Looking at global trends in entertainment over the past five years, one thing is clear: traditional pastimes need to change if they’re to keep appealing to younger generations.
In the brutal fight for eyeballs and engagement from the key 18-35 demographic, traditional pastimes such as watching or taking part in sports, or gambling in a brick-and-mortar casino are losing out, struggling to keep pace with the surging popularity of Esports and iGaming. These new industries are threatening to re-shape the entertainment landscape for good.
Last year, the Esport Free Fire World series 2021 Singapore recorded a peak viewership of 5.41 million. These figures, crucially, do not include the event’s largest market, China, where viewing data is not available but where almost a billion people have access to the internet. If you don’t already know, Free Fire is a battle royale game which sees 50 players fight it out on a huge island map.
These figures are no surprise to anyone who pays attention to entertainment trends. Free Fire was the most downloaded game worldwide in both 2019 and 2020, surpassing over 1 billion downloads on Google by mid-2021. The company stated that they saw a peak of 150 million active users in 2021.
That a gaming tournament would generate these audiences might seem staggering to the older generations, who can’t comprehend why people would be interested in watching people shooting animated characters with fantastical weapons. However, for young people, they see no difference between this and, say, ‘America’s pastime’ baseball.
Interest in traditional sports such as baseball remains strong, yet fairly static. 14.3 million viewers tuned into Game 6 of the 2021 World Series – and comparable figures can be seen for the past few years. When you consider that Free Fire was only released in 2017 (whereas the first official baseball game was played in 1846) and take into account that the average age of the viewer is significantly younger than baseball, the indicators are that Esports will become a real rival in the coming years, and may well become a dominant force in the future.
Increasingly, ‘brick and mortar’ casinos and their traditional online counterparts are being shunned for the exciting word of crypto igaming. Prior to 2021, the mean age of visitors to Las Vegas was progressively getting older (19% of visitors in 2019 were over the age of 65, this was up from 12% just 3 years prior). Older generations hold a romantic affinity to Vegas, remaining loyal to their entertainment and gaming venues. This historic loyalty is not being passed down to the younger generations who are turning to online igaming, and specifically crypto casinos as their gaming providers of choice.
Because of this, venues such as the Golden Gate Hotel and Casino – Vegas’ oldest casino (founded in 1906) – are resorting to new initiatives such as ‘dancing dealers’ which they say will ‘turn up the heat on your table’ to bring in more customers. This echoes the ‘Party Pits’ seen in other established casinos, where scantily clad women dance on podiums while the customers play Blackjack where the pay-outs are even worse than on the traditional tables.
These gimmicks fundamentally misunderstand what younger generations increasingly want – an experience which not only provides them with fun, but the security, transparency and choice that they demand.
The fresh new visions of crypto casinos like Roobet, which has become the fastest growing site of its kind, are taking the industry by storm. They are thriving exactly because they understand what drives these younger consumers, and it delivers it in a bright, bold and immersive world. With hundreds of innovative igames, Roobet offers the type of gaming variety that traditional, physical casinos cannot.
An example of where crypto casinos offer an experience beyond what physical casinos can only dream of is in the field of “live betting” which is taking the industry by storm. Live betting on Esports matches (and even baseball games) where the lines are so fluid and constantly moving is near-on impossible in a physical casino. Customers would lose out because they simply would not be able to follow the fast-moving games, while watching every bet being made and responding quick enough.
Platforms like Roobet were born from the gamer community and so truly understand this. Along with others in the igaming space, Roobet have created a platform which delivers on the promise of genuine live betting by enabling countless bets to be passed back and forth and entered/closed out in real-time throughout a match. This makes for a far more fun and entertaining experience, and it’s also more secure for the customer.
Blockchain innovations also allow these crypto casinos to offer a superior customer service which aligns with the wants and needs of a new generation of igaming and Esports.
The decentralisation and open-source transparency of the blockchain means that sites like Roobet can provide odds which are totally transparent – all users know what they’re going to win, and that they’re not subject to the tricks that some conventional sites are guilty of.
They also provide the reassurance of not holding credit card details, a key selling point to the 18-35 bracket who better understand the risks posed online and are more cautious because of it.
If Vegas and traditional online gaming sites want to turn the tide and appeal to younger generations then they need to innovate and change, just as sports need to adapt to compete with Esports. If they don’t, consumers will shift away from the likes of Major League Baseball and the MGM Casino, instead opting for games like Free Fire and shifting to crypto casino sites like Roobet where technology meets their needs for fun, novelty, and security.