is, at the time of publishing, the only data provider licensed by the Division of Gaming Enforcement to provide their services for NJ online gambling.

Esports gaining popularity in AC

Continent 8’s heavy presence in the city is assumed to be a sign that esports is going to explode in Atlantic City. That’s certainly a possibility with all the data, security, and server infrastructure the company is building.

And, in the meantime, Atlantic City casinos have made their own foray into esports.

Caesars hosted the first official esports tournament in March 2017, an event with a purse of $200,000 and the first-place prize of $70,000.

Then, this past May, Harrah’s drew a crowd of more than 1,000 for the Rainbow Six Siege Pro League Season 7 Finals.

The city’s recent embrace of esports is a timely, if not tardy, decision. The esports industry has grown considerably over the past few years.

Forbes reports that the industry’s value is predicted to rise 38 percent in 2018, from $655 million in 2017 to a projected $905 million this year.