Millennials have far less interest in traditional games of chance found on casino floors compared to their demographic predecessors, but slot manufacturers did their best to spinning that reality this week at the 2018 Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas (G2E).
Executives from major slot manufacturers said patience is key when it comes to the 18- to 34-year-old crowd, and as they mature, so will their appetite for gambling.
“The focus has been heavy on millennials when the baby boomer generation is our core consumer, and that is not going to change anytime soon,” Aristocrat Senior VP of Marketing and Gaming Operations Siobhan Lane explained.
Her remarks were relayed by CDC Gaming Reports, and came at the panel titled, “The Power of Tech: Suppliers’ Perspectives in Leveraging Technology to Bring Added Value to Your Customers.” The discussion was part of the Global Gaming Women series.
Baby boomers represent 33 percent of the population but 70 percent of the discretionary spending. That is huge, and life expectancy is lengthening, not shortening. The broader question is how we cultivate new players, whether they are part of the millennial generation, Gen X, or baby boomers,” Lane stated.
Her opinions were shared by fellow panelists. AGS executive Julia Boguslawski said habits change as people age, and when it comes to gambling, having disposable income is crucial.
Data research firm YouGov found that 47 percent of US millennials agreed with the statement that casinos are depressing. The study concluded that the older the person, the more favorable they are to a brick-and-mortar casino.
However, millennials support the legalization of online casinos more than their parents, and three percent admitted to placing a bet with an internet bookmaker within the past year. Only one percent of those aged 35 and older said they did as well.
A study from Stockton University’s Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality, and Tourism concluded that millennials enjoy spending their money on dinner and drinks, but not necessarily on gambling. Researchers did discover that those in the demographic said they would be more inclined to play a slot machine if it had some element of skill involved.
Skill-based gaming terminals have been slow to take in both Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
“If it’s truly skill-based, then that’s a problem for the house, because you can get someone who cleans you out,” Dickinson Wright gaming attorney Gregory Gemignani told Casino.org. “There has to be a right mix. The games I think that will do well will have skill elements, but the payouts are random. That I could see working.”
Sports betting is viewed as another area that might bring millennials inside casinos. A Nielsen Sports study revealed in August that 44 percent of current sports gamblers are under the age of 35.
The Supreme Court’s recent repeal of the federal ban has sports gambling expanding to new states. And millennials are expected to jump at the chance to place legal wagers.
Several states are additionally allowing licensed sportsbooks to accept bets via mobile and online devices, something that will also bode well in fancying the millennial.