Many casinos and gaming authorities are examining skill-based slot machines as a way to attract millennials to casinos.
Nevada gaming regulators were the first to approve skill-based slots, doing so in May of last year. Now, New Jersey has become the latest state to jump aboard the trend.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) approved a New York-based company to provide their skill-based slot machines. GameCo. Inc. will now work on providing skill slots to Bally’s, Caesars, and/or Harrah’s – all Caesars Entertainment casinos in Atlantic City.
According to the Washington Post, these machines could be available within the next few weeks, which would make New Jersey the first state to offer skill-based slots.
Called VGMs, these games must undergo a few weeks of testing before they’re allowed to be placed on casino floors. But when they are available in Atlantic City, VGMs are expected to attract a new, younger breed of gambler.
“With this approval from the DGE, the VGM is officially the first skill-based video game gambling product approved by any U.S. gaming jurisdiction regulator,” said Blaine Graboyes, GameCo’s CEO and founder.
GameCo is currently racing rival Gamblit to be the first to produce skill-based slot machines. Gamblit will provide similar games to California and Nevada casinos. IGT and NanoTech are also jumping into the skill-based slots arena, but they’re not as close to releasing products.
As mentioned before, casinos are desperate to bring millennials to gambling floors. So far, this generation hasn’t been interested in slot machines and video poker, choosing instead to spend time on social gaming through their smartphones and tablets.
New Jersey is doing their best to meet these needs by offering new products. Aside from VGMs, Atlantic City will soon be offering arcade-style gaming.
The first arcade-style game will be called Danger Arena, and it plays similar to first-person shooters like Call of Duty and Counterstrike. Players will be able to gamble before playing, and they’ll have an allotted time to kill as many enemies as possible. If they kill at least 7 creatures they break even, while any more results in a profit.
The big question is if these moves will truly pay off like the casino industry hopes. If not, then they may struggle as their older customer base fails to be replaced by younger generations.