Should Casinos Be Afraid of Millennials?

In the past, casinos could pinpoint what their clientele wanted. They would offer perks, such as free rooms or free dinners, to their loyal gamblers. Also, casinos offered thrilling shows and concerts to draw people to their venues. People paid good money to travel to casinos to see the Rat Pack, for example. In the past, people who went to casinos came to gamble, enjoy themselves, and, then, go home.

However, the times are changing for casinos. Increasingly, Millennials are changing the face of gambling as we know it. What Millennials want is not the same as what other generations wanted from their casinos. Should casinos be worried? Well, it depends. There are casinos that will fare better with Millennials than others.

Who Are Millennials?

Who Are Millennials?

In general, Millennials are people who were born between 1980 and 2000. This age group is larger than the previous generation, Generation X. Depending on how old they are, Millennials are the children of Baby Boomers or Gen Xers. Millennials have some traits in common, although generalizing anything is difficult. Like many people within a generation who are in their 20s, Millennials are liberal. Most Millennials believe in the legalization of marijuana, gender equality, and tolerance.

One important aspect of Millennials is that they grew up immersed in technology. For Millennials, technology, especially social media, is there for them throughout their daily lives. More than any other generation, Millennials want to connect to their friends. However, more than any other generation, Millennials report feeling disconnected from people.

Millennials and Gambling

There are several reasons that trend watchers say Millennials are not going to gamble as much as other generations. First, Millennials are less connected to society than other generations. This means that they do not value social interaction and conversation as other generations did. In fact, Millennials are more likely to stay home and interact with their phones. This does not bode well for businesses, such as casinos. Second, Millennials do not like to take risks. In fact, they seem to run from risk-taking and confrontation, unless they are doing it for social media value. Third, Millennials are not nostalgic. For example, generations that came before the Millennials valued visiting museums. The visit brought back great childhood memories. Millennials do not want to do anything the way their parents did.

How to Attract Millennials to Gamble at Casinos

Millennials and Gambling

Casino operators worry that Millennials are going to stay away from their doors. However, there are ways that casinos can adapt to a new generation. Here are some ideas casinos can try to bring in Millennials so they will gamble.

Offer Experiences

First, casinos that are able to attract Millennials are offering experiences and venues that Millennials want. Millennials crave experiences, so they can share them with their online friends. For example, casinos have been slowly incorporating top-shelf restaurants into their facilities. That way, Millennials can record their dining experiences and share them with friends. Also, several resorts in Las Vegas have seriously upped their pool games. They are offering pool parties with DJs geared toward Millennials. Casinos have also upped their concert game as well. They have invited DJs and other famous artists to play exclusive venues and parties with a small audience. All these ideas mean that the casino’s venue is intimate and special, which Millennials love.

Offer a Marriage of Technology and Gambling

Many casinos have made focusing on Millennials their goal by changing around what they offer. Casinos that have figured out how to recruit Millennials encourage them to tweet or post. In fact, several casinos offer bonuses to people who post or tweet about what they are doing. In addition, there are several casinos that offer cultural lessons in addition to gambling venues. For example, Native American casinos may want to offer information and tours that emphasize their cultures. They may also want to combine cultural celebrations and traditions as a way for Millennials to connect to the culture. Millennials love learning about other people’s cultures—especially if they can post about it.

Millennials Love Added Value

If casinos only offer one thing — gambling — many Millennials are not going to flock to the casino. However, if casinos offer multilayered experiences, they attract many Millennials. To begin with, there are several experiences that have managed to attract Millennials into areas they weren’t crazy about. For example, two sports popular with earlier generations that are no longer popular with Millennials are golf and bowling. There are several bowling businesses all over the United States that have turned the traditional idea of bowling on its head. New-era bowling lanes look nothing like the typical bowling lanes. The alleys have stripped down the lanes in the Steampunk tradition or the Primitive tradition. They offer craft beer, mixed drinks, and gourmet food. They also offer different kinds of bowling activities, along with spaces where people can relax on couches. All this offers Millennials a nontraditional bowling venue that they love.

Another sport that has not gotten Millennials attention is golf. As a whole, golf does not interest Millennials. They are not visiting golf courses, and they are not watching golf on TV. However, one business, TopGolf, has been extremely successful with Millennials. The business is, in reality, an indoor driving range. However, TopGolf is also a restaurant and a nightclub. Many Millennials enjoy visiting the business because they sponsor several theme nights.

The business model is also different. Instead of whacking a standard golf ball, people at TopGolf whack a microchipped ball toward targets that light up. Players are able to change their experience each time they play. The smart ball means that people can keep track of their shots and progress and share it with friends. The designers of TopGolf have arranged it so people can play in open spaces. This allows different groups to interact as well. MGM Resorts has already jumped on the TopGolf bandwagon. It is putting a TopGolf venue at its MGM location in Las Vegas.

Other Millennial Ideas

gambling millennials

Many businesses have adapted their business plans to fit Millennial beliefs and practices. For example, Millennials want to practice social conscience. They believe in social justice. They want to vacation with a conscience. Often, Millennials want to vacation and do some charity work. For example, after Hurricane Irma in 2017, Millennials went to do charity work in Puerto Rico. Then, they stayed to take in the local scenery. Savvy casinos have begun to offer social justice work as part of the casino experience.

Other casinos have begun to offer technology along with gambling. They offer gaming lounges so Millennials can play eSports while they are at the casinos. They also offer gaming tournaments to attract Millennials who grew up playing video games. Often, these video gaming tournaments or eSports tournaments are great for attracting gamers and other people who enjoy watching eSports.

The question for casinos is whether they will survive the Millennial generation. If casinos are able to create new experiences for Millennials, they will see a profit. Casinos that have offered exclusive venues and concerts have seen success. Casinos that are able to give Millennials opportunities to have new experiences and share on social media will be successful. Casinos that stay the same will be left behind.

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Richard Holmes was born in Tampa, Florida and studied computer science at Pensacola Christian College in Pensacola Florida. A devout Baptist, volunteer Sunday School teacher and online gaming fan, Richard works as a part-time systems administrator at Baptist Hospital and part-time professional blogger specializing in statistics, probability and computer science issues. He is an ardent believer in the future of artificial intelligence as a tool for transforming human society for the better, particularly in the area of health care and modern medicine. A chess player, and competitive online gamer Richard actively participates on online gaming tournaments in his free time.