Millennials, the online generation, have by now definitely come to the fore, and with the offline generation falling further and further behind the times, they are definitely a’changing. The year 2016 could be the year to show exactly where the casino industry will change or what new direction it will take.
An assumption here is that the casinos will change, and it’s a fair one. The oldest of the online generation are in their 30s, so the offline generation may be dwindling. For the casino industry, this represents a very large problem because slots, their biggest money-maker does not attract the younger generation; you will rarely see young people feeding coins into a slot machine because they’ve got their magic smartphone instead, and if the casinos don’t adapt, then they could just fail altogether.
Something has to change so casinos can attract these ‘youngsters’ and now the question is how might they go about doing it?
Traditional vs. Modern
The oldest argument in history is, of course, Star Wars vs Star Trek, although we all know the answer. The other big argument is about the move or change regarding slots in particular, to more skill-based games with faster rewards. Whilst the millennials might be increasing in numbers, the baby boomers are still around and make up a hefty proportion of casino clientele. They are less concerned about skill and more concerned about the traditional slot machines. So the question for the casinos is whether to bring in the younger generation and risk alienating their current customers, or keep their current users happy with things remaining the way they are, but potentially lose when the millennials have world domination.
What is perhaps most likely is that casinos will begin introducing additional new skill-based games to try to draw in new players whilst still keeping the classics, which could be phased out in the future. One thing to note, however, is that whilst currently slots may be more traditional, casinos still have some skill-based games like poker and blackjack.
Attraction of Casino Resorts
Another thing that has been seen in casinos more recently is the rise in loyalty programs and more casinos being referred to as ‘casino resorts’. Essentially what is happening is that casinos have realised that people don’t always go there solely for the games, but also the atmosphere and the social feel. Thus the resort idea illustrates the globalisation of casinos not in location, but in terms of the areas where it operates – food, bars, hotels, all of which have been part of casinos for a while, but they are nowadays being promoted to be more than just an accompaniment to the slots.
The loyalty programs also help keep customers returning, but also help provide information to the casino about customer habits so the casino can improve. Although this information is readily available, currently few casinos have yet fully looked into using this data.
Ultimately the trend for the year will be casinos making the resolution to try and plan for millennial domination, but it probably won’t be too drastic in the immediate future; the baby boomers aren’t gone yet, not by a long way.