LA techies can shape gambling's future

February 28, 2017 3:10 AM
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Poker revenue at Hollywood Park Casino, located in Inglewood, California near the Westside of Los Angeles, is surging.

Though the media is focused on the $2.6-billion stadium being built for two NFL franchises (the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers) as part of the City of Champions Revitalization Project, there is is a new game in town that really can be a game changer for gambling on the Westside of Los Angeles.

Silicon Beach is the name for the Westside of Los Angeles that is home to over 500 tech startup companies. From Google to Snap Inc., the company behind the popular mobile chat app Snapchat, major tech companies have opened offices or are headquartered in the region.

The area includes the cities of Culver City, Playa Vista, Marina Del Rey, Venice Beach and Santa Monica – all just minutes from Hollywood Park Casino.

Billions in venture capital are financing the tech boom, and it looks like the money will continue to flow with the expected Snap Inc. IPO scheduled for Thursday, March 2.

With the company looking to price its upcoming initial public offering at between $14 and $16 a share, Snap could have a market value of more than $22 billion. The company could raise nearly $3.7 billion, according to an article in CNN Money.

This influx of money can transform the region and could have a major impact on the gaming world from Los Angeles to Las Vegas.

The California and Nevada gaming industry and the way it is marketed may look different in the near future because of eSports and Internet gaming being developed in Silicon Beach. California gaming laws need to catch up with the new gaming opportunities on the horizon.

Nevada has been working hard on new gaming regulations to allow the new generation of gamers to play and bet legally on games of their choice. There is even some support to lower the gambling age to 18 in Nevada.

This new generation may not find table games or slots entertaining, but they do like games, and one game in particular they love is poker. Poker, along with eSports, may be the engine that drives the new gambling economy.

The gambling companies of the future and the businesses that market them may come from Silicon Beach and Southern California in the not-to-distant future.

Thousands of new jobs will be created in social media companies, gaming studios and digital marketing companies like Jukin Media, the global leader in viral video licensing. These companies, though not household names, create and market the content that millions will purchase or view.

It’s time casinos get into digital marketing if they want to reach this new generation of gamers.

The employees who work in these industries range in age from their early 20s to 40s, and many of these tech and gaming employees are locating and working on the Westside of Los Angeles.

Ramy Wahba, casino manager of Hollywood Park Casino, recognizes the need to reach out to this new demographic and said they are creating a total new experience for the young gamers, starting with their tourneys and service. They gave players their own deli for faster service. 

I look forward to this exciting time in the gaming industry.