At first glance, it would appear that esports and online casinos occupy two very different positions in the gambling sector. To begin with, Esports attracts a higher proportion of male viewers and players, while online casinos tend to have a more even gender split. The former also requires a certain amount of skill. Generally-speaking, this can’t really be said of most gambling games.
Delve a little deeper though, and similarities between the two start to emerge. Both attract younger audiences, while a significant proportion of their visitors fall into the 18-35 age range. What’s more, both verticals enjoy global audiences.
The esports industry in particular has exploded in recent years, with the global esports market now worth more than $1 billion. And despite regulatory roadblocks in countries such as the UK, iGaming is still on the rise. It’s of little surprise then, that the two industries are beginning to intersect.
Unsurprisingly, some online casinos have started to include esports betting on their sites, allowing players to bet on the outcome of matches and tournaments. This has proven to be a popular addition to the online casino experience, as witnessed by many leading iGaming aggregators.
Major operators such as 888, Aspire, Mansion and Grosvenor have all incorporated esports as part of wider betting packages.
But how can online casinos further leverage the potential of esports?
Crafting a Compelling Package
The most obvious starting point is to ensure that the overall product is appealing. This means including a solid collection of esports to bet on backed up by in-depth analysis and statistics.
After all, most serious esports betters want to furnish themselves with as much information as possible before committing their hard-earned. Info on the teams and players participating, as well as historical performance data is therefore a must.
Another option for online casino operators is to stream live esports tournaments and matches. Certain land-based establishments already do this. The Luxor Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas is perhaps the most notable example, with its 30,000 square foot Esports Arena.
Enticement and Cross-Selling
To entice and also expose bettors to a casino product, some operators are starting to showcase specific esports incentives alongside their general promotions and bonuses. Free bets, cash-back deals and other perks are becoming more prevalent these days.
The cross-selling opportunities are obvious here but. Although not widespread, a growing number of online casinos are including free bets as part of their sign-up bonuses. From time to time, a casino will run a promotion in which customers who bet on an esports tournament also get the chance to win a free spin.
This not only provides customers with a unique and exciting gaming experience, but it also increases the chances of them spending some of their cash on slot games. As yet though, these types of allurements are few and far between.
Branded Video Slots and Skill-Based Games
Given the level of skill involved in esports, it would make sense for casino operators looking to attract esports enthusiasts to include skill-based slots as part of their gaming package. But that’s only half the battle. How do you direct attention to these games? The most effective way is to integrate them into a welcome promotion or incentive. The same applies to branded video game slots as well. While most don’t require any skill, the obvious association with traditional gaming is going to pique the interest of at least some esports customers.
In conclusion, online casinos have plenty of options when it comes to leveraging the huge potential of the esports industry. Indeed, the intersection of esports and online casinos seems to be a match made in heaven. Both industries are digital, both are growing at a rapid pace, and both are attracting younger audiences. Provided both industries behave responsibly, the future seems to be bright.