For several years now, virtual games are on the rise. There are two distinct segments here, those of video games of strategy and skill, and those of chance, which involve wagers and bets.
The online casinos have been providing a platform for a variety of games for a while now. It is only a matter of time when eSports comes on this platform as well. Though there are differences between the two domains, many technology pioneers in the field are trying to bridge the gap and bring in eSports and casino games, for example real cash payout slots together on a common platform.
Casinos Lend Arenas to eSports
Many Las Vegas destinations are creating casino-cum-virtual gaming arenas. There are several casino brands that are also major sponsors for some of the largest virtual game teams. Hence, these are growing signs of evidence that both categories would become closely linked in the future. For instance, one can check out the arena for virtual games that Luxor casino has. The events held here are several and catching the attention of the virtual gaming community. The same are the competitions held at Winstar World. It has sponsored several competitive gaming events.
There is also evidence that traditional gambling is on the fall. That is indicative of the revenues that traditional gambling obtained in 2019 as compared to earlier periods. Even the brick and mortar outlets in Las Vegas strip have reported a decline in gross revenue which has been down by 3.5%. There is little wonder why many casino games or slots are incorporating innovative gameplay.
This segment, on the other hand, has been growing steadily. It has become an industry worth billions of dollars in 2019. Hence, several casinos and resorts are now finding ways to be platforms for virtual competitions.
There is potential for collaboration and synergy between eSports, gaming at https://real-gambling.com/real-money-slots/ and gambling. Millennials are already into gaming, and so is generation Z. On the other hand, traditional betting operators are moving online so that they can take advantage of the online generation and attract newer generations to gambling. eSports is a route by which one can connect with avid gamers as well as younger consumers.
Trends at Casinos
There had been a press release in 2016 at a conference for virtual competitions, the first of its kind at a Las Vegas venue. It opened with a statement that the pace of integration between the leading destination of entertainment in America and that of the fastest-growing form of America’s entertainment is moving forward.
Today the Generation X and Baby Boomer age groups find casinos as well as games of chance as their go-to entertainment category. The newer generations, on the other hand, are more focused on eSports. Hence, for operators of these venues, it makes sense to offer an integrated platform for both kinds. The young generations are already using their skills as well as time on different video games. The millennials are also invested in the cryptocurrency market, which is evident from the boom that occurred in 2017 and 2018, and already play bitcoin casino online. This also shows that this generation would be the highest earners in the upcoming years and would also be open to financial risks.
If the virtual gaming market is looked at, in 2012, it was valued at about $130 million. By the year 2014, it reached $194 million while by 2016 it reached the figure of $493 million. The gaming revenue will surpass billion dollars by the year 2020 and reach about $3 billion by 2022. This is as per trend estimates given out by Goldman Sachs. It indicates exponential growth.
The story for the video game segment is similar but wider. The gaming revenue was $70 billion by 2012 while in 2016 it reached $106 billion. By 2019 it reached around $150 billion, and it is expected to move up in 2020.
The Millennials and Generation Z are focusing more on virtual events. At the same time, traditional games of chance like poker and others are taking a backseat with the newer generation. Many audiences look forward to location-based and remote virtual competition events. These also bring in deals for sponsorships, prize pools, tournament sizes and are opportunities for revenue and investment.
If one looks at the first League of Legends competition, it was a modest one, held in a Sweden conference hall. By 2019 it had already been held in venues like ceremonies at Eiffel Tower, Paris and so forth. There were about 100 million in online viewership alone. This contends even with the Superbowl event of last year that had about 98 million in viewers. Millennials freely admit that they would rather watch virtual competitions as compared to spending time watching the traditional games.
Responding to the changing times Las Vegas opened up the first lounge to host virtual games. They also started legalised betting in virtual competitions in the country. William Hill also started a betting event in Nevada. It was for an Oakland event for IEM. Betting was made available for the quarterfinals of League of Legends that were held on the same weekend. Till now, there have been few tournaments that were approved for eSports events with betting in the US. It is a sign of progress, however. Nevada became the first state that has legal betting on virtual competitions. Even the world championship event was approved for betting.
Betting is a large part of online gambling. This aspect, when extended to eSports, makes it lucrative for casinos as well. It also helps to widen their offering. As a result, it is an avenue for more profits for such domains. It would also bring in younger audiences who can participate in skill-based activities. Wagers on such activities are being forecast as the trend that will grow. It would be part of the sports betting segment as well. It would make it easier for many sports booking sites to rope in such events.