G2E Gaming ExpoGlobal Gaming Expo (G2E) is the international gaming trade show and conference “by the industry and for the industry.” G2E is the best place for anyone working in gaming to see the latest products, learn the trends, and network with the Who’s Who. It offers a 360-degree view of the industry from slots and table games to igaming and food, beverage, and hospitality. The latest trend or concern, in the gaming industry is the decrease in casino revenue from slot machines.  The Expo this year presented many new ideas in skill-based slot technology.

The New "Ted" Slot Machine
The New “Ted” Slot Machine
 Space Invaders with a skill-based bonus.
An example of new slots – Space Invaders with a skill-based bonus.

Companies are looking into evolving technology to draw Millennials – or generation Y.  It seems the 20 somethings aren’t as interested in slots as they appear on today’s casino floors. Marcus Yoder, vice president of business development for Gamblit Gaming, said his company is eyeing millenials and trying to develop games that cater to them, saying “They’re going to see that something different is happening there,” Yoder hopes. “They’re going to be curious. They’re going to come in and they’ll step in and put 20 bucks in and play.”  The G2E ‘s displays had an arcade feel this year to begin a different interest in the generation that grew up with XBoxes & PlayStations.

At this point, you would expect me to go on and talk about the new ways of enticing this generation.  But, to be honest, I’d like to know more about them.  You see, I believe they are being blamed for the industry’s greed and stinginess.  It’s the decrease in gaming value that the casinos are forcing down our throats, NOT Generation Y.

You see, I think the industry is spending billions on research that won’t supply a product that will last. (Believe me, I am all alone here – I can hear it now, “Blasphemy, Blasphemy!”), but hear me out. I believe too many state governments increasingly depend on “Slot Machine” revenue for their state budgets, and are getting nervous at the probability of losing that sustained income. They’re all missing the point.

Las Vegas
Resort Fees, Low Gambling Value Increses in Las Vegas & the rest of the U.S.

th (33)For years, the casino giants have cut costs, raised hotel prices, lowered the payout % of slots, diminished paytables on video poker, changed the rules on table games, added hotel taxes for needless amenities (Resort Fees) and made comps so difficult to attain that the gambler is not returning.  Whether it’s a person who looks for the best odds, or someone who more interested in the social aspect and doesn’t care, the fact is person’s bankroll doesn’t last because of increased “house Advantage”, not necessarily because they’re 25, but because the value in the gambling product offered has diminished so much.

download (1)Let’s take a look at this Generation Y. Here are a few of the “15 Economic Facts About Millenials” that the U.S Government has found from the President’s Council of Economic Advisers:

  1. Millennials are the largest and most diverse generation in the U.S. population.
  2. Millennials have been shaped by technology.
  3. Millennials value community (wanting to give back), family (staying close to friends & family, not just through social media), and creativity in their work
  4. Millennials have achieved college degrees and own a larger debt (relying on loans to pay for post-secondary education)than previous generations, studying social science or applied fields, like communications, criminal justice, and library science.
  5. Millennials are more likely to focus exclusively on studies instead of combining school and work
  6. Millennials tend to get married later than previous generations delaying family formation, with increased social groups together, and yet staying at home to live with parents through their twenties, thus are also less likely to own homes.Millennials Free Time

The real fact is Generation Y depends on its socialization, and the quality value of their “fun” which is dependent on the fact that their discretionary funds are less than “boomers” due to today’s economics.  In other words, to put it simple – their relationship with the gaming industry costs too much, has little value for a short period of time, and is based on a short history of gambling without experiencing good odds, low cost, and a friendly environment.  Remember, it doesn’t take any more money after the initial investment to practice and play endlessly on an XBox or Playstation – but gambling is different.  It takes time AND money to enjoy slots – neither which this generation has.

Gamblit's touchscreen gambling tables
A rendering of one of Gamblit’s touchscreen gambling tables.

So, back to all those new machines their inventing based on skill.  If you have to continue to pay to get better on a skill-based slot machine (and we’re not talking about $.25  for Pinball here) – the type of machine, the looks, the format, the bonuses, etc… won’t keep this generation, or ANY GENERATION, playing and giving their hard-earned cash away to the casino. PEOPLE GAMBLE BECAUSE THEY FEEL THEY HAVE A CHANCE TO WIN.  Little by little, we will just slowly back away.

Give a gambler VALUE & A CHANCE, and they will come, no matter what the generation is.

That’s all for now.

Binbin

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