“Millennial Obsession” Casinos Ignoring Previous Generations

Where would we be without selfies & photo-bombs? Maybe doing something useful or not annoying others?

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?

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:

80 years old!

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.

Mohegan Sun Poker Room

The Mohegan Sun Poker Room in the Casino of the Wind.

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:

  1. the interest in Daily Fantasy Sports and
  2. 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.

Video Black Jack with “live” dealer

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.

Binbin

The Millennial Problem: Why We (Don’t) Gamble

Due to problems with the link, I’m re-posting this today.  Be sure to click on the title below, and check out  the Motley Fool website.

Thanks to “Superfan Monika” for the help!

tom_and_davidThe Motley Fool is a fantastic website, also on Facebook & Twitter, dedicated to helping the world invest — better. Founded in 1993 by brothers Tom and David Gardner, The Motley Fool helps millions of people attain financial freedom through our website, podcasts, books, newspaper column, radio show, mutual funds, and premium investing services. They have news and guides that cover investments, retirement, stocks and and a community that you can share concerns and tips with others.

This might seem lazy, but after accumulating information on Millennial Gambling and the G2E’s main concern by the casino industry needing more to entice them, I’m ready to scream.

AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There, I feel better.  I have felt that it’s not about gambling, games, or other things in as much the extrodinary debt they are in from college loans have changed their post-college living to be different than other generatiions.

I found the perfect varticle, too long to discuss, but SOOOOOOOO right concerning this whole thging.  Motley Fool has hit the nail on the head – the casino industry should take notice!

Here is a link to their fabulous article.  It’s long, but, oh so right.

The Millennial Problem: Why We (Don’t) Gamble

Enjoy this fabulous read.

Binbin

Gamblit milennial skill based slots

Harrah's AC, one of three casinos in Atlantic City to get first "skill-based" slots on casino floor.

Harrah’s AC, one of three casinos in Atlantic City to get first “skill-based” slots on casino floor.

From Wayne Parry, Associated Press, New Jersey gambling regulators have “approved a New York firm to become the first in the United States to deploy skill-based slot machines on casino floors in which payout is determined by the player’s ability.”  The machines could start being installed at Harrah’s, Caesars or Bally’s, Atlantic City.

According to Mr. Parry, “The machines, called VGMs, are expected to undergo several weeks of testing, and are expected to usher in a new era of gambling aimed at attracting young people who grew up playing video games.

“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, the company’s CEO and co-founder.

Gamblit Interactive multi-player game.

Gamblit Interactive multi-player game.

The company has been in a race with rival firm Gamblit, which last month announced plans to put similar machines in California and Nevada in October, also at Caesars-owned casinos.  The machines are aimed squarely at millennials and those who like playing games on social media networks or on their phones, and who may be less inclined to play traditional push-button slot machines.

danger-arenaTitled “Danger Arena,” the games give the player a brief tutorial, make sure the customer knows how to use the controls and that they are working properly, and then presents the customer with a map, or game scenario. This scenario will vary randomly, and constitutes the element of chance or randomness that is the hallmark of traditional slot machines. It is then up to the player to maneuver through the playing field in 45-to-90-second increments.

GameCo’s product is essentially a video game, complete with an attached and “ruggedized” (designed to hold up for heavy, commercial use) video game remote control.

Here’s a look at GameCo’s promotional video explaining how its machines work:

Each game also includes a secondary random winning opportunity, with a possible instant cash win ranging from $1 to $5,000, Graboyes added, so that even poorly skilled players have a chance at winning, he said.

Steve Ruddock

Steve Ruddock

Steve Ruddock, in his article for PlayNJ, explains how “skill-based” games work:

In a casino setting, the term “skill-based slot machines” is a bit of a misnomer, as casino regulations require all machines on the casino floor to pay out a minimum amount. GameCo’s machines are also played against the house (not peer-to-peer), so no matter how skillful a player is, the house will still have an advantage.  To reach the required minimum payout threshold, designers like GameCo have incorporated secondary “bonus rounds” where players are randomly awarded prizes to make sure even the most unskilled player crosses the minimum payout required by law.  In Danger Arena, this is a randomly-awarded prize ranging from $1 to $5,000 on top of the player’s payout from the skill-based portion of the game.

I’m still not convinced new gaming will be something that will stay strong throughout the next ten to twenty years.  But nothing ever stays the same in the casino industry.  Who ever thought 20 years ago I wouldn’t need coins anymore?

Binbin