Why social gaming and millennials could save Macau’s casino industry

  • Millennial market in Asia now being seriously targeted by casino operators
  • Social casino games are expected to gradually introduce millennials to land based casinos

One of the major talking points at the casino industry extravaganza, the Global Gaming Expo Asia (G2E Asia) in Macau was the need to target millennials as a way of sustaining the future of the industry.

Millennials are just as much a problem for casinos in Asia as they are in the west.
Millennials are just as much a problem for casinos in Asia as they are in the west.

To western players, this will not be a surprise. There has been continuous talk among casino experts and tech boffins about how best to appeal to 20 and 30-somethings.

Social casinos were widely discussed during the expo and was mentioned as one of the key tools for attracting a younger target market.

During a panel discussion snappily titled ‘Adding Value to Customer Life Cycle and Loyalty’ the head of Rewards at Playstudios Asia Christy Fung mentioned the value of social gaming as a way of attracting millennials to land-based casinos.

According to Ms. Fung, millennials are increasingly becoming harder to reach using the conventional marketing tools. Most of the 20 and 30-somethings are mobile savvy and have grown up with video games. The notion of ‘gamification‘ of traditional casino slot games has been a big talking point for the industry lately, and gives players some idea of what might be on offer in the coming years.

Spending power

Although most millennials are still breaking into their careers, many of them are close to attaining their spending prime. They are also slowly replacing the baby boomer generation which means they will soon be the largest demographic in the world. It’s no wonder they are being taken seriously by the casino world.

Get ready for social gaming

Playstudios Asia is involved in developing social casino apps that mainly target players in the Asia-Pacific region. According to Ms. Fung, these niche games are still in early stages of development but their popularity is growing significantly.

For players, Macau does not license online casinos currently. But social casinos do not offer real money wagering, so these are considered legal.

One of the recognized traits of millennials is their pursuit of various challenges and social casino apps are set to offer them interesting goals to pursue. In addition to this, the games will give the players a chance to interact with each other via technology.

Social casinos are launching in various markets and some of the big names in the land-based casino sector such a MGM Resorts International are capitalizing on the the potential of this niche.

The social casino experience

Despite the fact that social casino games have a free-to-play policy, most casino operators offer virtual currencies as a way of enhancing the player experience. The in-app purchases create a high potential for financial growth in the sector, leading to higher overall revenues.

The level of player engagement is quite high with social casino games and players spend an average of two hours per day. This is largely attributed to the quality of games that are on offer as well as the fact that players can easily access games on their mobile devices while on-the-go.

Most players find it much more convenient to play games on their hand-held devices rather than visiting a land-based casino. On the other hand, some industry insiders claim that mobile gaming is a gateway experience that can help in gradually introducing the millennial generation to brick-and-mortar casinos.

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