Can the gaming industry attract the millennial generation?

Millennials in Vegas

The gambling behavior of the so called millennial generation in US points out to a new perception on gambling.

People in the US, born between the 80s and the 90s, or the so called “millennial generation”, are more inclined to be emotionally attached to a gambling brand than to respond on different kinds of loyalty benefits given by diverse companies. This is the conclusion, which the gambling news of today spread, after the publication of a study by the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Las Vegas.

Too big generation gaps for the old marketing strategies

The focus of the paper titled “Elvis Who? Understanding, Attracting and Retaining the Next Generation of Las Vegas Customer” is the gambling behavior of the millennial generation. It portrays the differences in the perceptions of entertainment between the millennial generation and the Las Vegas 50’s, 60’s and 70’s generations. These differences mainly refer on the reasons for visiting a casino, the amounts spent on non-gambling activities, the types of traveling companions while gambling etc.

Casinos and millennial generation

How does Vegas Casinos sound to millennials?

That a change is needed in the gambling marketing strategies of today is one of the well emphasized conclusions of the study. “Players clubs and targeted marketing techniques which proved so effective in the 2000s are increasingly ineffective; this customer eschews the incremental loyalty that was the hallmark of this visitor. Rather the drivers of loyalty are both functional and emotional,” states Oliver Lovat, Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors from the United Kingdom.

Gambling comes with the ages

Part of the study done by UNLV’s Center for Gaming Research was to note the reactions of the investigated people, belonging to the millennial generation, on the claim “I would rather spend USD1,000 on food and alcohol than on gambling,”.

From those belonging in the group between 26-30-years old, around 30 % answered that the claim is “somewhat true” while 10 % answered it is “completely false”. On the other side, 50 % of the sample of people age 31-35 qualified the claim as “completely false” while around 30 % declared it is “somewhat true”.

As a conclusion derived from this survey, online gambling sites in US announced the fact that the millennial generation in fact do not gamble. However, as they rightly noted a more correct conclusion would be the statement that “the millennial generation do not gamble, yet” or that they do not do it in the way their parents or grandparents did it.

What attracts the millennial generation?

Lovat states in his gaming research study that there are three primary drivers of the millennials in their decision-making process to go to a gambling complex. These include: room pricing, reputation and range of amenities. “In an emotional sense, we note that the drivers of loyalty are based around concepts of community and shared experiences, rather than aspiration and service drivers,” added Lovat.

Although the Millennials visit Las Vegas far more often than their parents or the older generations, they do not perceive the city in the first place as a place for gambling but as a social meeting point. “Fun” is their first association of Las Vegas while the “gambling” moment goes in the background. This situation reflects on the amount of money they spend on gambling.

As the paper states that only 2.3 % of the Millennials spend more than UDS 5,000 while most of them, around 33 % spend under UDS 200. “The players who spend the most on gaming (over US$1000) are those that typically have been to Las Vegas the most often” adds Lovat.

These figures are pretty low if we have in mind that the Millennials compose around 25% of the US population being considerably more in number from the Baby Boom generation ( born after WWII until the 60’s) and the Generation X (born 60’s-70’s). Their direct spending power, as reported by US gambling news is estimated on USD 200 billion. An amount which is seen as a great challenge by the US gaming industry.

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