Millennials Under the Microscope

Millennials prefer games of skill to games of chance.  This was the outcome derived from a broad-based survey that was done a couple of years ago by a Vegas-based casino group.  The question begged: how do we fix this in order to create a scenario of inclusion of millennials in the gambling industry?

Exploring New Avenues

Meet the part chance / part skill slot machine – the newest addition to the slot machine family.  The concept is a simple one: part of the wager goes towards chance, the other part towards skill.  In a typical shoot-em-up type of video game, the player would have to aim at and hit a specific target.  A hit would signify a win and a miss, a loss.  A simple slot machine algorithm steps in at this point, determining the chance component of the game – a win or a loss.

These are early days yet, and the future of the gambling industry will be shaped by not only a once-off change in order to include a single group, but by a host of changes and improvements aimed at bettering the overall experience of gaming for players everywhere – across all age groups.

Millennials Idea Of Fun

It’s a sad fact, but a true one, Millennials don’t have too much in common with their parents and grandparents – especially not in the way of entertainment and what they describe as being “fun”.  This is true for everything from music to social interaction to gambling.  In fact, studies have shown that Millennials’ frequent casinos for the spa’s, the shows, the comedy nights and the food and drink.  Millennials have grown to love casinos for everything but the games.

The solution: creativity and adaptation.  Two traits that have always been part and parcel of the innovative entertainment machine that is the casino industry.  Casinos are in fact eyeing new and exciting ways to make games more attractive to Millennials, from a technological point of view, as well as to develop and promote additional social activities in and around the casino – because social is without a doubt where it’s at as far as Millennials are concerned.

The Sweet Spot: Online Gambling Meets Social Interaction

Millennials spend an average of two-thirds of any given day online.  They are constantly on the move on all sorts of digital and social online platforms.  The casino industry has recognised this as being the ideal point of entry into the digital social lives of millennials.

It’s not that millennials do not want to play games – in fact, they are more playful than any other age group.  They want to play and they want to interact socially at the same time.  It’s no longer good enough to be sitting in a stool whilst pulling aimlessly at a one-armed bandit – they want to be involved in the greater scheme of things, they want to share their experiences with fellow millennials (the wins as well as the losses) and perhaps more than anything, they want to know that they are in control of the outcome of games – at least to a certain extent.

This is evident even when considering the social media tendencies displayed by millennials.  They are constantly seeking validation from their peers – sharing everything from thoughts to music to important life events.  They are constantly updating their friends on new developments, and they simply love to compare notes on the theory of just about anything.

It is vital to consider this when looking into the future of the gambling industry.  Social media habits directly reflect online habits – and these in turn impact online gambling habits.

The Wonder That Is The Open Mind

There is also another side to this particular coin.  Millennials are much more open-minded than their older counterparts.  Gambling in general is still considered to be a vice by some – and subsequently it is shot into the same bin as drinking and smoking, habits that are considered to be less than savoury, if not to be avoided completely.  This error in perception used to be the main challenge going head to head with the casino industry – back in a more conservative time.

These are not the reasons cited by millennials when asked about their lack of enthusiasm for casino games – especially slot games.  The answers provided are nowhere near any reference made to the decay of moral values and the like.  Millennials want much more in terms of a social experience – which is why, when they do gamble, they prefer table games such as Blackjack – games that lend themselves to the act of coming forward into a social setting rather than retreating into a private space.

Embracing The Future

The land based casino industry will be looking to create new floor configurations  in order to accommodate the specific social and gaming needs of the millennial, as well as the development of games that are more in line with what millennials view as being fun and rewarding. Online, the focus will shift to live dealer games, interactive games and ones that rely on skill as well as luck.

The future of gambling is going to be a very interesting place indeed.

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