The final day of G2E is always the quietest, although the exhibit floor appeared to be busy as ever, all the way until 3pm when the expo hall officially closed. The organizers confirmed around 26,000 people attended the event across the week and all delegates seemed impressed and pleased with their time at the event this year.
This morning kicked off with a keynote speech delivered by an icon and pioneer in the eSports industry, Rahul Sood, CEO and Co-Founder of UNIKRN. CalvinAyre.com was able to catch up with Sood after his speech, once he was able to get through the crowds waiting to exchange a few words of course.
Sood describes eSports as “NFL meets chess meets WFC” and said its current fan base can be compared to that of NHL but will grow to the size of NFL’s fan base by 2017. He said the opportunity to monetize eSports is much smaller than what NFL is today, so there is a massive opportunity there.
eSports is a young industry attracting young fans and bettors, also unregulated at the moment so there are sites that prey on young people. Sood said UNIKRN exists to change this- they are the “white nights” and want to promote responsible betting and solid age verification systems. “A huge part of our business is committed to responsible betting”, he said.
The gambling industry is now beginning to see synergies between the DFS and eSports industries and Sood envisions eSports coming in to set the ground rules. DFS is going to force the industry to change and softens the word gambling with fantasy, he said. “I hope the result is betting on sports becomes legal, especially in the US”, he said.
Sood’s advice for online gambling operators looking to get into the eSports business is to be authentic- operators can’t get into the sector and expect to succeed by simply copying a bunch of numbers. “I literally play games every day- my best advice is to be authentic”, Sood said.
When it comes to affiliates, Sood confirmed he sees the interest and is looking at ways to help affiliates right now, but is not 100% sure how to do it yet. “But we do have a good offering”, he said.
Over on the expo floor, we dropped by the bustling Gamblit booth to talk with Marcus Yoder, VP of Business Development for the company.
Yoder talked on millenials’ use of apps and how critical they are to engage this age bracket. He advised casinos to offer engaging free-to-play apps that will eventually lead customers into the casinos to play for real money. The real key however is to create a social and “hip” area within the casino for these millenials to play and socialize once they come in because quite simply stated, slots are boring.
All-in Translation’s booth also caught our eye today because they had an Allan impersonator from the Hangover hanging out and interacting with potential customers. Hey, when in Vegas, why not? Roy Pedersen, CEO of All-in Translation joked his hire of “Allan” was to spice up his booth display because a translation service for iGaming while necessary, is not really all that exciting.
Moving on along the expo floor we caught up with Dana Takrudtong of GAN (formerly known as GameAccount Network) to hear about their new game “Solitaire Quest”. Takrudtong described the game as akin to Candy Crush, a branded game for the casual gamer. Essentially the app is a way for casinos to move players who are used to playing social games into playing more casino-style games.
Today’s last stop was a demo with Betcade, the first dedicated app store for real money gaming on Android. CEO and founder David Chang walked CalvinAyre.com through the user-friendly user experience, similar to an app store experience, with easy ways for customers to pay and an opportunity for operators to grow on mobile.