Much is made about the American casino industry’s attempts to draw younger players with skill-based slot machines. Australian slots makers are currently having the same dilemma.
Although Australia is the king of per-capital gambling, casinos here still worry about keeping their customer bases in the future.
David Ford, Queensland’s Commissioner for Liquor and Gambling, spoke about the problem with the Sydney Morning Herald.
“The demand for traditional gaming products is waning relatively quickly,” said Ford. “Unless the industry can counteract that, gaming machines may well go the way of bingo.”
What are Australian Slots Makers Doing to Draw Younger Generations?
The Victorian and NSW gambling regulators have received their first applications for skill-based slots. It looks like the Aussies are going the same way of American casinos to draw young players.
A skill-based slot machine works just like regular slots. But the key difference is that these games have skill-based bonus rounds that allow players to influence the house edge.
Assuming the applications are approved, it would mark a move towards a new kind of gaming. Australia’s slots industry has been stagnant since the 1990s in terms of offering completely random games.
Some Skill-Based Slots have Social Elements
Among the more interesting skill slots are those that have similar themes to social games. Candy Crush and Plants vs. Zombies have become mobile hits, which has encouraged Australian slots makers to try similar themes.
The industry is also trying out old arcade themes like Pac Man for bonus rounds.
“For casinos, the trend of slots revenue and usage going down while their average customer age is going up has been steady for years,” said Darion Lowenstein, chief marketing officer at Gamblit gaming.
“People under 50 generally grew up with video games and being rewarded for skill and interactivity. These trends will continue until new forms of gaming that target demographic actually enjoys are put onto the floor.”
Time will tell if skill-based slot machines are the answer. But Australia is moving forward with the plan anyways.