Classics reborn: roulette on the rise in Vegas

  • Nevada Gaming Control Board reports a huge rise in roulette revenue to $385.9 million
  • Rise is attributed to the game’s popularity among millennials and tourists

Roulette has seen a huge 58.87% year on year increase in win revenues compared to February 2016, according to newly released data from the Nevada Gaming Control Board. So, does this mean that one of the oldest casino favorites has grown in popularity?

Figures seem to support the idea of a roulette resurrection. The Board’s Gaming Revenue report shows a steady 13.41% rise in roulette wins across the last year. This was despite an overall drop of 4.48% in gross gaming revenue (GGR) in comparison to the previous 12 months, to a $945.6 million total.

roulette-on-the-rise-in-Vegas
Rollin’ on: roulette remains one of the most popular games in Vegas

In another sign of the game’s resurgence, The Las Vegas Sands Corp (LVS) has added more roulette wheels to the gaming floors of the Venetian and Palazzo casinos. Significantly, according to LVS’s senior vice president of casino operations, Rob Cinelli, the key to roulette’s rise has been its ability to attract a younger crowd.

Millennial appeal is key

In the struggle to compete against eSports and attract millennial gamblers, casinos such as MGM Grand have invested in more skills-based games. Similarly, Cinelli claims that unlike slot machines, roulette offers younger gamblers just enough sense of strategy to attract players.

“Although roulette is not a skill-based game, players have a feeling that they are responsible for the outcome by placing the bet, unlike a slot where there’s no involvement other than pushing a button.”
Rob Cinelli, senior vice president of casino operations, Las Vegas Sands Corp

Cinelli also believes that roulette appeals to younger players’ sense of social competitiveness, calling it a “volume game”. As tourism numbers increase, so do the numbers taking part in roulette. Anthony Curtis, owner of lasvegasadvisor.com, agrees roulette has social appeal, claiming “Roulette seems to be a cool thing to do before you go into the club and when they come out they play.”. Roulette may revive casinos yet.

OUR VERDICT

Who needs VR and video games at casinos when good old fashioned roulette will suffice? In a world where attracting millennials into land based casinos is lauded as a challenge, with companies employing the latest technology to do just that, it’s refreshing to see that a ‘back to basics’ approach still works. And that’s in no way meant as a negative to roulette. The classic casino game, it seems, provides just the right level of luck and (apparent) skill to be a draw in Las Vegas. Whether there is any skill involve in roulette or not is a matter of opinion, but one can’t deny it’s certainly an involving game – it makes you make decisions and think, and that’ what casino-goers want. There’s also something distinctly cooler about gather around a roulette table with a bunch of your friends sharing drinks and bets than there is hunched over a video game, right?

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