If was once said, that, Vegas is the answer no matter the question. At it seems like eSports is now forming part of the question, as they now seem to be heading for the bright lights and lost dreams of the worlds most famous home of gambling.
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval joined a meeting of the Nevada Gaming Policy Committee to discuss the possibility to formally adding eSports. Seeing that it is set to become a $1.9 billion industry by 2018, according to predictions by analysts SuperData, Las Vegas wants a piece of that pie.
It has not escaped the attention of the city’s captains of industry that the new generation of gamers are reared on Counter-Strike and Grand Theft Auto, not the slot machines and craps tables that so enthusiastically devoured the bank balances of their forebearers.
“There’s a lot for me to learn,” declared Sandoval at the meeting, who confessed that he was not a massive player of games himself (which wasn’t a surprise, “and I want to be receptive to a new generation of gamers.”
Steve Hill, who heads the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, has pointed out that the massive growing sport (business) has the potential of drawing international even more interest to the Silver State. Las Vegas has, in recent years, hosted events related to the video game industry, so adding live eSports tournaments to the existing gaming and sports schedule would therefore make a lot of sense.
There are still a lot of hurdles to jump, though. One would be the lack of ‘experts’. When it comes to traditional sports betting, hundreds of experts help Vegas set the odds for games and help monitor all of the games played for these bets. Another, and quite possibly the biggest hindrance to adding eSports, is the age limit of 21 to enter a casino. A large majority of fans attending live eSports events are likely to be under this age.
The committee is due to discuss this gambling potential further in another meeting next August, so I am sure that there will be more news on this shortly. Especially as I imagine that they will want to move quickly to get in on the eSports act.