For years, online casinos and Esports have often been treated and viewed as very different activities, specifically in regards to the demographic that enjoys them. While there are many purists that will either be supportive of Esports or casinos, the time to bring the two together is now.
How Esports Can Save the Casino Industry
Traditional casino games have been around for decades, so it’s hard for many to come to terms with the fact that they may no longer be a leader in the recreation industry. While over 40 million tourists travel to Vegas every year, it’s important to consider that tourists are visiting for other reasons beyond heading to a brick and mortar casino.
Online casino games continue to gain in popularity, especially as the technology and other features improve and evolve, but traditional casino games in iconic places like Las Vegas are at risk of losing a demographic.
At the peak of in-house casinos (think the “Rat Pack”) the demographic of players were young and middle-aged men with money to spend and a desire to gamble. Today, that same desired demographic is drawn towards Esports. According to research, Esports viewership is expected to reach 300 million.
In the efforts to stay on the map and attracting the desired demographic, many Nevada casinos have made changes to make their venues, such as building Esports arenas and offering cash prizes.
Shining a Positive Light on an Underdog Industry
While the increase of popularity in Esports is (and will) do wonders for the casino industry, it also allows people to take a closer (and more positive) look at the video gaming industry. For decades, video gaming hasn’t always been supported and was often viewed as a “lazy” sport.
With celebrities, like Drake, getting on board, supporting the Esports industry, and investing in venues for Esports betting, there’s a good chance that the industry will become even more popular.
How Does Esports Fit in With the Casino Industry?
With Esports becoming more popular and Nevada casinos making changes to meet the wants and needs of Esports fans, it may seem that Esports is taking over rather than partnering with the casino industry.
One of the attractive aspects of Esports is that players (and viewers) can bet on players and in many ways, this is no different from traditional gambling. Research reveals that nearly half of video gamers over the age of 25 enjoy in-game betting.
Cash-betting on skill-based video games is legal in 38 states, and if casino operators decide not to join in, they’re likely missing out on a very lucrative opportunity (some researchers estimate nearly $13 billion is bet annually on Esports).
If the casino industry makes an effort to understand Esports and its main demographic, they will continue to see success and growth for years to come. While there’s nostalgic charm of iconic in-house casinos, there’s no reason why even the oldest and most beloved casino establishments can’t play a role in partnering with Esports.