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The continuously rising popularity of online gambling in Canada has led to the launch of several local online casinos, offering legal gambling outlets to locals. We’ve taken a few peeks on some of them while there – and have to admit we have always been curious about what people find in these games – and saw that, although the developer behind the games is based in the United States (this was checked), there are no baseball-themed games among them. This made us wonder, and check with several other developers on a global scale, but with the same results. Aside from one (low-quality) one-armed bandit, we haven’t found any slots to be inspired by baseball. Not that there weren’t any sports-themed games among them, since developers have covered soccer, tennis, cricket, rugby, and even basketball in the past, but no baseball. Why?
The voice of the market
Surprising as it may sound, baseball is not as popular as you might expect it to be in the rest of the world. It’s a sport with its roots deep in the American culture. In other countries, baseball is far behind soccer, tennis, and even cricket in some countries. The only typically American sport with a massive following in Europe is basketball. But baseball is not among the preferred sports of people outside the United States, which means that they don’t demand as much baseball-related content as we do. And this shows.
In the last decade online gambling was a taboo in the United States, ever since the government declared it non-desirable within our borders. So, developers had to focus on other content, appealing to the users that they still had access to. This has given birth to a ton of slots inspired by everything from movies and TV shows to racing cars and ball games, but no baseball at all.
The value of a brand
Baseball has a ton of fans in the United States, and generates considerable revenues for the teams involved in championships. According to Forbes, the most valuable MLB teams are worth billions – the New York Yankees is valued at $3.4 billion, while the second most valuable one, the Los Angeles Dodgers, are worth $2.5 billion. Software developers would have to pay massive royalties for the use of these brands (without them their games would most likely be worthless, too). And they seem not to have such piles of cash available at any time.
What if online gambling comes to the United States?
After Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey, more states might decide to regulate online casinos and poker rooms in the coming years. This will open up new markets for developers, and a whole new audience with tastes to appeal to. The first MMA-themed slot was released last year already – we could see baseball, football, and other sports follow its lead soon. Which would be a good thing, we guess.