As the internet slowly erodes the raison d’etre for real-world casinos their owners will get desperate so what desperate gimmicks are they likely to introduce?
With the writing on the wall for bricks-&-mortar casinos, their inevitable replacement by the internet only now being staved off by a perversion of US gambling laws, the corrupt political system and their owner’s billions, the internet has every right to be just a little bit smug. Denise Coates might have started up Bet365 in a porta-cabin office in a parking lot, but just look at the success she’s wrought, the time was not only right, but entirely ripe, for this evolution of the gambling business.
Future Casino Despair
• Casinos will have to offer variety
• New games to gamble on
• Desperate times call for dino racing
The rich real-world casino moguls (so called because they really should be skied over by stoned hipsters) will apparently stop at nothing to try and hold back this tide of change, and whilst their failure is as unavoidable as dinner with your in-laws* that doesn’t mean they won’t try every trick in the book to delay their demise just as long as possible. So what can we expect from these billionaire gambler farmers in the twilight of their business model?
*What’s the difference between in-laws and outlaws? Outlaws are wanted.
They say sex sells (although if you try it yourself you’ll be arrested for prostitution) and you can expect to see casinos turn to this base unit of human nature in a desperate effort to attract consumers back to their real-world locations. From topless hostesses to nude dealers, live sex shows to fluffers for the big spenders they will attempt to shrug off their carefully cultivated image of faux-sophistication and instead appeal on a far more sexually-mercenary level than hitherto.
This is likely to produce a flurry of press coverage, a few feminist protests and the odd arrest for lude behavior in public, but in the end, whilst the marketing men will be able to persuade the aging male casino owners into thinking this a surefire winner, the fact is the internet already does the sexual imagery thing better and with more privacy for the individual. Expect them to try it anyway around 2025 if not sooner.
It was the superb Klaus Maria Brandauer in the controversially Cubby-less “Never Say Never Again” who challenged Connery’s Bond to a game of “Domination” whereby each player gripped two joystick style affairs to play a quick game of global warfare in which electric shocks were administered to the loser. Variations on the theme are very likely to be seen at casinos the world over in just the next few years as casinos try to cash in on another human trait; cruelty.
What could make winning sweeter than watching your opponents writhe in pain? The time is not far off in the future where to play blackjack you’ll have to hold a metallic rod in one hand and sit on a chair that’s been wired up to give you a volt jolt when you bust, slot machines will have a mechanical hand inside that reaches out to slap you if you fail to hold two identical fruit, and for the uber-rich “whales” a young pretty topless hostess will kick them in the balls if they lose at baccarat. Next five years, tops.
3. Russian Roulette
Yes, I realize there’s a health-&-safety issue here, but with the advances in bulletproof glass over the last few years we really are reaching a stage now where a massive glass cube could be erected in the center of a casino and punters could be offered the chance to either go up against each other or the dealer. You might think that staffing that particular job might be tricky, but as the capitalist economy fails and we move into that dystopian future Hollywood keeps showing us, I don’t think it’ll be an issue.
Naturally this barbaric turn of events will require a slick promotional campaign to avoid it looking too much like that scene out of “The Deer Hunter”, and casino owners will be gambling news coverage, however negative, will be entirely counter balanced by a television advertising campaign of a smiling man clicking an empty chamber against his head as a simpering bimbo looks on adoringly and a voice over goads your manhood into being the next into the box. ETA? Super Bowl Halftime Show in 2021.
4. Murder Games
Given casinos haven’t changed their basic offering since the middle of last century you can’t expect them to be very original and you just know having seen the god-awful “Hunger Games” movies some fruit loop of a casino operator will eventually manage to convince a dozen or so athletic looking youths to fight to the death in the landscaped estate that surrounds their luxury resort with the very rich gambling on which of them will make it out alive.
You might feel that human decency and public outrage would prevent such a thing ever happening but a quick glance at how the NCAA treat college basketball players will tell you that in the pursuit of money there is no level of exploitation to which the rich will not stoop, and those who like to bet on sports in US don’t really care enough to worry about it. Likely to sell it as being Darwinism in action the casino owners will be able to hear the naturalist revolve in his grave around 2030.
5. Dinosaur Racing
Whilst the safari experience in Jurassic Park was all very well, it hardly made best use of the revenue stream that live dinosaurs could be and with horse racing growing ever more stale the progress of genetic science is all that stands between fat greedy racino owners and their very own dinosaur derby. Numbered velociraptors, possibly dyed different hues, lumbering around an enclosed oval track, muzzled to prevent them savaging each other, or perhaps not.
As the flickering light of life finally begins to be extinguished for brick-&-mortar casinos having extinct reptiles charging about for people to wager on will probably be just the final death throes of an industry that should, had it any sense, just give up now and quietly leave the stage with some dignity rather than scraping the bottom of the barrel to find gimmicks and distractions to lure in punters to facilities of fleecing. Expect to be able to bet on the T-Rex around 2042.