Imagine yourself viewing an immersive multi-player sports video game online in the not-too-distant future, betting on who would win the competition. During the game, you'll be shown a short commercial for a reality show that provides you a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the lives of the game's best players. You may watch the series on your mobile device or smart TV on the new (FREE) "Bally's Box" streaming service. A chance to win a vacation in Las Vegas with the show's stars is part of the enjoyment.
Alternatively, you may see a film that tells the backstory of characters from a BetMGM-produced action video game. The game has generated multiple spinoffs and a film trilogy centered on the main hero, and it is one of the most popular on-app platforms like Google Play. Your kids play it, your wife wagers on the game's outcome, and you follow the key performers' Instagram profiles, where they offer you the option to purchase props used in the filming.
Do you think it's possible? No way, with casinos and gambling businesses developing their creative departments and content production organizations, they're going Hollywood.
What is the value of content? Consider the recent announcement that Amazon will pay more than $8 billion for MGM Studios. While this does not imply that Amazon will acquire BetMGM's assets, it does demonstrate the value of exclusive content to significant organizations.
Content And Gaming Companies Are Converging
As casinos strive to control their brands and expand the reach of their gaming products, we should expect to see them enter the content sector.
Penn National Gaming Inc. announced the formation of Penn Game Studios earlier this year, which will create ecasino and "eracing" content for their consumers. Penn National owns and manages over 35 racetracks and gambling facilities in the United States. Penn National owns and operates over 35 racetracks and gambling facilities in the United States. Penn Game Studios will aim to generate innovative games and experiences that they can give to clients on-site or through mobile apps, rather than solely creating hosted studio content (race previews, for example).
Video Games As Entertainment
When it comes to video games as sports, the future has already arrived. Players and enthusiasts of video games spend endless hours on amusement all around the world.
Thanks to the Almighty Algorithms, the hours aren't unending.
Users watched 100 billion hours of video game-playing content on YouTube in 2020, according to Google.YouTube had 40 million active game channels as of December 2020.
Top 5 Live Games Watched On YouTube In 2020
- Garena Free Fire
- Grand Theft Auto V
- PUBG Mobile
Someone you care about is probably watching other people play video games on their phone, computer, or television. And there's a good chance you know someone who enjoys these games. Fans and gamblers are increasingly drawn to high-action video games and "esports" video games.
In 2019, FanDuel became the first sportsbook in the United States to accept esports wagers. The League of Legends World Championship was the first esports tournament for which FanDuel received wagers. There are currently dozens of esports betting options available at the sportsbook.
Reaching The Elusive Audience
How can gaming firms establish themselves as credible content producers? By reaching out to a difficult-to-reach audience. The largest demographic for gaming and gambling material is younger people who have "cut the cord" from cable television. They also favor ad blockers and are less influenced by traditional advertising.
Gaming firms may reach that elusive audience by making their material available for free (a $40 million movie or streaming series is marketing money to a corporate gaming corporation) and distributing it via social media, YouTube, or their streaming service. They can make it immersive and entertaining, rather than transactional, like Hollywood's popcorn movies.
Sports + Betting + Responsibility = New Business Model
Sports and betting used to go hand in hand, like forks and electrical outlets. The powers in sports did everything they could to keep gambling out of their products, fearing a replay of the scandal that landed Shoeless Joe Jackson in deep water.
Today, though, you can watch an official sports pregame show and see the game odds scroll across the bottom of your screen. In-studio hosts will reveal the futures bets. If you go to an NFL, NBA, NHL, or MLB game, you'll undoubtedly see a betting option right there, or at least at a kiosk or retail shop close to or near the site. You can even place live bets while watching the game. Pro sports are so enthralled by the potential riches from sports betting that they pressure gaming businesses to ensure that the leagues receive their part.
However, how do leagues maintain their legitimacy while providing the betting information that supporters demand? It's not easy to straddle the delicate line between sports reporting and betting, as Christopher Gerlacher said here in May. Isn't there supposed to be a distinct line?
Leagues with recognized sports betting partners (including the LPGA) are treading carefully to avoid crossing the line between competition and gambling. To their credit, they are also emphasizing the importance of responsible betting. No league wants their fans' pleasure of their sport to be damaged.
Gambling companies and casinos are already creating content for game broadcasts. Bally's currently controls the exclusive rights to broadcast games in numerous regional markets across the United States under their own Bally Sports Network brand, as we revealed earlier this year.
Original Content From Gaming Companies
Original long-form content created by gaming corporations and casinos and their studios will be an intriguing new frontier. Many casinos and gaming corporations are now producing their studio shows featuring betting experts and breaking news from their locations. However, as internet gambling becomes more widely allowed in the United States and millions of more potential customers become available, casinos and gaming operators will be forced to create more content.
Casinos are specialists at marketing and producing an experience that attracts and retains customers, as we've discovered. Casinos understand how to elicit loyalty from their consumers by appealing to their instincts and emotions.
Is that something you've heard before? That's also how Hollywood operates. Yes, gaming businesses will develop and distribute films and "TV" programs for streaming. They'll deliver that information in new ways via social media, focusing on mobile clients, particularly those in or near their casinos.
How long before a FanDuel, Wynn Resorts, or Bally's CEO accepts an Oscar or Emmy for some new programming? It won't be long, I'm sure.