Casinos are finding out that traditional slots games are about as appealing to millennials as hand-washing dishes. That said, Nevada is looking to bring some appeal to slot machines by passing a bill that would allow for skill-based play – i.e. Candy Crush or Angry Birds-type gaming, but with money on the line.
“You have as much chance getting a millennial into slot machines as you do getting your grandmother into playing ‘Halo,'” David Chang, chief marketing officer for Gamblit Gaming, told the Washington Post. “Slots today are designed entertainment experiences, but for a completely different demographic, and that’s people who grew up with slot machines.”
This is definitely a problem for casinos because slots are their biggest moneymaker, providing a 60% profit when compared to table games. But house-banked slots don’t offer as much appeal to millennials (those born in early 1980s and beyond) as skill-based gaming like poker, daily fantasy sports and (mobile) social gaming.
As the Washington Post points out, this compounds problems for Las Vegas because the average visitor age is only getting younger (50 to 45 since 2009). A big reason why Sin City visitors are getting more youthful is because they’re flocking to nightclubs, shopping malls and fancy restaurants – Vegas’ new angle.
Someone could download and play one of their games, like “Police Pooches vs. Zombie Cats: In Time,” on their phones back home, wagering and playing with virtual credits, then switch to playing with real money when they’ve connected to the WiFi in an area where gambling is legal, like a Vegas casino.
The “real-money gambling platform” could also extend to large touch-screen tabletops, added in casino hot spots like lounges, bars and VIP suites — wherever a young gambler could walk by and be persuaded to try their luck.
If any U.S. casino destination has done an excellent job of keeping up with the times, it is definitely Vegas. They identified the changing demographics of gamblers during the Great Recession and quickly turned things around – as opposed to Atlantic City casinos, which refused to modernize their angle and are still paying a heavy price. So don’t be surprised to see Vegas casinos rushing to meet this new demand faster than other gaming destinations.