The United States currently accounts for 30% of all gambling revenue in the world from land-based casinos where the rest of the world currently generates US$25 billion a year from online gambling, five billion of which comes from mobile, according to James Kosta, CEO of 3G Studios, during a recent TedX talk.
Amid such a trend, how should developers and more so video game makers go about creating games to fit such trends? The answer lies in creating anticipation, said Kosta. Additionally, the customers need to be connected, social and mobile. People aged 15-21 in the US almost all fit that category while people aged 21-45 mostly do, which means that the three requirements for a company’s customers are already largely suitable. More so, as the latter group ages they will still be mobile unlike the elderly population now who is not and still focuses on land-based casinos.
As this trend also occurs, the online video gaming industry, most notably gaming, needs to be aware that the spectrum for money laundering fraud and collusion is still wide and subject to illegal activities, so developers have their work cut out for them in terms of social responsibility.
On the other end of the social spectrum lies the ability for connectivity through social mobile platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. The ability to reach out to new crowds for gambling will be stronger than ever as online platforms for promoting gambling are effective and fast in today’s world. This is not to say that only youngsters will be targeted, but the whole spectrum of gamers said Kosta, adding that the average online gamer is 30 years old, with nearly 70% of those players having households. The market for gambling is in fact a more responsible and monitored one than expected, as most people assume the industry will target irresponsible teenagers.
It is no surprise what people want out of gambling-money. Money is the top reason why gamblers get involved in such gaming in the first place as it provides a possibility for quick money through entertaining means. The entertainment aspect is also there, but it’s the socializing through the entertainment which really strikes people, as most seniors use gambling as a means to get out of the house and socialize, according to Kosta. Therefore, it cannot be denied that using social platforms to reach these new crowds will be effective, as people nowadays look to online means for entertainment.
The increase of online gambling also comes as younger generations are willing to pay more for experiential items rather than luxury goods. This means more people want to invest in trying new things rather than purchasing one expensive item, added Kosta.
But what Kosta revealed during the talk that caused the audience to go quiet was the way that gaming can affect people to think. He mentioned how gamers get emotional during their experiences and how it teaches them to think differently with the outside world. This is part of the experiential aspect that gamers want in today’s society.
So then what is regulated gambling? For Kosta, it is three “Rs”.
Risk is essentially putting of something with the notion that you will either lose or win something in return while the Randomness determines this. The Rewards meanwhile keeps the gamer going just as it does with people at work who expect to get a pay raise if they work harder.
For Kosta, the online gambling world is going to inevitably mix further and further with the gaming world so it will be up to parents to educate their children about playing responsibility while lawmakers will have to make smart decisions about how they can earn tax revenues from it instead of losing out to games made abroad.