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GameWorks plans to ride the esports boom into casinos

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The GameWorks fun-and-food chain is aiming to put its operations inside gaming casinos by offering its esports and dining facilities in a combined turnkey package.

The concept, Play by GameWorks, consists of two major parts: a GameWorks esports Lounge featuring computer consoles that allow video gamers to play games with and against other players throughout the world, and The Works Kitchen at GameWorks, which will sell food and beverages to the contestants and spectators.

The in-casino concepts will differ from the esports facilities GameWorks plans to develop elsewhere by allowing the players, spectators and enthusiasts to bet on the video games. 

“The casino of the future should feature competitive esports in the same way it incorporates poker or progressive slot machines, and with Play by GameWorks, that’s exactly what we’ve created,” GameWorks CEO Philip Kaplan said in revealing the initiative. 

The company currently operates seven GameWorks facilities, all outside of casinos. The chain is outfitting each of these operations with esports capabilities.  

GameWorks did not divulge the cost of the Play by GameWorks in-casino units. The plan calls for facilities measuring 10,000 to 12,000 square feet. Each would sport 20 to 40 computer consoles and seating for spectators. The company says the facility will be large enough to host tournaments where contestants vie for cash purses.

The Works Kitchen will sport 100 seats, the company said. It describes the facilities as “upscale” and “chef-driven.”

GameWorks said it has struck a partnership with SCCG Management, a consulting firm that specializes in the gaming business, to facilitate the move into casinos. It cited Las Vegas as the most likely site for the first installation.

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