“The casino industry doesn’t have the depth of knowledge on who their future consumer is.” Those were the words spoken by Rahul Sood of Unikrn during GiGse 2017 in San Diego last month. Indeed, a major focus of the three-day casino gaming industry event surrounded video gamers instead of traditional slots and table-game players – showing that the door is open to a new and lucrative market for non-casino game developers.
In one panel, experts from UNLV’s Center for Gaming Innovation, GameCo, Rover Strategic Advisors, Zeal Networks, and Guru Games, barely touched on traditional casino fare and focused entirely on how to merge skill-based games with gambling.
GameCo’s Blaine Graboyes noted that the average gamer is 35 years old and is looking for VIP experiences that the casino industry is adept at – but with a video gaming slant. “I’ve been producing games for over 20 years and there’s just a level of interactivity and engagement that isn’t available in slot games.”
While GiGse touched on virtual reality’s place in the casino industry last year, this year it was a major focus. In its Day 2 opening lecture, KWP Limited Director Kevin Williams dove into VR gaming and what it could mean for the casino industry.
Kevin comes from the digital out-of-home entertainment (DOE) industry which, historically, has not overlapped much with the casino industry – although the two industries have sometimes competed for customers. However, with consumer trends toward entertainment shifting, the two industries have recently started working together. Kevin noted, for instance, that people are beginning to see casinos as experience destinations instead of gaming centers.
Kevin brought his experiences with VR from the DOE industry to share with those at GiGse who might be mulling VR setups in their casinos – listing various ways VR is already being used. He noted that many places are looking to VR to supplement their current entertainment options or provide something new for guests.
When GiGse 2017 touches down in San Diego later this April, it will be with an unflinching eye toward the future. While there will be a variety of topics discussed at the conference – virtual reality, social casino, skill-based games, esports, mobile integration, and more – all of it will focus around the next generation of casino gaming: The good, the bad, and the ugly.
Editor’s Note: This is part 3 in a three-part series focused on changing trends in the casino gaming industry. Part 1 focuses on merging esports and casinos. Part 2 focuses on socialization inside the casino, skill-based gaming, and selling experiences as opposed to offering traditional gambling.
We live in a connected world. From social media and the internet to mobile devices and apps, people these days are with their most liked brands, tools, games and people on a near constant basis. Yet, casinos are not always as connected to their customers as they could be and older infrastructure can make it hard to adapt to the times.
At GiGse 2016, industry leaders and experts came together to discuss what casinos of the future will need to stay competitive and thrive in an increasingly technological world. Among the things discussed were new technology and infrastructure – as well as some ideas on changing the casino business model altogether.
Editor’s Note: This is part 2 in a three-part series focused on changing trends in the casino gaming industry. Part 1 focuses on merging esports and casinos. Part 3 focuses on new technologies and changing business models.
With a rapidly changing cultural and generational landscape, casinos are having to adapt quickly to keep pace; but questions abound over what millennials enjoy and what casinos should become. At GiGse 2016, speakers discussed not only what the casino of tomorrow might look like, but also where to look for inspiration and solutions.
Editor’s Note: This is part 1 in a three-part series focused on changing trends in the casino gaming industry. Part 2 focuses on socialization inside the casino, skill-based gaming, and selling experiences as opposed to offering traditional gambling. Part 3 focuses on new technologies and changing business models.
eSports is the hottest new trend in video games and casinos are acutely aware of that fact. Many in the gambling industry are looking to it as a potential lure for the highly desired millennial demographic – but ideas on how to make use of it or implement it in casinos are varied.
GiGse 2016, one of the premier educational and networking events for the casino industry, dove deeply into esports at their recent conference in San Francisco. With multiple lectures devoted to the topic, attendees walked away with a new understanding on the esports environment, players and spectators.
Lilia Ortiz is a freelance writer, graphic design student, and bookworm with three years of writing and editing experience, particularly on lifestyle, design, and tech topics. She edited “Pax the Polar Bear,” a children’s book on global warming. Now she shares what she learned about the popularity of poker in this article.
Even if you’re not an avid poker fan, you probably know it’s possible to play the game online and on mobile devices. In fact, online gaming is one of the main reasons behind the popularization of poker. According to a report by GiGse, the Global International Gaming Expo, the U.S. online poker market is the largest in the world. Additionally, The Online Poker Magazine notes the increased use of smartphone devices has allowed poker players to enjoy the game anywhere, anytime.
A Brief History of Online Poker
In 2006, the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was passed, which prohibited online gambling businesses in places where the practice is deemed unlawful. Before this law was passed, the online poker market was controlled by a small number of public and private Internet poker operators in the UK, Antigua and Barbuda, and the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake, states the GiGse report.
After the UIGEA was enacted, private corporations, such as PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, took over much of the market. Then, on April 15, 2001, also known as “Black Friday,” PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker were shut down. Understandably, the online poker market suffered and has yet to recover. However, there are still U.S.-based Internet poker operators that allow play online, many of which require a low deposit. At the moment, there is no federal law restricting U.S. players from playing online poker, nevertheless, laws differ by state.
The Trends in Online Poker Gaming
The online poker craze is directly correlated to the overall increase in online gaming. A 2013 online gaming survey by The NPD Group found that 72 percent of U.S. gamers prefer playing games online. It also reported an increase in the average number of hours played per week. And the number of online gaming sites, running the gamut from children’s games to action shooters, has skyrocketed along with it.
But where does poker stand amongst this online gaming surge? Money4Poker estimates there is $1.4 billion in online poker revenues along with 15 million online poker players worldwide. Out of these 15 million players, 13 percent of them have only ever played on one online card game site. Based on these numbers, it is safe to say that the convenience and availability of online poker has, without a doubt, turned poker into a game for the masses.
Mobile Gaming and Poker
CardsChat, a worldwide poker community, reports the wide access of mobile poker sites has led to a massive growth of the game around the world. Players are no longer restricted by location or device; plus, with the advent of new smartphone technology, they don’t have to sacrifice quality when playing on a smartphone or tablet, reports The Online Poker Magazine.
Players of mobile poker oftentimes use virtual currency due to regulatory concerns.
It should also be mentioned that mobile poker is not usually played for real money stakes. Players of mobile poker oftentimes use virtual currency due to regulatory concerns. Even so, a Juniper Research report found an increase in profits from in-app purchases for free-to-play casino-style games, including poker. This unique style of gameplay awards players with better in-game options and a higher-quality mobile gaming experience.
The Future of Online and Mobile Poker
The future of online and mobile poker in the U.S. is still uncertain. However, recent changes regarding online gambling have spurred its legalization. It is likely that California will legalize online poker in 2015, reports CardPlayer. New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware legalized online poker in 2013, so it’s only a matter of time before more states follow.
Although the entire issue is still up in the air, many industry experts believe the legalization of online poker is inevitable, since it would benefit Indian tribes, particularly in California. Before passing an online poker bill, there are four stages a state must consider, comments Poker News: finding out if online poker will benefit the state and its inhabitants, having all the major interests agree, working out compromise details, and negotiating political support.