Casinos enter virtual sorts world through new ventures
Online casinos use an array of methods to stay in the race for attention among punters. Many of them offer bonuses and promotions to attract new players and various loyalty or referral schemes to keep those members interested. But one of the latest trends for online casinos to stay competitive is to start offering betting markets in virtual sports.
Virtual dog and horse racing games have long been popular in bricks-and-mortar bookmakers as well as some online sites. But new ventures into the virtual arena are a little more sophisticated and in keeping with new technologies.
One of the latest sports markets you can find at online casinos is eSports betting. eSports has increased in popularity over recent years, especially outside of Asia, as many now regard it as a ‘real sport’. And who is to argue when eSports has been boasting celebrity-like gaming teams, packed out arenas with screaming fans and huge prize funds on offer?
Africa has caught up on this craze mostly due to the launch of the African eSports League in Tunisia.
Online casinos are capitalising on this eSports craze and its popularity by enabling members to place bets on these games. Simultaneously many other casino sites have simply opened a sportsbook hub where members can place bets on any other orthodox sports. This caters to demand and brings another stream of revenue for the casino.
One example of this happening can be seen at GVC’s PartyCasino, their leading UK Casino site, which has diversified into virtual sports and a sportsbook as the business looks to offset offline revenue drops against potential online cash streams.
This appears to be a new and immediate approach by GVC Holdings, which has also pulled some of its other well-known bookmakers from horse racing courses in the UK. Ladbrokes and Coral will no longer appear at the races and have sold their position at the tracks. This is big news considering the long-standing relationship these bookmakers have had with these types of events.
A spokesperson stated that the decision wasn’t taken lightly, ultimately pointing to a lack of business gain from appearing at racing grounds compared to the revenue that can be made online.
The UK has often been seen as a benchmark for online gambling industries around the world. The fair but firm regulation of their markets has created a thriving industry worth billions and simultaneously creating thousands of jobs.
Nigerian online gambling is pretty much outlawed, but local players do use a loophole to access foreign websites such as those in the UK and Canada. Gambling between the ages of 18 and 40 years old is rife in Nigeria with a huge interest in sports betting. It is predicted that Nigerians spend over £4 million on sports gambling every day with each gambler spending on average £7 per day.
Thus, if online casino sites in the UK and other locations start to offer more sports betting, this will increase accessibility by those exploiting the legal loophole in Nigeria. And what consequences might this have?