Take out slots to make room for new entertaining product

Take out slots to make room for new entertaining product

Friday, October 28, 2016 Posted by Andy McCarron
The esports generation are aggressively making their case

“If you want to sell wheelchairs, just hang around the slots all day long.”  - a statement by Unikrn founder Rahul Sood which drew the same number of laughs as it did nodding heads.

One of the main takeaways from the Esports and Casino Resorts conference in Vegas this week was that operators must start looking to the future, and this means making way for esports and skill gaming machines by getting rid of some slot machines.

As Sood and other speakers stated the typical demographic of slots players is far from young; the younger demographic (18-35) wants instant gratification, excitement and bragging rights. These aren’t offered by slots but can all be delivered by skill gaming machines and esports.

Companies such as GameCo and Gamblit Gaming are working with casinos to bring these machines to the floors, and GameCo’s first VGMs (video game gambling machines) officially entered their primary casinos on Friday. GameCo CEO Blaine Graboyes and Gamblit’s CMO Darion Lowenstein delivered a joint panel presentation and discussion for attendees about the numerous plus points of implementing their systems in casinos.

Graboyes said: “Regulators have been open and collaborative, far more so than we first expected. We quickly learned that interaction is key.”

Of plans for next year Graboyes also revealed that GameCo would be making its API public in 2017 so anyone will be able to create a game for the platform.

Unikrn are also working with casinos to bring esports to the floor with Sood urging operators to create an “esports mecca; a place where gamers feel comfortable”. A comfortable environment, he repeated time and again, is key to attracting gamers and ensuring they return. It’s no use adding some screens in a sportsbook showing the League Of Legends Worlds for instance, with NBA playing on a screen next to it, as this would generally be off putting for fans of each.

Sood stated his belief that creating an esportsbook is the way forward, but that casinos must understand the community they’re targeting and ‘get it right’ which means offering the full experience. Whether this means adding in pop-up food stalls to cater to those clientele, or adding in merch stores, whatever it takes Sood said, it’ll be worth it long term.

On an earlier panel on ‘Mobile Esports - tournaments for everyone’ however it was stated that it would be fruitless for a venue on the Strip to dedicate itself purely to esports and skill gaming right now, as whilst esports is fast gaining mainstream acceptance, it isn’t there yet.

Totally Gaming says: It was a well organised and highly educational conference from Naruscope in Vegas which shows the interest for this current trend. Attendees will have left with few doubts about the vast potential competitive gaming has for casinos, and that its importance will only grow and grow over the next decade.

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