The online gambling industry has grown at a rapid rate over the past decade or so, and now accounts for a staggering amount of business. Altogether, online gambling crossed the $50 billion threshold back in 2017, and it’s only continued to skyrocket since –– with the pandemic, in some cases, accelerating activity. By some estimates, the internet gambling industry was worth over $60 billion by 2021.
These enormous sums account for all gambling activity, which means that online sports betting is included. Alongside categories like betting and poker however, internet casino gaming – slots, jackpots, bingo, and the like – plays a significant role as well. And it’s in this category that, believe it or not, the introduction of a game with a Bob Dylan theme would make a great deal of sense.
This is the case first and foremost because online casino developers and host sites have already begun to embrace a great deal of licensed content in recent years.
Perhaps most noticeably, this has meant the creation of internet casino games based on other video games, or large video game franchises known for adaptation and evolution. Consider the likes of Street Fighter and Tetris, for instance. The Street Fighter series has put out well over a dozen games in the last 30 years or so, all with slight twists on the original concept and gameplay. And just last year, GameRant explored the best Tetris titles and came up with 13 of them – from Super Nintendo’s Tetris Battle Garden, to Tetris Effect on PlayStation 4, to the old-school NES version. Today, both of these legendary franchises have licensed material to slot developers; Street Fighter and Tetris slot games may not make lists of the respective franchises’ best, but they do capture the spirit of the originals, and they certainly appeal to fans.
We’ve also seen more and more licensed material when it comes to films and TV shows. There have long been internet slot arcades based on films (from The Mummy to The Matrix). And more recently, the entire category of arcade Slingo games (which cross bingo with slots) has been built, in part, on licensed television content. Foxy Bingo’s collection of Slingo titles showcases the most popular options on the internet, and includes games based on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, The Chase, X-Factor, and even the beloved American sitcom Friends.
Finally – and most directly relevant to the notion of a Dylan casino game – development companies have also crafted games that revolve around licensed material from bands. Though it wasn’t the actual origin of band-based slot games, the Guns N’ Roses reunion tour brought attention to this category on casino sites. The tour was announced in April of 2016, and would end up spanning a sprawling, years-long revival. Right around when Axl Rose and Co. were leaping back into the spotlight though, slot machine games based on Guns N’ Roses and a handful of other classic rock and metal bands and artists were being featured front and centre on gaming sites. The games effectively tapped into the real-world revitalisation of this era of music, and for a little while, slots based on the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Ozzy Osbourne, and Megadeth were all the rage.
Given all of these games – slots, slingo, and more, based on everything from Tetris to Hendrix – it’s easy to ask, why not Dylan? Indeed, beyond simply being another fitting pop culture figure upon whom to base a casino game, there are three reasons a Dylan casino game makes particularly good sense:
First is raw popularity. Bob Dylan has millions of fans around the world, and that could only be good news for casino developers and the sites that host the games. The very point of themes in slots and slingo games is to attract fans, and where Dylan is concerned there’s certainly a large audience to tap into.
The second reason is Dylan’s unique quality. While these things are difficult to measure, it’s a fairly safe bet that there’s significant overlap between, say, Megadeth and Guns N’ Roses fans, or people who watched Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and X-Factor. Dylan, however, is more unique – a singular presence, and almost a genre unto himself. Thus, in addition to a large audience, a Dylan game might just attract a distinct one that wouldn’t otherwise be attached to casino sites.
The third reason is that Dylan’s actual content matches casino gaming quite nicely. As fans are well aware, Bob Dylan has numerous songs that touch on gambling. The most famous is probably the Rambling Gambling Willie masterpiece, which we’ve dug into before. But other tracks like Huck’s Tune and Lilly Rosemary And The Jack Of Hearts have gambling themes as well. Granted, the gambling content in these tracks relates more closely to cards than slots or arcade games; it is also at least somewhat metaphorical. Nevertheless, one can certainly begin to imagine a Dylan-themed casino arcade game with these specific songs playing in the background.
It’s a slightly strange idea, we grant you. Bob Dylan fans certainly don’t need a casino game, let alone expect one. But given the existing material referenced above, and the potential for a Dylan game to attract its own audience, it’s certainly an intriguing concept.