Maryland Casinos Can Boost Revenues With eSports & Skill Based Games
The casino market in Maryland has done rather well during the last few years and the opening of the $1.4 billion MGM National Harbor casino in December 2016 has helped boost gross gaming revenues for the state. Maryland currently has six casinos which play a major role in boosting tourism, creating jobs and generating significant amount of gaming taxes for the state coffers.
The joint legislative committee met last week to discuss new ways in which Maryland’s casinos can boost their revenue and expand their services. The last time the committee met was in 2016 when Maryland became one of the few states to regulate the Daily Fantasy Sports industry. This time around the joint legislative committee has suggested that Maryland’s casino operators must look at current market trends and make provision to address the needs of a new generation of players.
The Maryland State Lottery and Gaming Control Agency stated that some casinos in the state had witnessed a decline in the demand for slot machine games. Market analysts have shown that millennials no longer prefer traditional table games or even slot machines. They like playing skill based games and eSports which most casinos across America do not have provision for.
Casinos in Las Vegas have already started experimenting with the idea of making provision for eSports arenas and collaborating with GameCo Inc to introduce skill based games. Maryland casinos will also have to start making provision sooner or later for eSports arenas and skill based games and see if it does provide a boost to their gaming revenues.
In a statement, Blaine Graboyes, co-founder and CEO of GameCo Inc said
Slot playing has been stagnant, and skill-based games address these challenges with a differentiated experience on the floor, and will bring in a younger audience
Current gaming regulations in Maryland allow casinos to offer skill based games to their patrons. Skill based games have grown in popularity in recent times because they force players to think, make decisions and have a strategy when compared to slot machine games which are based entirely on chance and require no gaming strategy. The eSports industry has grown at a rapid pace both in terms of prize money as well as audience gatherings. CBS Sports stated that the live eSports 2017 Dota Championship had a prize pool of $24 million which was more than the 2017 PGA Masters.
Maryland casinos will be interested in capitalizing on both eSports and skill based games and it will be interesting to see which casino operators takes the initiative to test the waters and experiment with these two new markets.