Tuesday January 5,2016 : N.B.A. OWNER PREDICTS A MORE LIBERAL APPROACH TO U.S. GAMBLING IS ‘INEVITABLE’.
Mark Cuban is investing in VR and eSports.
Mark Cuban, shrewd multi-billionaire investor and owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks franchise, offered some interesting predictions in an exclusive interview with Fortune this week, revealing that he is an eSports fan, believes the legalization of gambling in the United States is inevitable, and has invested in virtual reality.
His investments in these fields include virtual reality firm Virtuix Omni, mixed reality company Magic Leap, and eSports up-and-coming corporate Unikrn over the past few years.
Whilst he has faith in the future of VR, Cuban opined that 360-degree livestream video will have relatively little impact on NBA competitions over the next two years, pointing out that the advanced cameras needed have some way to go in terms of development before they meet the front row experience expectations of the public.
Talking about his interest in eSports company Unikrn, Cuban observed that the genre is delivering explosive growth and that gambling is possible in over a hundred countries, making for a sound investment. The billionaire has actually competed in eSports charity contests on League of Legends and says it is great fun.
Fortune asked for his view on eSports overtaking the NFL in terms of fans, given that current analyst predictions are that there will be 335 million eSports fans, mainly in the young demographic, globally active by 2017.
"I think the NBA will work with our partners to extend our games into the eSports world," Cuban said. "There is a lot of room for us to grow there."
He added that fantasy sports has made watching NBA games more exciting and fun for many people, and expressed the hope that "….the stupidity and hypocrisy in a few (US) states will be cleared up in the courts shortly."
Asked for his perspective on the current fantasy sports situation in the United States, and the legalization of sports betting in general, Cuban said that sports betting legalization was inevitable
"It will take some time for the courts to overcome the grandstanding by a few district attorneys, but once that happens I think we will see a slow but sure availability of gambling across the country," he opined.
"The bottom line is that it will create needed tax revenue that states will want."