Is eSports the NFL successor?
September 19, 2017 3:11 AM
by Savannah Drews
Last weekend I had the chance to attend the Casino eSports Convention (CEC), which was an overflowing fountain of knowledge. From the generality of eSports to the mindsets of gamers, all the way through to the legalities of betting on competitive video gaming and tips on how to best implement it onto the casino scene – CEC had it all.
With an amazing line up of extremely competent speakers, there was much to learn from each one on the several different topics spoken about.
Seth Schorr is the CEO of Downtown Grand, home of an already amazing and popular eSports bar. Sitting next to him was Ms. Brett Abarbanel, PhD, an expert in both global gambling and social science applications and Director of Research at the UNLV International Gaming Institute. This power-duo did an amazing job of explaining many unique things about eSports and how bright its future is projected to be.
“eSports is like the successor of the NFL,” Schorr brought up while discussing the topic of competitive gaming growing to be the most wagered on sport ever. Sounds a little far-fetched? Well, he brought up another good point. American football and the NFL have been around since the 1920’s, but it never really began to be nationally popularized until the 50’s – when TV’s started being in every living room.
“After being televised, the NFL boomed like crazy. Now we have this thing called Twitch.tv which broadcasts eSports, and now it is starting to boom as well,” Schorr explained.
It’s a very interesting idea, and looking at today’s statistics it’s a pretty accurate statement too.
One of the most interesting topics discussed at the CEC was the vast possibilities of betting and wagering on competitive video gaming. Not only can there be cash bets, but also on certain sites and games you can wager with virtual currency or something else of value – like character skins and in-game items.
Melissa Blau, founder and director of iGaming Capital, a leading iGaming consultant and investor, was bright and knowledgeable on all things online betting. She informed us there is still a little time before this kind of wagering is available everywhere for many games – simply because of all the intricate legalities surrounding this new kind of sport.
Unlike traditional sports, different games have different developers who can lay claim to the money made from video games their company has created and produced; so it’s very unlike the wagering system we have for other sports today.
Yet there will always be some form of social betting between people who gather together to watch a sport. Unbeknown to many people who aren’t into the eSports community, it is actually a very social place! Many older generations tend to think the gaming community is made up of people who would rather hide away in a room and never meet people face to face – this is very untrue!
Most people prefer to be social and meet in person, but lack the means to do so. Things like travel costs and lodging tend to get in the way, especially when the majority of gamers are younger people who don’t make much money. That is why there is a need for a place gamers can get together and enjoy each other’s company in the flesh.
Perhaps in the near future companies will see the business potential in being a hearthstone for this community, and create a place that caters to the needs of gamers.
As the vast world of eSports continues to grow and gather attention, many changes are rapidly taking place. The possibilities are almost endless. From specialized bars and cafes, to larger scale events like tournaments and conventions, there are many opportunities for the casino industry to adopt eSports into their business – possibly attracting the Millennials with it and bringing about a new era in the gaming industry.