Here’s Why Targeting Millennials with Slots is Bad

millennials-slot-machinesMany casino executives and slots developers are working on designing games that will appeal to millennials. After all, those aged 21-35 just aren’t playing slot machines like older generations.

But one person who thinks that catering to millennials is overrated is Penn National chairman Tim Wilmott. Through a Q3 conference call for Penn National Gaming, Wilmott explained how the majority of their business is still coming from Baby Boomers (ages 52-70).

“Listen, really nothing has materially changed in terms of a demographic profile who is visiting our properties,” said Wilmott. “It’s still 60% of our revenues come from customers between the ages of early 50s to early 70s, the heart of the baby boomers, and that hasn’t changed much.”

Wilmott did admit that things are different in Las Vegas, which draws a large portion of its visitors through entertainment options.

“It’s obviously a little different in Las Vegas, which is huge younger for all the other entertainment options in that marketplace but in the regional set, it hasn’t changed.”

One more point that Wilmott made is that he’s more concerned with Gen-Xers (35-50) than he is with designing slot machines for millennials.

“And as we look at – our focus over the next, say five to 10 years, I’m of the belief that focusing on in millennials is not going to produce good economic results,” he said.

“I’m more interested in the 50 million group of Gen-Xers out there that will be moving into the period of when they become more interested in casino entertainment that they have more disposable time and more disposable income as they pay up their mortgages and become empty nesters.”

Much of what we’ve discussed in recent years involves casinos making skill-based slots to draw millennials. So it’s interesting that Wilmott wants to buck this trend and instead figure out how to attract Gen-Xers.

But it’s also worth noting that Wilmott’s casinos are mostly regional operations in the US and Canada. They only have two casinos in Vegas, which is where many complaints about a lack of gambling come from.