GameCo plans to bring esports to casinos and cruise ships globally

31 January 2017


Following the news of its membership with ESIC and in an interview with Totally Gaming, GameCo CEO Blaine Graboyes discussed his plans for the company heading into 2017 and they make for some interesting reading. 

Blaine Graboyes, GameCo

It’s not just casinos that Graboyes and co. plan to have their VGMs (video game gambling machines) but cruise ships too. They entered the casino space in Atlantic City last year and GameCo has arrangements in place with the likes of Caesars, Harrahs, Bally and Tropicana. Sooner rather than later you’ll be able tio try them out for yourself too if you happen to be in Connecticut or Florida.

There are of course plans afoot to bring the VGMs to Vegas and Nevada and Graboyes mentioned that one goal is to be live there “this year”. The GameCo team, which includes Fifth Street Gaming CEO Seth Schoor on its board of directors, aren’t satisfied with just North America.

Graboyes told Totally Gaming: “We’re starting to build our business internationally with plans to expand soon into Asia, South America, Europe, and cruise ships too.”

This cruise ship angle has definite potential, especially with the leaderboards and tournament system that the supplier currently working the final touches on. It was also revealed that whilst many see this as a way to ‘bring in the millennials’ skilled gaming machines appeal to more than just 18-35 year olds. Graboyes said: “Key learnings include the scope of the audience for skill-based games (it’s not just Millennials but also Gen-X, Boomers, and even older players) and the importance of marketing to attract a new audience to the casino.

Of course bringing video games to casinos certainly boasts a grander appeal to younger plans who grew up with such games. He continued: “A majority of players to date have been under 40 years old, which is great for the casinos’ goals to bring in a younger audience. And we’ve seen that skill-based games can meet or beat floor averages, as long as the right players are there.”

To avoid any confusion GameCo has been staffing brand ambassadors at its locations on Fridays and Saturdays who are there to help customers try out the VGMs but also to gather feedback. For those wondering about which games can be played there will be new, branded titles coming to the VGMs soon. Fans of Terminator 2 and Mission Impossible 2 will be in for a treat, and Graboyes noted that more of a similar standard are incoming.

Esports Insider says: We had the chance to try out one of the VGMs for ourselves at a conference in Vegas late last year, and we can confirm they’re far more fun playing the slots. New titles and a tournament and leaderboard system will make them notably more appealing too, and all we can say is hurry up with the European expansion.