How casinos are borrowing from video games to appeal to a new generation

  • Casinos hoping to catch younger demographics with video game-style slots
  • Move has seen smaller casinos make big strides

With both offline and online casino bosses concerned about figures suggesting that millennials are not as interested in classic games as much as previous generations, gamification has been one of the major ways in which casinos have attempted to attract a younger demographic. The trend looks set to continue.

The march of video game-like elements into online casino games is set to continue
The march of video game-like elements into online casino games is set to continue

As well as making moves towards betting on eSports, casinos are beginning to blur the line between slots and video games, making the former increasingly similar to the latter to try to capture new markets. In plenty of casinos, games such as these are already present.

Yet it’s in online casinos where the transition has been a little easier to make, and more pronounced as a result. Video slots have long been continuing down a trend of becoming more feature-rich as well as having improved graphics, often bringing a more varied experience to players. That’s allowed plenty of smaller online casinos and developers to really stand out – mFortune being an example of a mobile casino which capitalized on the trend.

A brave new world for online casinos?

However, other casinos, such as Fantasino, are taking things to another level. As well as feature-heavy ways to win money which are far more akin to video games than the slots of old, the entire casino exists within a virtual world, with players choosing a 3D avatar to make their way around.

“I’ve always been a fan of gamification and I believe everyone has a weakness towards video games”, said Andres Blanco, a co-founder of Fantasino, in an interview with TheCasinoDB. “I have wonderful memories playing my favourite Super Nintendo video games as a little kid. After several weeks of learning the theory behind gamification, gathering ideas with one of my best friends (who’s a passionate gamer) and studying the competition, we came up with an improved concept of gamification, in which we actually make the website a real game.”

A better deal for players, or not?

There are a couple of interesting factors about the seemingly never-ending progress of gamification. While things are more interesting and exciting for the players, it’s not particularly likely to be beneficial overall – the more complex and feature-heavy games get, the less likely it is that players will have perfect information about the game. The RTP rates, in other words, are likely to be significantly lower in practice than in theory if the possibility exists for players to make minor mistakes.

On the other hand, there’s no question that spending in both online and offline casinos has been falling among younger gamers, and a bold move is probably needed.

Whether Millenials’ lack of interest might have more to do with their general lack of disposable income is debatable, but for now, casinos seem to be pleased with the progress they’re making. Whether it produces the new boom that many are hoping for remains to be seen.

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