Casino floor gamblers are aging out.
In April 2019, Spectrum Gaming Group prepared their Comprehensive Gaming Industry Analysis for the State of Louisiana. One of the key takeaways from the report was the aging out of older players:
Casino operators are concerned about generational change, specifically that their current base of mostly older players will not be replaced by younger players. An analysis of Louisiana demographic trends for the 2020-2030 period shows a drop in the population ages 55-64 (v).
This trend isn’t limited to Louisiana. Across the country, casinos that rely on gambling for their profits are seeing a decrease in the Baby Boomers who kept the noisy machines and crowded tables bankrolling casinos for decades.
Who is the new generation and what do they look like?
Unlike the Boomers, Millennials, those born between 1976 and 2004, don’t show an interest in the traditional casino games. Slot machines, in particular, have taken a hit, and that’s a problem for casinos. These “beautiful vaults” bring in three-quarters of the gambling revenue generated by American casinos. In 2018, Nevada’s slot machines brought in more revenue than all of the other games combined.
So what is the younger generation interested in? Many come to casinos for the live entertainment and nightclubs, the luxurious (and affordable) accommodations, buffets, and drinks with friends poolside. In short, they come for the experiences. That shouldn’t come as a surprise for marketers who have been following the young trend-setters as they change the face of one industry after another.
Millennials aren’t averse to gaming, though. According to Nielsen’s 2019 report Millennials on Millennials, two in three Millennials in the U.S. play video games every month. They even enjoy watching other people play video games.
It’s more likely Millennials’ disinterest in slot machines and other games favored by Baby Boomers stems from a desire to connect with other people in real life. Whereas slot machines are a solitary, passive pursuit, Millennials favor interactive, social games.
Leverage special events and other amenities.
Forward-thinking casinos are capitalizing on Millennials’ desire for unique experiences by cultivating more Instagram-worthy facilities. More communal areas and events that elevate dining experiences allow Millennials to congregate with old and new friends, increasing food and beverage revenue. Creative entertainment, from fantasy sports to virtual reality experiences, also provides options that appeal to the younger set.
Reach new gamblers in the digital world.
In order to lure Millennials onto the casino floor, where the real money is made, gambling establishments have begun putting more emphasis on table games, like Baccarat and Blackjack, and on digital games that more closely resemble video arcades than slot machines. Similarly, innovative communal gaming technologies like video poker gaming tables entice younger players looking for a more social gambling experience.
It’s not necessary to entirely phase out the old games and the older demographic that loves them. In fact, they’re still a profitable market. Rather, casinos can shift slowly towards including more Millennial-friendly pastimes, raising the stakes while mitigating risks.
Contact Morgan & Co. today if you’re interested in developing a comprehensive marketing strategy for your casino or hotel.