For years casinos across the world have been bringing in millions of people willing to bet their luck at the slot machines, becoming one of the most popular entertainment sources for over one hundred years. So popular in fact, that they provide about seventy percent of the average United States Casino’s income. But much to their dismay, the numbers of participants are dropping by the millions, especially for the millennials and centennials.
The root of the problem can be traced to two serious culture changes.
First off, we now live in the digital age where everything is available on the computer in your pocket. Of course, we’re talking about how everything is on the smart phone. Long gone are the days where you need to spend hours at the store looking for birthday or christmas presents. Just go online and with the click of a button, you can have almost anything brought straight to your doorstep. The same now goes for gambling. You don’t need to take a road trip listening to Elvis’ “Viva Las Vegas” to try your luck at the poker table. The chance to win big is all available online straight to your smartphone.
The second reason why casinos are seeing less and less of the 18-39 year olds is because of the entertainment systems they grew up with. Video gaming has become an entertainment industry valued at over 91 billion dollars. The whole experience has evolved since the classic Atari game Pong to a whole new interactive experience with an astounding depth to the actual gameplay. Storylines have been added while it is like you are playing your own movie and it is up to you how the story ends. You have more and more levels which increase with difficulty as the game goes along, offering different checkpoints and challenges that reward you with millions of different possible items. You’re trying to make your character better, get the right weapon, gold medal, yellow star, or whatever it may be. The point is that spinning a wheel hoping your numbers and icons align is not as attractive as it used to be.
Therefore the casino industry is looking to combat these obstacles by investing in skill based slot machine games. The current games are starting to look a lot more like what you will find at Game Stop; characters with a story that you are involved in that increase with difficulty as you go. The farther you go, the greater chance you have of winning it big. Instead of just pulling a lever on the side or pushing a button to spin, you are looking at a controller coming out of the slot for a total modern gameplay experience. Just imagine a Call of Duty meets Vegas sort of vibe.
The next thing casinos are trying to do is to take a piece of the digital pie by investing in online or smart phone gambling. Thousands of gambling apps offer in app purchases, which means you can buy more spins and in turn win more spins. The money you do win, ends up turning into money in the game, which doesn’t translate to anything in real life. All you are going to be able to do is buy your character a new hat or more spins, but it is where the growth is and where many businesses, including casinos, are putting their money.