Game, Set, Wager: How Online Casinos are Making Tennis More Accessible to Wagerers
When you think of things that go hand in hand with casinos, the sport of tennis is likely not at the top of your list. Even when it comes to sports wagering, tennis often falls behind sports like football, horse racing, darts, and a plethora of others. Despite this, tennis is one of the most popular sports in the world, and online casinos and sportsbooks are making a conscious effort to make it more accessible to wagerers.
The Rise of Virtual and eSports
Virtual sports and esports are both on the rise, and tennis is going to be one of the sports that benefits the most from this. In many ways, tennis lends itself perfectly to these kinds of events. It is a one-on-one sport that doesn’t require the intense analysis of a team-sports wagering market. Players can learn about and follow individual players, making wagering on them much easier.
The rise of micro wagering, the act of wagering on individual moments in an event, will also help tennis become more popular. Tennis offers a series of small events to wager on, from the next serve to the number of shots in a rally. The format of the sport lends itself perfectly to in-play and micro wagering, and as such, it has become a focus for sportsbooks.
More and more casinos and sportsbooks are realising the potential of micro and in-play wagering, and tennis is often featured as a wagering option in promotions. Playing virtual tennis games also lends itself well to this format, while being able to wager on individual games or sets can make it the perfect sport to place a quick wager on.
While the points scoring of the game may seem a little confusing at first, it is also an incredibly easy sport to adapt to. The idea of hitting a ball backwards and forwards over a net until someone misses or the ball goes out does not require a lot of explaining.
The Sponsorship Debate
Similar to sports like football, there is an ongoing debate around wagering companies sponsoring tennis events. The biggest argument in favour of allowing wagering sponsorship is the money involved and the potential benefits for both parties.
Betway is probably the biggest sponsor of tennis. They work with the ATP to sponsor various opens and events throughout the year, exposing their brand to millions of viewers in the process. This exposure works both ways though, with Betway putting a lot of focus on the world of tennis and helping keep some of the lesser-known tournaments relevant.
Of course, there are those that oppose this, and there are plenty of calls from within the tennis world to regulate wagering sponsorship within the sport. There is also an ongoing discussion about individual player sponsorship. This is currently restricted, but many players, and casinos alike, feel as though there could be plenty of benefits to this.
Tennis Themed Slots
Of course, one of the main ways that casinos and developers promote tennis is by developing slots using the theme. As sub-genres go, tennis is still someway behind other sports, but if there continues to be interest in tennis as a virtual sport and for wagering purposes, then you can safely assume that this will change in the coming years.
There are some tennis-themed slot games currently available to play at top online casinos. Titles like Tennis Stars from Playtech and Tennis Champions from Spinomenal are among the most popular. Both of these slots manage to mix elements of the sport with innovative and fun slot gameplay.
The future of tennis-themed slot games will likely depend on the aforementioned sponsorship issue. Developers will no doubt continue to use the theme to create games, but if they really want to attract tennis fans and help give the sport some more exposure at the same time, then licensed products could really help achieve this. A slot game themed around Wimbledon, for example, could prove to be a real hit and benefit all parties.
More Tennis in the Future
As online casinos continue to change, and the demand for virtual and esports continues to grow, you can expect to see more and more tennis. The sport is finding a new way of reaching players, and online casinos and sportsbooks are a major part of that.
While there is still some hesitancy from within the sport regarding this relationship, the benefits for both casinos and tennis are becoming hard to avoid, and you can expect to find more rackets and balls on your reels in the coming years.
Author – Nerijus Grenda