In this interview with CalvinAyre.com’s Rebecca Liggero, Daniel Sahl explains how the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’s Gaming Innovations inspire innovation in its students.
Can casinos gamble on millennials and get it right?
For Daniel Sahl, of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’s (UNLV) Gaming Innovations, it’s possible, but only if casino floors are willing to change to appeal to the younger generation.
“Millennials are interesting. Everyone thinks that the millennials are, like, locked in their phones and just completely oblivious to the world around them, but the millennials are using their phones to engage in social conversations and social interactions with other people. Millennials are actually extraordinarily social,” Sahl told CalvinAyre.com.
Because of this, Sahl believes it’s a must for casino floors to evolve.
“Traditional gambling right now… with the exception of certain gambling like craps tables, for the most part, it’s very [isolating]. You have a machine and you’re isolated,” he explained. “I really think the casino floor is going to have to evolve in a way that allows for the group to play together. We don’t want to break the group up. When millennials get together, the group is important and they don’t want to engage in activities that pressure the group.”
What’s needed, according to Sahl, are new games that allow a group of players to sit around and play together. And that’s where the UNLV’s Gaming Innovations come in: using innovation to inspire students to come up with new ideas for the casino floor.
“What we’re offering at UNLV really is unique on a global scale. The idea is that there’s a demand for new gambling games in the industry, and who better to create those new gambling games than the young people that are playing games right now. The young people that we’re trying to target,” Sahl said.
At UNLV, students are encouraged to come up with casino games and present them to their classmates as well as experts from the field, in a Shark Tank fashion.
“The way the class is structured is we spend about the first five weeks talking about what gambling games are, the mathematical process behind gambling games. But the majority of the classes that are allocated to each individuals coming up with that creative idea and picturing their idea to the class, kind of a Shark Tank fashion throughout the semester, picturing their idea,” Sahl said. “We have experts from the field, experienced people from the field, the students themselves, and we all contribute and we say, ‘Well, that’s been done before… that’s may be too complicated, maybe you need something similar and then every now and then a student comes up with an idea and everyone’s just like, wow. Never thought of that before but now we just want to play it.”