The Expansion of Skill-Based Gaming Beyond eSports

Esportstadium_SCWe’ve mentioned before that we’re big proponents of the excitement that comes with a good dose of chance, but while it’s always fun to make a game “a little more interesting” by throwing some money on it, it can be even more fun when you know that you’re betting on a sure thing: Your own skills.

Competitive video gaming (or eSports as they’re more affectionately known) have come a long way. Tournaments bring in huge prizes for the players and help to legitimize what many continue to view as a mere hobby as opposed to high-stakes entertainment. They’ve even gone so far as to air video game tournaments on national television, with a recent broadcast of the “Heroes of the Dorm” tournament being shown on ESPN 2 to… mixed results.

But with hundreds of thousands of gamers tuning into websites like Twitch.TV to watch people casually play games, it’s no surprise that all eyes are glued to the screen when a major event is taking place.

This is something that will continue to grow with your validation or not, according to SB Nation’s take on the growing movement. But as eSports and competitive skill-based gaming continue to grow, the same goes for the markets for these games. Ars Technica reports that skill-based games will soon be making their way to Las Vegas and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the trend repeated at other casinos in America.

Atlantic City, in particular, needs all the help it can get. It’s faced tough times in trying to attract new clientele to struggling casinos, while five separate casinos have shuttered in the last year. But it wasn’t always this way. In fact, Mayfair Casinos reports that New Jersey first began allowing legalized gambling in 1976 in an effort to revitalize the town and provide new streams of revenue to the aging beach resort. The rest was history, of course, and few people can imagine Atlantic City without a bustling nightlife and glamorous casinos dotting the strip. ABC News reports that a new bill currently being proposed would allow for the construction of three new casinos in northern New Jersey outside of the Atlantic City metro area. It remains to be seen if this is the city adapting to a new age or merely trying more of the same.

There’s no question that the market and the money for skill-based casino gaming is out there. Truthfully, it’s just a question of whether those stuck in the old-school casino business formula will be able to jump on the wagon in time. It’s not unlikely that eventually people will be paying cover fees or making buy-ins specifically for video game tournaments for competitive games not unlike high-stakes poker tournaments where cuts of winnings go back to the casino. People want more from their gambling and more from their games, but will the casinos be ready to step up to the challenge?

Wait, there’s more!

About the author

Aimee King loves all things gaming and geek related. You can (occasionally) find her on twitter here: