For those who might not be aware, the term millennial refers to the generation between 1980 and 2000. And, also for those who may not be aware, casino companies are especially concerned by this generation. Why? Because it just so happens that the millennial generation is not as interested in visiting casinos as the generations that came before. To put it plainly, casinos all over the world, both real world and online, are stumped about how to approach this little problem.
The previous generation, referred to as the baby boomer generation, enjoyed spending some of their free time down at the local casinos. The bright lights and glitzy atmosphere appealed to them, and places like Las Vegas saw major business. Las Vegas still sees major business, but the interesting point is that business seen specifically by guests playing casino games has come down a significant amount. So much so that casino owners are starting to sweat. To be more specific, in 1990 the percentage of guests who spent time playing slot games was about 58%. The percentage of visitors today who spend time playing slot games is down to about 37%.
The Millennial Mind Set
As the world ticks over, one generation is followed by the next as the driving force of the world’s economy. The millennial generation is about to step up to the plate, so any industry looking to stay in business for the next few decades had better be engaging the millennials. It is essential, and not something that an industry such as casinos can dare to ignore.
So what is the millennial generation doing in Las Vegas if not playing casino games? Isn’t that what Vegas is all about, the blackjack and roulette? Not really, it seems. When visiting Las Vegas the millennial generation is mostly spending their time shopping, seeing live shows, and enjoying the nightlife. Not many go to Vegas to specifically play casino games, it seems, and when asked most will say it wasn’t even on their to-do list.
The Digital Generation
Most agree that the reason the millennial generation is not interested in visiting casinos is that they are perfectly happy to play games at home. And this is a key of the situation. It’s not that millennials don’t enjoy gambling; it’s just that they are not that interested in doing it live. After all, why would a person trudge to a casino to play blackjack, when they can play perfectly functional online blackjack in the palm of their hand? It makes perfect sense especially since the millennials are the first generation to be brought up with digital technology basically from the day they were born.
The answer to the situation, some have speculated, is that real world casino games need to appeal to a video game playing generation, if they want any hope of attracting them. This also makes good sense, but seems like a tall order, given that real world casino games have remained unchanged for many decades. But, as has often been said, necessity is the mother of invention.
Real World Casino Evolution
So how are real world casino games going to evolve to attract the digital based millennial generation? There have been no solid answers up until this point, but certainly many interesting ideas have been thrown around. Gamification, for example, has often been offered as a key to the millennial mindset.
What is gamification? It is a system that makes visiting a real world casino a reward worthy event. For example, a visitor to a casino would earn loyalty points for their time visiting the casino, which would eventually amount to VIP treatment and rewards. A similar system is used at online casinos, but in a real world casino the rewards could be such things as tickets to a live show in that same casino venue. Many real world casinos already employ such systems, but the idea is to step it up to new heights. This system should closely resemble the progression of a video game, industry experts have said.
Casino games themselves are largely becoming entirely digital console based in real world casinos, which is seen as another way to be appealing to digitally obsessed millennials. Croupiers are still present, of course, because who doesn’t love a beautiful smile? But the core of many real world casinos has turned digital.
Adapt Or Die
It’s a simple case of adapt or die. Real world casinos continue to scramble for a solid solution to their dilemma, but in the meantime millennials are happy to play casino games online, and bet on ESports events. It’s not known exactly how the situation will pan out, but one thing is for certain; it’s certainly going to be interesting to see what real world casinos come up with to keep themselves relevant. Virtual reality is hitting online casinos soon, after all, which is another draw card keeping players online.