In marketing circles, you often hear a lot of talk about Millennials. Sometimes referred to as Generation Y, broadly speaking this is the population segment who have birth years ranging from the 1980s to the early 2000s.
Research indicates that the size of the Millennial population in the United States is around seventy six million people, but there is also evidence to suggest that this number could be higher. This makes Millennials not only an attractive demographic due to their spending power, but also an extremely large proportion of the wider population. It’s clear that when we look at the future of gambling then this is the population who will drive change.
One of the interesting trends that casino operators are picking up is that they seem to be struggling to engage with this demographic.
What happens in Vegas…
One of the factors that has highlighted the low representation of Millennials on casino floors around the world has been the declining revenues being reported by the casinos of Las Vegas in the United States.
It’s being described as the Las Vegas “cold streak” – month after month of declining revenues.
Millennials love Las Vegas – just not the casinos
It’s not as if the Millennials are completely avoiding gambling destinations such – Las Vegas is reporting big numbers of Millennials visiting the city, but they’re just not visiting the casinos. Younger visitors to Las Vegas are heading to Sin City for the nightlife and the entertainment – entertainment that, in their eyes, doesn’t include the iconic casinos that helped establish Las Vegas as one of the world’s biggest gambling holiday destinations.
Figures from Las Vegas tourism authorities indicate that around 60 per cent of Millennials who visit Las Vegas will gamble at some point during their stay. This is down from around 80 per cent of older generations.
How do you attract Millennials to your casino?
Of specific concern to casino operators is that slot machines are proving particularly unattractive to younger gamblers. Slot machines are an important revenue stream for casinos as they have a profit margin of around 60 per cent.
This has led to a big focus on developing new types of arcade games to replace traditional slot machines. The new style of games require users to demonstrate skill in order to win – not just being at the whim of chance or fate. Casinos are being redesigned to look more like arcades and nightclubs, populated with games where players have to race the car or shoot the target in order to win prizes.
Another avenue that casino operators are exploring is the development of games that leverage the social media networks of players – enabling gamblers to not only play against the house, but also against their friends and connections.
It’s clear that Millennials are a marketing force to be reckoned with in every aspect of our lives. It will be interesting to see how the casino operators of Las Vegas and the rest of the world choose to respond.