The Mail on Sunday point the finger at Grosvenor for hosting Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournaments at their UK-based casinos and Valve give the game away for free after creating new Battle Royale mode.
It began as something to do in between breaks. Some went outside for a fag, others milled around the poker room sharing bad beat stories, but me and the lads would gather around the wheel watching Pete work his ‘system’.
The conversation would always be the same.
In the 15-minutes we spent at the wheel, Pete would win more money than the entirety of the first prize for winning the tournament that would keep us up until the wee small hours.
“You do know that Roulette’s a game of chance, Pete.” I would tell him.
He would ignore me, patiently, dropping chips into his ‘system,’ like the fingers of Ezra Pound used to drop onto his typewriter, only Pete’s story always ended up the same.
He kept winning.
Eventually, poker became the thing Pete did in between his sessions on the wheel. You could have seated a bikini-clad dancer fresh from Paris’s Le Crazy Horse right next to him, finger in beckoning pose, and he wouldn’t have batted an eyelid.
Pete’s story is not unusual.
Anyone who has ever worked in the poker or casino industry knows that poker is a loss leader for a casino. The purpose of putting on a poker game is not to make money, but to cross-pollinate the gaming tables.
Esports is no different.
The Mail on Sunday Have a Poke at The Grosvenor in Esports Tournament Spat
Esports is the fastest growing sport in the world.
Video games are becoming as real as life itself.
Virtual Reality (VR) can take us to places we never dreamed of going.
Who’s going to want to be Pete?
Brick and mortar casinos around the globe have to try something new or else end up walking the plank, and Rank Group’s Grosvenor Casino did just that recently when they partnered with the Esports gaming organisers epic.LAN to host a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) competition across Grosvenor Casinos in the UK.
The tournament culminated with a victory for the professional Esports organisation, London Esports, in the Championship finale held at the Grosvenor in Coventry on November 25th where The Mail on Sunday claim people involved in the tournament gambled while at the casino.
Mail on Sunday scribe, Matthew Chapman, wrote the piece I read in thisismoney.co.uk, where the headline read: Are casinos grooming teen gamers into gamblers? Fears over children as young as ELEVEN being lured into addiction.
The piece goes on to say that members of the Esports teams that competed in the competition gambled outside of the event.
The terms of conditions (TOC) shown on the landing pages advertising the event clearly states that you need to be 18-years of age to compete in the game due to the ‘nature of the venue.’ It’s a clear indication from the tournament organisers of the awareness of their surroundings.
The legal age for gambling inside a casino in the UK is 18-years-old, so I fail to see the problem of the Grosvenor and epic.LAN hosting Esports events in the venue as long as all the participants are of legal age. There is no evidence produced in the article that anybody breached this rule.
The writer also claimed the tournament organisers ‘deliberately’ kept the prize money low (£10,000) to attract local players in their teens, 20s or 30s ‘as opposed to professional Esports players.’
Teens, 20s or 30s is a broad age range, and it’s worth noting that a professional team, London Esports, won the title, and I doubt too many amateurs put a team together at the last minute to take part, and even if they did, all of them would have been 18-years or older.
So the article is a load of hot air about nothing, but Grosvenor didn’t do themselves any favours when a spokesman reacting to the piece said, “The tournament was part of a trial to understand if this type of event was something customers would enjoy. The players who took part were not asked to join the casino. We also did not take any bets on the tournament.”
While that may all be true, you would have to be a bit of a wally to think that the casino industry is about to start hosting Esports tournaments without the intention of cross-pollinating to the gaming tables. The ONLY reason that a casino would have an Esports tournament is in the hope that the players try Roulette, Blackjack and the Slots, have fun and come back for more, and the spokesperson would have been better of saying that.
These kids aren’t Pete.
These kids haven’t been raised on Donkey Kong, Pong and Tetris.
Why on earth would they fall for the charms of Roulette, Craps and the Slots?
Valve Make CS:GO Free to Play
Sticking with the CS:GO theme and the game’s developers, Valve, has finally released the new Battle Royale mode called Danger Zone, and as a result, are giving the old game away for free.
The original CS:GO used to retail at $14.99.
Now it costs the same as a fat lip.
And would you believe it, CS:GO fans are complaining. More than 13,000 people have left negative comments on the game’s Steam page with the primary concern being the potential for more cheating to take place if it’s given away for free.
Valve has given fans a way of avoiding the melee. The people who bought the game are guaranteed Prime Status, and people who prefer to reduce the playing field can still pay $14.99 also to have Prime Status.
A recent interview with a top YouTube Gaming official revealed that more than 200 million people watch gaming content on YouTube with more than 50 billion hours consumed in 2018 alone. It’s no wonder that Newzoo believes the industry will easily surpass $1 billion by 2020.