I’m already tired of hearing about it – millennial this and millennial that…..
Hey Casino Industry – the “boomers” and previous generations are still out here filling your pockets. The least you can do is multi-task and make all of your visitors happy.
What generation do you fall into? What generation do you fall into?
Recent articles by Phillip Marcelo from the Associated Press and Daniel Smythe of WPT Magazine were informative and entertaining,. with many great points concerning ways casinos are trying to lure the 20-35 year olds into the casino. A 2015 article by the Washington-based Marketing Research Association suggesting current versions of slot machines are “widely viewed” by millennials as “antisocial, non-intuitive and generally boring.” Ok, I get that. Many Gen X’ers felt three reel slots were the same way.
In their articles, they basically listed the many ways the industry is changing to cater to that generation born between 1984 and 2004. Well, consider these:
Fact #1 – 70 IS THE NEW 40! – Boomers are living longer and are more mobile and interested in leisure activities that any generation before it. “65” is not drop dead age any more, “65” and way older now means “what would I like to do to enjoy my life” age! We’re here, we love GOOD gambling, slots, REAL table games, and great entertainment. We are the ones filling your upscale “hoity, toity” overpriced restaurants. We’re also the ones bringing our family, our grand-kids, and our work buddies to see concerts, eat donuts, breakfasts and buffets. Unless you start changing out all the slots for comfy chairs, social media areas and the “oonce, oonce, oonce” of DJ’s all over the place, we’ll still visit. By the way, that’s GOOD gambling, with GOOD odds, Friendly “live” Human dealers, and GOOD Dining & Entertainment options.
Fact #2 – SHOW ME THE MONEY! – Isn’t this younger generation that you’re banking on the one that has benefited the least from the country’s economic turn-around from the 2007 recession? Isn’t this the next generation to owe more in college loans than any previous generation? Isn’t this the generation that has less money in their pockets for leisure activities, like gambling? Give them what they want and enjoy the most – clubs, drinks, entertainment and social opportunities. Stop overhauling the casino for those who won’t go in it in the first place.
Fact #3 – It’s about money! News Flash! Many casinos are worried about slot revenue, but not necessarily worried about the players. Since corporate America took over the gambling industry, their concern is making a profit, (as all capitalists do). After the conditions of state regulations, payment agreements, financial support to neighboring communities, and taxes, the casino bean-counters still need to show a profit. The number of people of any generation visiting casinos isn’t dwindling, it’s increasing, ever since 2007. The problem for the casino industry is that the path of the money invested into a casino is changing and much more diverse. Casinos (and states that work with them) can’t depend on the gambling revenue anymore, so they’re panicking. Changing the gambling options in a casino is like Nike making a shoe for everything – hiking, cross-fit, cross training, walking, running…. some will buy it, but most will look for the best shoe that suits them for their particular interest and ignore the compromised “one-fits all” brand. Diversity is important, but one big mixed hybrid won’t cut it.
Fact #4 – POKER INTEREST – the addition of Poker rooms in Casinos is not due to millennial interest in poker – it’s due to televised tournaments 5-10 years ago. You could find them any time of the day, on multiple channels. Then, due to federal pressure concerning online poker and it’s advertising, companies like ESPN chilled on their coverage. It dwindled, then experienced a resurgence again, which I believe can be attached to two things:
- the interest in Daily Fantasy Sports and
- more states that have increased legal online poker in their states.
Poker has always been in America’s blood – played as we know it since the Civil War and the introduction of the 52-card deck. To think it’s a young man’s game must make the Benny Binions of the world frown in disgust.
Fact #5 – VIDEO TABLE GAMES – casinos are introducing “Video Table Games” with lower limits for Millennials so they can socially gamble as a group spending less money. But who’s kidding who? How about these reasons for casinos introducing these games:
1. It costs the casino less not having to pay for an employee to deal
2. The odds are usually stingier – especially craps, where odds bets amount are limited to 2X, and blackjack with some BJ paying even money.
3. It lures novice gamblers to spend their money while not knowing basic strategies and betting high house “sucker” bets.
The bottom line of this post is that while casinos are trying to look ahead and be relevant for the newest generation of gamblers, don’t forget the rest of us, because we are still your bread & butter. Casinos are many things to many people of all ages. Consider us all as clients for a return visit.