- GameCo, the company behind the skill-based casino games eyes Macau’s casino market
- Games such as Danger Arena and Pharoah’s Secret Temple are designed to appeal to millennials
Skill-based games have been big news over the past six months, generating a steady stream of headlines about how they represent the future of gambling and bridge the gap between video gaming and casino gaming.
Although still a new technology, skill-based games have already been trialled in a number of casinos Stateside and now the latest reports suggest that they’re headed to Macau.
Lucrative market sector
GameCo is a market leader in skill gaming and are poised to bring its video game slots to Macau in a bid to grab a slice of the lucrative gambling market. As the world’s biggest casino market, if Macau takes to the concept there’s every possibility that skill-based gaming could become the next thing in casino gambling.
There may be another reason why Macau looks like a lucrative market: it’s far removed from Atlantic City, where the developer’s hybrid gaming machines have been trialled and then subsequently withdrawn. Although this was said to be part of a valid test period, the casinos in question did state that public reception to the games hadn’t been what they’d initially expected.
After discovering that the novel machines weren’t bringing in enough to cover their licensing costs, they were withdrawn and the ambitious scheme was curtailed. GameCo CEO Blaine Graboyes flew to the G2E gaming conference in May to show off his Danger Arena and Pharaoh’s Secret Temple machines.
Reaching out to millennials
Subject to regulatory approval, the ambitious CEO intends to launch the VGMs as they’re known in Macau before the end of the year. When the concept of skill-based games was first announced, it was with the intention of reaching out to millennials who have traditionally shunned casinos but taken to video games.
GameCo hoped to reverse that trend and bring casino operators a new revenue stream in the process. Although GameCo’s consoles are still luck-based, there’s just enough of a skill element involved to allow players to reduce the house edge slightly, in addition to increasing the excitement and sense of satisfaction which comes from being able to dictate the outcome of bonus rounds and other features.
Before GameCo can launch its assault on Macau, it needs regulatory approval for the skill games, which operate in a category of their own, one that makes them not quite slots but not quite video games either.
China’s love of video games and esports is well-documented and GameCo holds high hopes that its newfound technology can prove a success in Macau, where competition among operators is fierce and novel new gaming concepts are likely to attract a curious audience. Whether that audience sticks around after the initial novelty has worn off is something GameCo will be monitoring with great interest.
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