Are video games the future of gambling?
In this day and age video games have stopped being a niche and are currently one of the biggest entertainment businesses in the world. Their profits have already exceeded the ones that Hollywood makes in a year. Now some casinos in Nevada are looking at video games and trying to find a way to bring them inside of the casino for their players to enjoy.
The main issue that casino stakeholders and the State of Nevada are facing is that, statistically, year after year their customers keep getting older. This trend has brought some interesting questions to the table regarding whether or not young people care about gambling, and if they will want to do it the same way their parents and grandparents did. If the answer to this question is generally no, then the casino industry might be facing quite a major problem.
This is why the Nevada State Legislature is considering a bill that would place games of skill inside casinos. These won’t be exact copies of certain video games because that might prove to be a logistical nightmare but they could imitate classics like “Starcraft” or “Counter Strike” in order to bring in new clientele.
It would seem that simple chance is just not cutting it anymore. Younger demographics are more likely to favour a game that resembles something that they grew up with. Casinos just have to create a game in which you have to match fruit for the chance at a jackpot and the younger crowd might suddenly become interested.
But you shouldn’t run off to master a multiplayer FPS yet, because we’re still talking about gambling. This means that no matter how much “skill” goes into that game, the house also has to get paid. This aspect can’t and will never change. While this will open a lot of doors for creativity and innovation these games will still be built around the casino getting its cut, as well.
I could see a multiplayer FPS that could use this model: 20 players will get together to play, each person has to bet $1 and the ones who end up on top with the most kills will receive a payout. In this scenario you could give $10 to the winner, $5 to second place and $1 to the third place. This would mean that the casino reaps $4. That is not that bad for a $1 buy-in.
You could also add a lot of social aspects to these types of games. Casinos could hold video game tournaments and have teams of players competing for some nice prizes. This is already happening with games like League of Legends and DOTA which already have yearly tournaments with prizes in the tens of millions. It would work like the World Series of Poker. The casinos will get a payout while also popularizing that particular game.