With Gen Z starting to come of age and engage with online gambling, many betting sites have discovered a problem, and that is their offerings are generally being eschewed by this demographic. Many have speculated that with so many other things now available to them, gambling is losing its appeal.
Is that the case, or is it merely a case of the product not matching the needs and expectations of a particular demographic?
Who are Generation Z?
Generation Z are people born from 1995 to 2009, which is different from Millennials, a group that they are often confused with, who were born between 1980 and 1994. Although there may be just one year between being a Gen Z or A Millennial, it is fair to say that there could be a massive difference between the lifestyle each experienced when growing up.
While Millennials were generally born before the Internet boom, Gen. Z’ers were born at the start and during that period. They have grown up with easy access to the Internet and all that it offers and as such, their expectations when it comes to things such as betting are very different and at the moment, it seems that companies are not quite hitting the sweet spot for this particular generation.
The importance of esports betting as a ‘hook’
There is no doubt that one of the ways to nurture an interest in gambling with Gen.Z is through the esports industry and particularly through esports betting. Indeed, we have already looked at how betting on esports is being used to appeal to millennials.
As the head of sports and product propositions at Sports Information Systems, Rohini Sardana points out, the key to appealing to Gen.Z is to make their betting experience relevant to their interests, experiences, and expectations. Ostensibly, that comes through the use of streaming services and esports.
“A younger audience is quite used to short-form content with easy accessibility i.e. no paywalls. If you look at the majority of betting websites at the moment, there are dead zones in the mornings on weekdays.”
“The data in the market, as well as our own consumer research, has shown that bettors will engage more with content that is short-form, easy to understand and easy to access. So certainly, we think that this content will appeal to both mainstream esports bettors as well as traditional bettors.”
Part of the problem facing gambling suppliers trying to appeal to Generation Z is the lack of data about a group that are only just starting to begin to access sports betting.
Speaking about the data, Sardana stated:
“Currently, the offering is quite fragmented making it difficult for operators to be lean in this space”.
The implication here that because of a lack of data and understanding about the needs and wants of Generation Z, suppliers are having to take a scattergun approach to try to find what resonates with this particular demographics; an approach which is not economical nor viable for the longer term.
What is clear with Gen. Z is that traditional forms of gambling have less appeal for them and that their wants and needs seem to be better suited by the developing esports betting industry. Indeed, one could argue that for old-style betting to appeal to this next generation of punters, it needs to adopt a model more like that seen in esports betting.
Images courtesy of LoL Esports and SBC News