The topic of how utilising esports can help casinos expand their customer bases was discussed in great depth at the Betting on Esports 2017 Conference.

Whilst the relationship between esports and casinos is still young, it appears that the gap will be bridged in Las Vegas, Amazon recently brought mobile esports to Vegas with the Mobile Masters Las Vegas, at the Millennial Esports Arena in Neonopolis, the first arena in Vegas solely committed to hosting esports.

Speaking on the a panel at the conference, Seth Schorr, CEO of Fifth Street Gaming, and the Chairman of the Downtown Grand Hotel and Casino underlined that: “As a casino operator, there has been an undeniable trend that the millennial audience, is less inclined to play the traditional games that we offer in today’s casino environment, specifically slot machines, which for any casino operators is incredibly important to our bottom line.

“Not only does it represent a lion’s share of the revenue, but it represents a gross amount of the profitability. Table games are very volatile, labour intensive segment of the casino, and our casinos simply rely on slots in the current model.  So, we’re looking at all sorts of ways to diversify our casino experience.  It is my belief and my experience over the past couple of years that esports is one tactic in creating a strategy that is relevant to a younger audience.”

Blaine Graboyes, Cofounder and CEO of GameCo also spoke of how the demographic for casino’s has changed: “I’ve been producing esport’s events for five or six years now, I worked with publishers like Blizzard and Ubisoft, and War Gaming, we would bring events to casino’s, and it’s interesting, because in 2012, or 2013, when I would meet with Casino Executives, there wasn’t a lot of interest in esports, there was the perception amongst executives that gamers are teenagers in their parents’ basement, they’re not even old enough, they don’t have any money. It’s very interesting that only a handful of years later it’s changed 180 degrees.

“I would come in contact with casino executives, and they would explain that slots generate, probably, 80% of casino revenue, particularly in North America and the Las Vegas strip, and that the demographic was just simply ageing.

“Over the last decade, the average slot player’s aged ten years, so what was a 55 year old female is now a 60/65 year old female, and they’re just simply not being replaced.  And so, there is a number of strategies of how do you attract a new audience, and I would say esports has really been latched onto as one of many different products and tactics, that casinos can now re imagine themselves, as leveraging the incredible footprint, the incredible services that they have now for a new audience.”