As technology and times move forward, so must one of the worlds most lucrative industries. Kenny Lomas sat down with former StanJames.com employee, James McNab to talk about the possibilities of the computer games industry and the gaming industry merging in the future, and the implications that might bring.
The gambling world is changing. Gamblers are getting older and technology is always evolving. Who exactly are the targets of the gaming industry?
The computer games industry is the fastest growing entertainment media in the world, and the gaming industry are all too aware of this.
Eidos even made a deal for their beloved Tomb Raider franchise to feature on online slot machines. Gili Kimel of Spin3 the Mobile Gaming Operator and partner of Microgaming who hold the slots license for Tomb Raider told WGE that "Tomb Raider is our most successful game across all mobile platforms both in popularity and in profit".
This trend is sure to continue and may prove extremely lucrative for the gaming industry.
The gaming industry is all too aware of the opportunities that cross over licenses will bring, though the idea is still rather premature.
From an outside point of view however, it may look as though the gaming houses are deliberately targeting people under the age of 18 by using computer games licenses that they may be familiar with.
James McNab, a former employee of betting giant, Stan James claims that this is certainly not the case, due to the strict licencing laws that are currenly in place: “You can’t because if you’re perceived to be targeting minors you’ll lose your gambling license, it’s how you merge traditional styled games with gambling sector.”
It is hardly a new subject, but if the two industries were to merge, would they be perceived to be nurturing the next generation of gamblers? James believes the line is very blurry, and there are people out there already who may well be doing just this: “For arguments sake you can watch Super Sunday on Sky and you’ll see a William Hill advertisement on every break. Bet 365 had a huge advertisement campaign for in play betting. So if the kids are watching super Sunday to watch their football team, are you effectively nurturing them at that time?
“If you take it a step further, Bet 365 own Stoke City so from a minor element I think the fact that you can sell a football shirt, with a betting company on the front, then the same argument can apply as to whether it was alcohol being sold on the front of the shirt.
“Age verification processes need to be in place across all spectrums. You’re always going to get the issues about whether a minor can get access to it. That doesn’t really matter what sort of industry we’re in, whether it’s adult, gambling or anything else that should be over 18. I minor can get hold of it if they want to get hold of it.”
The gaming houses are always looking for new punters, but the risk is simply too high to start targeting minor’s, and even if they were secretly targeting that specific demographic, the financial rewards would not be significant any way.
James says his former employer had their sights on a different kind of punter: “One of my strategies was to go after the recreational side of gambling. It was the people who aren’t willing to put the astronomical bets down, the place down 3, 4, 5 10 pound bets”
This small scale betting is something that could perhaps one day be integrated in certain computer games: “You can see a market within Fifa 11 of say, betting on the outcome of your game. If you’ve got a group of say 20 people and you’re playing a mini league, you can do it the same way, next goal, red card, yellow card, you could do it in exactly the same way.”
“The question then would be, would a games provider see that as being nurturing the future gamblers? But is it or isn’t it, that’s the question.
The line is clearly very blurry, and it is something that every individual will perceive differently. There is one thing that can be certain however, the gambling industry is changing: “There is a fear in the gaming sector of change, but saying that there are a few companies out there that embrace change and move with the times very quickly, some people know that if they want to survive, they’re going to have to.”
Mixing football and Slots- http://www.skyvegas.com/vegas?action=GoTVGaming