While their grandparents happily sat in rows pumping coins into Vegas slots, millennials are just not that into gambling in general. The gambling industry needs new punters, so marketers and affiliate groups explain the hurdles they need to jump to get the younger generations to gamble.
Generation ‘Y Gamble?’
Sometimes known as Generation Y, millennials popped into a world completely wired with high tech gear. They never had to sit on couches waiting for a favorite show; they stream online. And they’re also watching alone when they do. And when they get together with their friends, it’s usually in chats on social media or in a multiplayer online game.
According to marketing professionals at a recent Digital Marketing Forum, these are some of the main reasons that millennials simply don’t go to land-based casinos – unless that casino features a major pop star in residence. Some of the numbers gleaned by the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming illustrated the lack of millennial interest in gambling:
- Gambling was more interesting to non-millennials (42% to 21%)
- Millennials reported spending only 8.5% of their total budget on gambling compared to 23.5% of non-millennials.
- 35% of millennials would increase spending on gambling compared to 50% non-millennials.
The main reason Gen Y scoffs at slots? Too simple; not enough skill involved. While they may have abandoned the one-armed bandit as a crude appliance of yesteryear, youngsters love online gaming. With the massive global popularity of multiplayer online games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and GTA Online, gaming companies have hit the jackpot with a new type of gambling: loot boxes.
Loot boxes are purchased digital assets with unknown contents, usually weapons, armor upgrades, or special vehicles. Gamers can receive specialized ‘skins’ or costumes/appearances for their online avatars, making them stand out from the crowd.
These rare, coveted items have opened a market for ‘skin gambling’ and trading among peers. However, the random chance associated with loot boxes, coupled with the fact that players are spending real money on a random probability – has led some countries to ban loot boxes. The fully-functional virtual casino recently opened in GTA: O has also come under scrutiny for the potential for underage gambling.
While the controversy continues, casino marketing professionals are faced with the same questions every industry has had to answer since the beginning of the free market: how do we attract new customers?
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