- In a bit to attract the Millennial generation casinos are experimenting with new games
- These include skill-based casino games that offer more social, interactive gameplay
Due to changing demand for games and experiences and a shifting demographic, land-based casinos worldwide are working hard to attract a younger generation of players. While there are a number of different proposed solutions – largely revolving around incorporating new elements of gameplay – to determine the best strategy for doing so, operators at the 21st East Coast Gaming Conference in Atlantic City have been discussing possible developments.
One that is particularly popular – and which has already seen some limited use in casinos in the US – is the development of a more interactive method of playing casino games that will appeal to the next generation of casino-goers.
Interactive gambling refers to games that often incorporate elements of traditional casino game play combined with competitive, skill-based gameplay.
A good example is the range of skill-based games launched by Caesar’s Entertainment in April at its Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino. The games, with titles such as Cannonbeard’s Treasure and Gamblit Poker, are table-based games for groups of players that mix casino games like poker with video-game aesthetics. Elsewhere, similar launches have included video game tournaments, eSports and slots that feature less of an emphasis on luck.
It’s believed that these games will appeal to players who have grown up playing console video games and mobile games, and who are more interested in those interactive features rather than how lucrative their potential prize could be.
Skill-based games already making an appearance in casinos
In October 2016, skill-based gaming was approved for casinos in the US. Since then, we have seen skill-based slots slowly being rolled out casinos across the states. Most recently, Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut introduced skilled-based games, including a title called a Nothin’ But Net – a basketball game in which players must line up jump shots, free throws and lay ups to earn cash.
Casino operators are eager to experiment with skill-based games in order to learn what types of features will attract Millennial gamblers. Caesars Entertainment deployed 21 skilled slots at casinos across Atlantic City but they were pulled after six months as they weren’t generating enough revenue.
Investment in eSports
The growing eSports sector will also be an important part of bringing land-based casinos into the 21st Century. Competitive video gaming is a burgeoning market, which is expected to be worth $1.23 billion by 2019. It is estimated that, this year, more than 213 million people will be watching eSports competitions with many betting on the outcomes.
One of the main draws of eSports is that anyone can be a star. Players from all over the world can work their way into a successful eSports team if they have the prerequisite skills. It is an unusual and innovative approach to sports that is entirely new, and which appeals to a younger generation – in addition to the fact that weaves together fantasy, video gaming and science fiction.
There will undoubtedly be further experimentation before interactive games become an integral part of land-based casinos as operators work to find out exactly what kinds of gaming experiences will best attract younger players.
There’s little doubt that today’s generation want something different from their playing experiences – whether that be video games, casino games or social activity on smartphones and tablets. We are in the age of technology, and with it comes a focus on interactive experiences and lifelike gameplay. It stands to reason, then, that casinos must look to implement these aspects into what they can offer visitors. Is it enough to sit at a table and play blackjack for the Millennial generation? Likely not. That’s why casinos are experimenting with skill-based variations of traditional games. And, thus far it’s seen mixed success. Whether this is because the format isn’t quite right, or in fact that the very casinos themselves remain outdated in the opinion of the younger generation remains to be seen. Perhaps the industry will ultimately need more of a shake up that some interactive slot machines. Time will tell.
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