Millennials Throw Casinos A Curve
Millennials are a very interesting, different, and perplexing generation. Because they are a good portion of today’s potential gamblers, they pose a new challenge, a threat even, to the status quo and income of the gaming establishment. So, what is the deal?
Unlike previous generations, millennials were born knowing how to work electronics. Some probably were given a video game at the hospital when they were born. Today, electronics, have made us, especially millennials, dependent and conditioned to demand “instant” results and satisfaction in all we do.
Now here is the problem from the casino’s perspective. Historically, slot machines have been, and still are, cash cows. They provide a very large proportion of casino income. However, now, according to an article in The Future of Everything (A Wall Street Journal supplement), slot revenue has declined 17% since 2007. This is heavily due to millennials who don’t follow behavior patterns of previous generations.
Millennials are not coming to Las Vegas to gamble. They find slot machines boring. Just sitting there, pushing a button over and over, doesn’t cut it. They would rather spend their time and money at the night spots, restaurants, and shows. They need entertainment and they don’t find slots entertaining or fun.
Casinos are split on what to do to correct the decline in slot revenue. One approach is to treat it as a short term blip. The reasoning is that millennials will grow older and return to play slots at an older age. From where I’m sitting, this sounds like casinos may opt to put their heads in the sand. This would be a very bad bet, gamble where the house doesn’t have the edge.
The more reasonable, logical, and safer bet, in my opinion, is to follow the lead of Gamblit Gaming LLC of Glendale, California. To make a long story short, they want to develop some “candy crush” type games that will arrest the attention of millennials and others. The difference is that these games would be gambling games, but ones that would require and reward skill. This would erase the boring monotony of slot play.
The problem that has prevented these new games from being manufactured are the regulations that forbid mixing gambling games with skill games. However, under new laws in New Jersey and Nevada, the path is cleared for these games to become reality. Stay tuned.