The global spread of the SARS-CoV-2 has changed the world as we know it; all over the world, businesses have been forced to shut up shop, and casinos are no exception to the rule. Indeed, for the first time in history, casinos on the Las Vegas strip have also been forced to shut their doors, completely changing the face of the world’s most well-known and renowned gambling hub.
Research shows that – naturally – revenue for land-based casinos in Las Vegas (and indeed throughout other parts of the world) has reached record low levels during the months of March, April and May. However, one prominent CEO has come out and said that the land-based casino industry missed out on a major opportunity; an opportunity that could have allowed these land-based casinos to continue driving revenue despite the shutdown.
Casinos Failed To Take esports Seriously
Despite many land-based casinos choosing to open up sportsbooks in their establishments, many didn’t give much thought to esports betting, according to Rahul Sood, the CEO of Unikrn.
Unikrn are a leading esports betting and entertainment media company, and in a recent interview with TheStreet and Sports Illustrated, he discussed – in-depth – the recent surge in popularity esports is seeing, and how conventional land-based casinos completely missed out on the trend, thinking that it was nothing more than a fad; something that would never really take off and become popular in the mainstream. He also pointed out that land-based casino operators simply didn’t think that people would actually want to bet on other people playing video games – despite evidence proving esports is actually now more popular than ever before.
Take a look at virtually any online sportsbook, and you’ll find that there’s a significant esports betting section available. This offers betting on a huge number of games and events, including Dota 2, Call of Duty and Madden. Indeed, during the Coronavirus pandemic, many punters have been choosing to bet on esports, given the lack of sporting events that have been taking place around the world.
“It’s Stupid. They’re Late”
During his interview with TheStreet, Sood said:
“If you look at it from a Jim Cramer or TheStreet point of view and think about where things are going, the world of entertainment is changing.”
In fact, Sood notes that he’s been prominently meeting with gambling industry leaders since 2014 – well before esports betting was considered popular – and he noted that he was able to form a number of partnerships as a result of these meetings. However, he said that “none of them have invested or pushed hard into the world of esports and now his phone is ringing off the hook. It’s stupid. They’re late!”
What’s even more surprising is that major broadcasters like ESPN have recently started broadcasting esports events too. The Nevada Gaming Control Board rushed through measures to allow sportsbooks to take bets on the Call of Duty league, and the NBA and the MLB joined forces to create a popular esports tournament. It’s clear land-based casino operators have a way to go – and if they want to recover, financially, from COVID19, they’re going to need to open themselves up to new, more modern ways of betting.