Slot machines have long been a staple at casinos, often occupying casino floors for as far as the eye can see. They are easily the most popular game played at casinos, with 86% of casino visitors age 22+ saying they play slots when they visit. For some adults, though, slot machines are no longer holding the same allure as they once did.

24% of US Millennials say
they visit casinos to play electronic games

Young adults today grew up in a time where technology was used as a main source of entertainment. From video games to mobile games, young adults are less excited about pulling a lever or pushing a button, instead they prefer to show off their skills. In fact, 24% of US Millennials say they visit casinos to play electronic games, compared to just 14% of non-Millennials, and one quarter say they would increase their visits to casinos if a better variety of gambling options were offered.

Video game gambling machines make their debut

Coupled with the growing interest in online sports betting and gaming, casino game companies have created the first ever VGM (video game gambling machines) to be played directly in casinos to better suit the interests of younger casino-goers.

In a press release, GameCo, Inc. announced the arrival of the world’s first skill-based VGM, Danger Arena. The game is similar to an arcade-style video game, complete with a controller, and features top console, pc, and mobile games. The VGM features single-player games and allows the player to determine their payout and winnings, like other electronic casino games. However, despite players’ skills at the game, VGMs are still set to have similar odds to traditional slot machines, giving winning favor to the house. Based in New York, GameCo first introduced its VGM at Caesar’s properties in Atlantic City in 2016 and anticipates distributing them nationwide beginning in 2017.

What we think

With the lack of innovation in gambling machines, younger casino-goers are less than thrilled with the current offerings on the casino floor. New games on casino floors may help increase attention toward gambling at casino and VGMs, in particular, may also help hold attention of gamblers for longer periods of time, as video game gambling machines are more immersive.

Skill-based games, such as VGMS, will likely appeal to casino-goers who are interested in having some control over the outcome of their gambling and can increase their winnings based on their skills, rather than chance. However, players may grow frustrated with these new machines as they are still designed to be in favor of the house, like traditional slot machines.

Gina Cavato is a Research Analyst at Mintel. Her extensive knowledge from working in the advertising industry provides a solid foundation for writing varied consumer reports across several categories, including lifestyles and leisure activities.

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