Becky’s Affiliated: How to attract the younger casino patron

Becky’s Affiliated: How to attract the younger casino patron

We all know gambling professionals who lament the gambling industry’s lack of innovation, or so they say. It’s easy to make a judgment like this after attending G2E, an event whose expo hall is dominated with thousands of slot machines year after year. It’s true that G2E is a slot machine heaven (or hell, depending on how you look it), but if you search hard enough, there are also innovative concepts and products on display.

Becky’s Affiliated: How to attract the younger casino patronMany of these innovations have been developed with the younger casino patron in mind, a demographic of casino player that will only continue to grow while the older demographic decreases. Shifting activity and offerings on the casino floor to attract the younger crowd is a challenge faced by the entire gambling industry, most prominently the brick and mortar casinos.

Gamblit Gaming is a technology provider that endeavors to engage the younger casino patron on-site and online. Gamblit Gaming’s CEO, Eric Meyerhofer, describes the younger casino patron as someone falling within the 21–49 age bracket and confirmed that this demographic now makes up over 70% of casino visitation in many markets.

With the intent of capturing this market, Gamblit Gaming has developed a new class of electronic game that they call “SWig” or “Skill Wagering integrated game” (think betting real money on Angry Birds or Scrabble).

“This type of product provides more of an entertainment experience as its primary feature, with the excitement of wagering injected into the game,” explained Meyerhofer. “We believe that such a product is more appealing to the younger players in a casino because it’s more native to their play for fun gaming experiences.”

While catering to the younger casino patron is crucial, the older casino patron is still a significant piece of the pie. And they love those slot machines.

“Traditional casino games have an appeal for a certain audience and within that product class I do believe there has been ongoing innovation, especially if you look at traditional EGMs. Additional entertainment has been injected into those games, on top of a traditional slot machine,” explained Meyerhofer.

He continued, “As such, we believe that it would be prudent for the industry to continue traditional casino games for the demographic that prefers such games, as well as offering a new class of games to the second market as we think of it; the 21-49 year old player.”

When it comes to the younger generation, the key is delivering the right wagering games across the mediums where they want to access these games, a change from what the older generation has grown accustomed to.

“I believe this change is driven by the dramatic uptake of mobile devices and more creative content delivered over these devices, that is shaping how people view fun and entertainment,” explained Meyerhofer.

In an effort to recruit younger patrons to land-based casinos, Gamblit has developed games for operators that can be played online for free, with Virtual Currency and for Real Money.

“This allows B&M casinos to market to younger players online, and build a player community,” explained Meyerhofer. “For the vast majority of US jurisdictions, the only way to play for real money is within the casino. Deploying the games online in a play for fun or virtual currency mode allows casinos to “funnel” players to these games when they are on premise to allow them to play for real money.”

The games developed by Gamblit also have a skill component, making them a perfect candidate for attracting players on-site via tournament play.

“Tournaments and game events allow the Operator to provide player pull into the casinos, using the internet. This is akin to what poker tournaments have accomplished, with the difference being that Gamblit’s games are banked games, not rake games, so they monetize much better for the Operator”, Meyerhofer added.

Regulation of online gambling within America is in the works, creating an additional opportunity for Gamblit’s games; exposing players to the online games they will eventually be able to play for real money without restrictions.

We already know Americans love online gambling based on results from internationally regulated sites offering their service to the US market. What we don’t know is if these gamblers will also enjoy spending real money on more skill-based games such as Gamblit’s.

“I don’t think of the goal as being trying to convert players from one medium to the other; they’re going to do both, depending on the player. So the way I like to think of it is that you serve a product that fits a particular interest and you’ll have some players that play only that, and other players that like to play in different ways”, Meyerhofer said.

Our industry’s way of looking at the relationship between the traditional gambling market and social or skill gaming market has shifted. Rather than looking to convert players from one type of game to another, operators are looking to expand their playerbase by offering both.

“I have never seen these markets as competitive but instead as complimentary”, Meyerhofer added. “I believe the supply side of the licensed industry is seeing this as well because more and more I see companies wanting to be able to supply both kinds of products, rather than just one or the other.”