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NFT Spotlight: Gambling Apes & The Metaverse Casino

by Christian Jensen 19 days ago in investing

Don't let their grinning faces fool you - these apes mean business

A selection of apes from the Gambling Apes collection

Gambling Apes is a generative NFT collection of 7,777 unique apes, created from over 120 different traits. The traits vary in rarity, resulting in some apes being ultra-rare and others being more common. Among the most notable traits are the background, fur, clothing, and headwear.

The apes are created on the Ethereum blockchain and were minted on September 5th, 2021 for 0.07 ETH each. They sold out in 7 minutes. This article outlines the research I've done and the conclusions I made before deciding to buy Gambling Ape #5900 3 weeks after the launch, as well as my experience being part of the community since then.

Unique artwork

As I described in an earlier article, the artwork is really important when I buy a collectible or piece of art that I intend on holding for a long time. It needs to be interesting and unique enough to stand out and attract and maintain a large audience, and ideally be something people want to show off, thus acting as promoters for the project.

The Gambling Apes artwork is of really high quality. The apes themselves are super well done and the discrete background illustrations add a nice visual element.

And while they're by no means the only apes in the NFT world, they do stand out in the crowd of avatars and are easily recognizable because of their style and facial expressions. Their attitude and big grinning faces aren't for everyone, but this only serves to strengthen the dedication and engagement among the people who do love the artwork. I see that as a plus.

Second of all, the artwork varies from the rather colorful to the almost complete grayscale, thus achieving a broad aesthetic appeal and enabling most people to find a color palette that's great for them. I personally love the ones with a white background and was able to buy the perfect, monochrome ape for my taste. You can check it out below.

Gambling Ape #5900 from my own collection

The bet on metaverse gambling

The NFT world has plenty of examples of successful avatar projects that don't provide any strong utility in the traditional sense of the word. Great art, a strong brand and storyline, and the community to support and promote it can be enough for a project to become successful.

Many investors favor NFT projects with utility though, because their value is easier to quantify. I personally buy NFTs across the spectrum, and Gambling Apes is definitely one of the purchases I've made with the most concrete utility and the clearest business case.

As implied by the name, Gambling Apes is all about gambling. The main selling point of the project is the upcoming metaverse casino, co-owned by the community. As a Gambling Ape owner, you will get a share of the casino's revenues every month, as well as exclusive access to certain events and tournaments closed to the public.

A 14-parcel Decentraland estate was just acquired on September 20th and the team is currently working on the design of the casino as well as securing the necessary license to operate it.

The Decentraland estate acquired for the upcoming Gambling Apes casino

The metaverse casino is clearly a long-term play, still with lots of unknowns and hurdles to overcome. There's no doubt in my mind that the metaverse will play a huge role in all our lives, however we define it now and in the future. Meta (formerly Facebook), for instance, just showed how much they believe in it with their name change and their plans to hire 10,000 workers to work on their version of the metaverse.

While we wait for the fully-fledged metaverse casino, Gambling Apes has some other exciting items on the roadmap though. Here are a couple of them:

  • Max Bet Club. A member-exclusive part of gamblingapes.com for merchandise, a competitions calendar, and betting picks.
  • Web casino. A more traditional online casino will be launched on gamblingapes.com.

I know there are plenty of ideas in play for Gambling Apes and it's easy to imagine a range of different opportunities fitting with the brand. I know the overall direction for the project, which is what I've invested in. We will figure out the specifics as we go.

A team of real humans

With a project like the Gambling Apes, you're obviously betting on an exciting roadmap and the future viability of online gambling and the metaverse. Even more than that though, you're betting on the team's ability to execute on the roadmap.

The founders are a group of experienced professionals with very different backgrounds, all of them showing a huge dedication to the project. While I don't know them personally, just being able to put a face on the founders and seeing their LinkedIn profiles is a big deal in a field where teams are often completely anonymous.

The Gambling Apes team as presented on their website

The team recently announced some important changes to improve their somewhat lacking communication on Discord. First up, they've committed to a weekly update on Discord. This is commonplace in the NFT space so I'm happy to see the GA team getting on board as well.

Second, the team has made a public Trello board for everyone to keep track of what's being worked on. I don't often see this level of transparency with real-time updates in the NFT space, so big props to the team for that!

A large community of gamblers

The Gambling Apes community is large and continuously growing, currently with 69,000 Discord members and 21,600 Twitter followers. Lots of people are attracted to the cool artwork, the gambling theme, and the ambitious plans for the metaverse.

Discord announcements always get hundreds of reactions, which is a strong sign of community members being interested and engaged in the progress of the project. You don't need to be a gambler to be part of the community, but it's clear that many GA owners are united by the overarching theme, either as gamblers themselves or as investors seeing a great business opportunity.

The 7,777 Gambling Apes NFTs are distributed among 3,600 owners, which shows a healthy distribution among a large owner-base, and limited ability for big whales to sell and dump the prices.

Some of the Gambling Apes listed for sale on OpenSea

Approximately 1,400 (18%) of the NFTs are listed for sale on OpenSea, which is also a decent number. What’s more, while the floor price dropped a lot during the general NFT market downturn in October, the number of items listed for sale did not. More recently, the number listed for sale has actually decreased from 1,600 to 1,400 while the floor price has gone up. This tells me that most owners are in it for the long haul and don’t worry too much about short-term price fluctuations.

I hope to see the positive momentum continue as the roadmap materializes and the market, hopefully, gets back on track.

Price and timing of my purchase

Speaking of prices… As mentioned earlier, I bought my Gambling Ape three weeks after they launched, meaning September 28th. I would normally like to have some more price action to analyze before paying 0.6 ETH for an NFT, but in this case, I felt certain enough about the prospects of the project to jump in when I saw my favorite ape for sale near the floor.

The average price had been rather stable between 0.55 and 0.65 ETH for the past couple of weeks before my purchase. I like to see this type of price consolidation before buying into a project, especially after a strong run-up as the one Gambling Apes had right after their launch.

The average sales price of Gambling Apes

The price actually seemed to be trending slightly downward, but for a long-term hold, and buying near the floor, this didn't bother me too much. Furthermore, I saw barely any bids accepted, let alone bids below the floor price, which showed me that buyers were willing to pay the listing prices and sellers were unwilling to sell for anything less.

Because of the overall market performance in October, the value of my ape was essentially cut in half before starting to trend upward on some positive news in mid-October. Because of my long-term belief in the project and my affinity for the artwork, I’m strongly considering buying another ape.

Closing thoughts

The Gambling Apes project offers you an investment in online gambling, the proliferation of the metaverse, and the combination of the two. Furthermore, you get a cool-looking avatar and become part of a community of like-minded people with a shared interest in betting and gambling.

And exactly because GA is both about strong utility and legit business, as well as great art and community, I'm personally very excited about the project and proud to now be a co-owner of this virtual gambling empire in the making.

investing

Christian Jensen

I’m a designer, investor, and crypto nerd, writing about the intersection of creativity, culture, technology, and finance.

#NotFinancialAdvice

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