In may 2018, the United States Supreme Court surprised the public opinion with the decision to overturn the ban on Esports betting. Essentially, this means that the states gained the authority to decide whether to legalize it or not on a local level. While Esports betting was already legal in Nevada, with the Downtown Grand Casino offering the first legal esports wagers on the video game League of Legends back in 2016, this phenomenon was initially reserved to the fringes of the Internet. Now, it is a legal, fully-fledged niche industry with millions of participants.
This was essentially an unprecedented consequence of the emerging Esports industry. This, in turn, incentivized traditional gambling venues to evolve and adapt with the times. Here is what Esports have done for the gambling industry.
Esports Created a New Generation of Gambling Enthusiasts
Worldwide, and especially in the United States, there is a huge demographic divide in the gambling sector. While the casinos are constantly adapting to the new era, introducing fully-fledged online components in their businesses, they are mainly populated by middle-aged and senior citizens. According to Forbes, over 60% of casino gamblers are over the age of 50.
This, of course, does not mean that gambling, as a career or merely as a hobby, is unattractive or marketed towards older people. Generally speaking, senior citizens (mainly Baby Boomers born between 1945 and 1960), due to social and economic realities, have more disposable income than the younger generations (namely generation X and millennials) to spend on leisure activities. Furthermore, modern gambling avenues have made the transition from entertainment hotspots aimed at young people to fully-fledged, family-friendly resorts.
Gaming is not the first industry that casinos have collided with, but the synergy between Esports and gambling is unprecedented. Online gaming in general and esports gambling in particular found ways to make gambling seem more appealing to younger people because they are more connected to the current social and generational realities.
Esports Gave Birth to New and Innovative Gambling Methods
In the past, gambling was limited to several traditional games, like poker, roulette, and craps. Nowadays, due to the rise and growth of Esports and its breakthrough into the mainstream, gambling has evolved beyond its initial limits.
The biggest change has come once Esports has reached mainstream levels of popularity. What was in the past seen as a geeky activity reserved to a niche of dedicated fan has gradually become the sort of phenomenon that appealed even to people that were not video game players. Now, in addition with betting on horse races, football games, and the sort, you can wager your money on Esports teams, kill counts, the likelihood of said team to accomplish their in-game objectives, and so on and so forth.
In other words, Esports brought traditional gambling the opportunity to grow, expand and make itself appealing to younger audiences by offering alternative gambling venues.
What the Future Holds for Traditional Gambling
Contrary to popular belief, just like the advent of the internet did not kill books, Esports have not brought the end of traditional gambling. Esports, by challenging the status-quo, encouraged casino businesses to innovate, adapt to the times and accept healthy competition. This prospect is encouraging for both parties, as well as for consumers, and we will likely see even more innovations in the gambling industry in the near future.
Ten, even five years ago, Esports was considered a past-time reserved solely to geeks and video games fans. Gradually, it has grown to a multi-billion industry that attracts even people who otherwise would not have been interested in video games. The rise of Esports has also birthed new opportunities for the gambling industry to expand their business and appeal to younger generations. All in all, Esports is one of the best things that happened to traditional gambling – and we will surely see more innovations as time goes on.