Casinos are seeking ways to attract younger demographic and daily fantasy sports could be the key.
According to report published by Stop Predatory Gambling (SPG), surveys show that young people still go to casinos but spend more time and money on food, drink and entertainment than they do on gambling because their idea of gaming isn’t the one casinos were built on.
The younger generation is more interested in games such as fantasy sports, which is why casinos want a piece of it.
“[While] the established casino interests in the country [are] complaining that this is gambling and that they should be shut down or at least regulated, what they really want is … a piece of this action,” said SPG head Les Bernal, “Because casinos themselves [realize that] their demographic is aging. And so they’ve been trying to find ways to attract younger gamblers.”
In October, the American Gaming Association has asked state attorneys general whether it would be legal to offer the same daily games, an industry that is expected to take in $2.6b in entry fees this year.
Pennsylvania representative George Dunbar has also passed a bill allowing casinos to host daily fantasy sports. The bill will require DFS operators to partner with licensed casino operators. “You’re not going to get that large and that big without government trying to get involved in the process as well and making sure everyone is taken care of,” Dunbar told Fox 49.
In a data from the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, 10m out of 51.6 million fantasy sports players are under 18. Yahoo has recruited thousands of minors for free-play fantasy sports, eventually transitioning them into real-money games.
“Internet gambling is especially addictive for youth who have grown up playing video games,” said the report. “By deceptively luring youth into online gambling, these sports gambling operators are setting up an entire generation of young people to become problem gamblers by making exploitive forms of gambling omnipresent in everyday life, whether in their own homes or on the smartphones they carry with them.”
Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health, in over a dozen reports, have also found a strong link between gambling and other problems among the younger market, mainly because it fosters impulsive behavior, which often leads to depression, crime, homelessness and joblessness in young adulthood.
Another idea being tested is the new skill-based slots. Nevada recently approved a bill allowing state casinos to offer slot machines that feature a skill-based, arcade-style element and variable payback ratios as casino operators have been struggling to fill the seats in front of their thousands of slot machines due to older gamblers dying off and younger gamblers finding traditional slots too passive. However, analysts predict that a move could re-energize the market and attract younger customers, but not for a few years.