How do you solve a problem like millennials? Casino industry’s tough challenge

  • Millennials not buying into casino gaming like previous generations
  • New skill-based games being trialled to attract younger markets
  • Legislation already passed in New Jersey and Nevada

Across every industry, millennials are the target demographic that marketers are struggling the most to nail down. The gambling industry is no different, and with many eschewing traditional casino games and other forms of betting, companies have been scrambling to find the best way to secure the future of their industry by capturing a younger audience.

Millennial casino gamer
The so-called ‘gamification’ or giving casino games a more video-game feel, is seen as one way to engage a younger demographic. Picture: Thinkstock.

Legislation points towards innovation

Nevada and New Jersey casinos made the first bold step towards this plan last year, as the states introduced new legislation allowing for skill-based games in casinos. While of course some of these already exist in the form of poker and a limited number of other games, the idea is that there could be a move towards console-style videogaming – essentially blurring the lines between casino gaming and eSports.

A new look for casinos of the future

While that might seem a radical departure, there’s no doubt that such a move is necessary. Studies have repeatedly shown that millennials just aren’t spending time in casinos, and don’t consider them to be among the places they’d most like to visit, whether they’re on a night out in their hometown or visiting a new city. Slot machines are a particular turn-off for the younger generation, and the move towards videogame-style machines could be the perfect antidote.

Yet it might not stop there – broad plans have been suggested, with players playing videogames either singleplayer, against each other, or even against the house, in the manner of traditional casino games. With eSports an obvious rival market, the key will be for casinos to find something new while retaining the same spirit of their organisations – and of course, to do it without driving off their older customer base, too.

Capturing millennials seems to be confounding even the most savvy marketing strategies, but a bold play like this might just succeed.

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