The futures of gambling and gaming converged at the Esports & Casino Resorts conference hosted October 25th and 26th at the SLS Las Vegas last week, and Maestro emerged as the winner of the launchpad on the second day.
Ari Evans, Co-Founder and CEO of Maestro, delivered a precise and convincing pitch which saw the judges vote for Maestro as the winner of the Manatt Digital Startup Launchpad. Evans and Maestro, a broadcast engagement platform, thereby received $50,000 (£40,638) in professional services from Manatt and Narus.
The other two finalists, Vantage Sports and firstblood.io, who missed out will have done themselves no harm by delivering similarly strong pitches to an audience of potential investors in the esports and gambling industries.
The conference itself was produced by Narus Advisors; it featured actionable discussions on topics such as integrating esports into a casino environment, bringing esports into sportsbooks, and how esports can support the coming wave of skill-based gambling machines. The conference concluded with a tour of Millennial Esports’ new Downtown Las Vegas arena.
Along with Millennial Esports, the conference showcased product and service solutions from sponsors Allied Esports, Betgenius, GameCo, Ifrah Law, and Leet.gg.
Blaine Graboyes, CEO of GameCo Inc, whose VGM gaming product was available for attendees to try out for themselves, said: “As video games and casinos coincide, the Naruscope conference provided a unique experience to bring together these industries and establish partnerships across boundaries. GameCo is proud to have supported the event and appreciated the opportunity to discuss our product, the first skill-based video game gambling machine (VGM) approved by any gaming regulator.”
Chris Krafcik, Research Director, North America, Gambling Compliance stated: “Esports & Casino Resorts is a well-conceived and well-executed conference. It is a must-attend event for any industry analyst or decision-maker who is assessing possible and exploitable points of collision between esports, video and skill gaming, and gambling.”
Steve Arhancet, CEO of Team Liquid, added: “Naruscope was one of the most productive esport business events I’ve participated in. The quality of the attendees, the specificity of the content and the presenters were top notch. We were able to start conversations on potential new partners that
would not have happened otherwise.”
The year ahead will transform the relationship between gaming and gambling. Las Vegas is on track to take the first legal sports bet on an esports match before 2016 ends. Experts expect that at least one major Las Vegas Strip property will announce the development of a permanent esports arena to compliment Millennial Esports’ downtown esports hub.
In addition casinos across the U.S. are set to accelerate their hosting of live esports events and deployment of video game-themed gambling machines. It’s an exciting time to be in the esports and gambling space.