Future Scanning: Esports and the Casino Industry

For years, experts in the casino industry have attempted to understand what the future of casinos and gambling will look like. As the number of Baby Boomers and Generation Xers customers, the majority of heavy spenders in the gaming industry, continue to dwindle over the coming years, many wonder what will draw younger generations in to fill their absence and spend money. The biggest focus and research has been directed at the Millennial Generation.

Millennials are not attracted to gambling in the same ways that their parents and their grandparents were and casinos are continuously trying to figure out what will bring them in and get them spending more money. There has been talk of interactive gaming, gaming that relates closely to video gaming, skill-based gaming, and more. [1]

Though electronic table games are not new to the industry, many casinos are increasing the number of these types of games on their gaming floors. These games can be less intimidating and often have lower betting minimums which may help attract younger players. The games also allow players to make multiple bets on multiple games at the same time, increasing the opportunity for revenue for the casino. [2]

New skill-based games are emerging as well. They allow players to compete against one another and challenge them based on skill level. Though not quite popular yet, as these types of games are still fairly new to the industry. [2] Millennials, in general, are not attracted to the traditional slot machine. The generation is big on online gaming and skill-based games. They prefer a much more social setting to be entertained in as opposed to sitting by themselves in front of a machine. Game makers are also looking for ways to allow players to use their cell phones to be able to see where they and other players rank in competition. [3],

For the past few years, there has been much talk and buzz about Esports. Esports are video game competitions for money. This type of gaming is expected to grow over the coming years. [2] It is an attractive concept to millennials who grew up with video games and even around competitive video gaming.

As casinos continue to try to plan for the future, gamblers may see an increase in new technology on gaming floors, including virtual reality installations and more competitive, skill-based gaming. [2] According to the CEO of MGM Resorts International, James Murren, the slot floors of today are not going to be the slot floors a decade from now. Even the look of slot machines will change, in fact, they already are changing. Many game designers are crafting machines that look more sleek, more digital or computer-like, and to resemble video games. CEO of Gamblit Gaming, an innovation gaming company, Eric Meyerhofer, the future casino floor will look more like an adult arcade. Casinos can already be seen transforming their gaming floors, taking out old gaming, adding new games and features that will hopefully attract the younger generation. Meyerhofer also predicts that gaming will become a more social atmosphere and incorporate gaming with non-gaming entertainment, instead of the traditional practice to keep them separate. [3]

In order to remain competitive and relevant, casinos must focus on attracting all generations and understand the differences in what attracts each. [3] The industry must be fluid and accepting of new technology, but also find the balance between attracting the new customers but also retaining the old customers simultaneously. The future of gaming is sure to change and shift in the coming years and decades, especially as new technology and types of gaming emerge.

[1] Barlow, K. (2018, January 04). Millennials and the Gaming Industry in 2017: New Directions Take Hold. Retrieved March 02, 2018, from https://www.casino.org/news/millennials-and-the-gaming-industry-in-2017-new-directions-take-hold

[2] Meltzer, M. (n.d.). What could the casino of the future look like? Retrieved March 02, 2018, from http://www.travelvegas.com/blog/future-vegas-casinos/

[3] K. H. (2017, August 31). The Casino Floor of Tomorrow: Attracting Millennials to Casinos. Retrieved March 02, 2018, from https://www.casino.org/blog/the-casino-floor-of-tomorrow-attracting-millennials-to-casinos/

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