US Gambling Operators Must Embrace Esports and Cryptocurrencies
Online gambling operators could be missing out on the opportunity of esports betting in the US and need to realise cryptocurrency is “crucial for success” in a Millennial gambling market, says Singular CEO George Shamugia.
In a recent feature in iGaming Magazine titled “Esports has the winning entry strategy for the US market,” the digital gaming technology chief says:
“Many of the operators who have entered the US market struggle to fully address the unique characteristics of the US players.”
In the US more states are legalizing online gambling and some, like New Jersey, have begun to allow esports betting. Shamugia says US gambling operators are trying to replicate EU operators and in doing so “may have overlooked one of the most lucrative areas for the US market – esports.” He adds:
“The US is the focal point for esports driven mainly by the younger generation.”
America generates 37% of global esports revenue. And, esports tournament prize pools are now exceeding the $30 million mark, such as the Dota 2 event, The International 2019. Prize pools that exceed those offered in conventional sports such as the Tour de France, Cricket World Cup, and The Open, as esports becomes a sport in its own right to rival traditional games.
Monday night American Football viewership is down 24% from last year, but esports audiences are growing rapidly. As we noted previously here at esportsbets.com, this is fuelling a convergence of, and an opportunity for, both gaming and gambling industries.
Shamugia cites the Washington Post reporting that esports is as big as NFL for US 14 to 21-year olds and that 78 universities across America have esports teams and, or scholarships. The CEO says:
“The situation boosts the esports potential creating opportunities for operators to attract and engage the millennial generation.”
He also points to the industry’s limitations to date in the lack of games available to bet on and the need for the esports industry, like other sports, to prove integrity and prevent cheating. He says gambling operators must organically grow their esports offerings.
Shamugia says iGaming operators must build trust with players and can do this by providing interactive and social experiences. As a gaming technology developer, Shamugia suggests gambling operators try an extension that allows gamers to wager “Twitch Bits” on games instead of real money. And he says:
“Since more than 50% of millennial video gamers own cryptocurrency, offering cryptocurrency as a payment option is crucial for success.”
Other opportunities for gambling operators to get more involved in esports are organizing tournaments and sponsoring esports teams, “even creating one of their own,” says the Singular boss adding:
“Taking into consideration the growth rate of esports and the declining popularity of traditional sports, one day esports may even become bigger than any other sport.”
He concludes by saying “the synergy of wagering with video games and esports” will create a new form of entertainment.
Indeed, the combined opportunity of gaming and gambling is immense for both sectors but add in too the potential of cryptocurrency for both gambling operators and for game development and monetization and there is a recipe for Millennial and Generation Z maximum engagement.
Image courtesy of Dota 2 The International / Singular