Over the last few years, engagement within the esports sector has risen dramatically. By 2021, the number of casual viewers amounted to 235 million worldwide, and another 229 million engaged enthusiasts. That trend is expected to continue well into 2023 and beyond, especially as younger generations become engaged with video games and gaming streams.
For the casino and gaming industry, this growth represents a significant opportunity to blend both physical and digital gaming options. In fact, Brazil has spearheaded this merger by pushing for legal betting on esports like League of Legends. This option can help betting sites engage younger audiences because they’re already more invested in these sports, so they’re more likely to place bets on the outcome of games and tournaments.
This change comes at a time when gambling is becoming less popular among younger demographics, particularly Millennials. According to data, while many Millennials appreciate a visit to the casino, the majority (70 percent) will spend $100 or less, and most of that is on peripheral items like food and entertainment, not gambling.
So, by appealing to these younger generations with esports and sports betting, operators can add new revenue streams and adapt to a changing marketplace. Plus, incorporating esports is just the first step toward creating a more comprehensive and engaging casino experience, both in-person and online.
Breaking down barriers with esports
If you were to imagine the average esports player (and spectator), you would likely picture a young man who spends hours playing video games each day. However, the sector is opening up to female players and viewers, and it seems more likely that women will be a significant portion of the audience in the future.
Part of the appeal is that female gamers can see themselves represented in a professional setting. Typically, female sports don’t get much coverage, but esports don’t make the same distinction between male and female organizations (i.e., NBA vs. WNBA). So, women can participate without being relegated to second-tier media coverage.
You can experience this blurring of gender lines at ICE 2023, where the Esports Arena will feature some of the heaviest female hitters in the industry. In fact, the entire all-female team from the ShESports Cup Arena will be in attendance. You can get your tickets and register here to see them in action.
Discussing the future of esports
Showcasing the incredible talent of female players is just one element of the ESIC Global eSports Summit (February 9th and 10th). This summit is designed to illustrate the potential possibilities of e-sports as a gambling option for casinos and sports betting operations. Since gaming is already becoming increasingly digital, it makes sense that E-sports and other digital offerings will drive further growth within the industry.
The ESIC Summit is a perfect setting for experts and esports enthusiasts alike to workshop what the future will look like and how it will impact players, betters, and operators. If you want to participate in this summit, you can register and buy a ticket here.