The Wall Street Journal reports that the MGM Resorts in Las Vegas is turning a former nightclub at its Luxor Hotel and Casino into a permanent venue in hosting esports contests. The restructure should be done by next year according to the company.
The move is a nod to attract younger visitors to Vegas at a time with “subdued growth.”
Gambling on the Las Vegas Strip is down 7% since 2007.
With the average esports fan between 21 and 35 years old, the move to attract younger people to Vegas hopes to spur growth for the gambling industry. Certainly, younger adults have more disposable income due to a lack of a mortgage or children. Esports is a niche industry that is trending upwards.
The University of Utah announced that its forming a “Varsity ESports” team through its Entertainment Arts & Engineering (EAE) video game development program. It is starting with League of Legends as its first game with additional games in the offing. It’s the first eSports program in the Power Five conferences.
The EAE program has been ranked the No. 1 video game design program in the nation.
There are multiple eSports teams sponsored by college gaming clubs across the U.S. but this is the first of its kind where a university department is sponsoring a team.
According to Bloomberg, gamers on the Utah’s League of Legends team will receive partial scholarships at first with a long-term plan of expanding to more games and monetizing the effort through marketing and sponsorship deals that will lead to full scholarships.
This is a sign that eSports is being considered as more than a club sport on college campuses. Certainly the opportunity to monetize the endeavor is a reason for the push. With conferences seeking content for its cable networks and sponsors looking to market to a young demo, eSports is gaining traction.