It’s time to throw the baby-boomers out with the bath water, at least as far as casinos are concerned. Casinos are no longer targeting baby boomers as the casinos’ prime consumer market. Millennials, or Y-Generation (those born between the years 1980-2000), are the new ‘must have’ consumer market. The Y-Generation is younger, larger and represents the present and future for casino profits. Unfortunately, millennials have shown little interest what the traditional casinos offer.
A white paper by Robert Coppola, Director of Global Market Research and Consumer Insights for YWS Design & Architecture states millennials are finding the traditional gambling experience to be boring. Slot machines with their bells and flashing lights and their chiming waterfalls of jackpots, are not attracting millennials who see them as off-putting, and anti-social activities. The Y-Generation is no longer satisfied with games where individuals are isolated in front of a static screen nor are they enamored with sitting around small gaming tables for hours on end. Millennials seek a more interactive experience. They are attracted to locations that allow them to move about, making new contacts. They want their games to be intuitive as well as physical. They enjoy those games that cross platforms and can be used on laptops or handheld devices like tablets. They look for locations like Urban Putt in San Francisco or national brands like Dave and Busters that allow them to interact with the games or provide an interactive social media platform.
YGS concludes that casinos need to rely less on the old way of operating where consumers are isolated at slot machines or in small, static groups around the gaming tables. There are more than 87 million millennials in the United States alone and they will soon be approaching the milestone birthday of 40 within the next few years. This means that the Y-Generation will soon be looking for locations where their gaming interests do blend seamlessly with their social activities. If casinos fail to align their games with how millennials interact with the world, then they could miss out on connecting with this generation’s largest, long-term consumer market.