Esports Fans Could Be Prime Casino Customers

We reported about the phenomenon of online Esports betting earlier this year. And now, many Esports proponents would like to see the activity hit land-based casinos.

The casino industry has been desperately searching for a way to attract younger visitors, since millennials aren’t very interested in slot machines.

As the Las Vegas Sun reports, speakers at the Esports and Casino Resorts conference discussed how Esports need more of a commitment from casinos.

“We got excited about Esports through an exploratory process last year,” said Seth Schorr, CEO of Fifth Street Gaming, which develops Esports tournaments. “What we found is in order to be successful in Esports it takes a holistic strategy.

“If you’re a casino operator, you need to look at this audience and say, ‘Is this audience really right for my property?’ If it is, then find the people who know how to authentically communicate with this audience and excite them.”

Imari Oliver, an executive at the sports marketing firm WME|IMG, also believes that Esports are destined to boom.

Oliver, whose company works with Turner Broadcasting on ELeague broadcasts, is busy connecting Esports and the NBA. He also sees no reason why casinos shouldn’t also get into Esports too.

“There are 256 million global fans and 38 million U.S. fans, and that includes watchers and players,” said Oliver.

He added that Esports fans are mostly between the ages of 18 to 34 – the exact demographic that casinos have trouble connecting with.

“You can probably match almost any brand to some kind of e-sports enthusiast or watcher,” he explained.

What’s exciting about Esports fans, as Oliver pointed out, is that they’re more likely to gamble than the average person.

“The typical Esports fan is two times more likely to have gambled online than the average internet user,” Oliver said.

At this time, there’s no direct Esports gambling in Nevada casinos, but Schorr’s company is working to change this. Schorr, who also heads the Downtown Grand casino, discussed the gambling habits of Esports enthusiasts.

“We’ve noticed, depending on where we actually execute the tournaments, how close they are to table games dictates what percentage of people will gamble,” said Schorr. “If there are slots outside the e-sports lounge, that gets us zero.

“But we have noticed that the e-sports crowd will play blackjack. You have to have a blackjack game with the right limits right near the lounge. And we’ve created food and beverage menus specifically to induce them to spend. Which has meant we’ve seen increase in food and beverage spending.”

Schorr believes that his Esports tournament audience is what’s driving his gambling establishment’s success.

And as other casinos take notice of what Schorr and the Downtown Grand are doing, it’ll only be a matter of time before Esports spread throughout Las Vegas.

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