The winds of change are sweeping through the gambling and poker world. Technology has improved the awareness and interest in gaming activities such as Texas Holdem poker, but at the same time, has impacted the rate of attendees that choose to spend their money at the land based casinos. In fact, a report from CBS television indicated that revenues from Casinos in Las Vegas had dropped by almost 5% for a third straight month of declines. In their news story, they reported that the millennials were visiting the Las Vegas strip for partying and nightlife, but interest in attending the casinos had waned due to differences in their experiential motives. Online gambling has impacted land-based casinos in a big way. Online casino business Casino Room, explores the impact of online gambling on land based casinos.
The interest in playing traditional slot machines has dropped
The slot machines are the biggest revenue generators for casinos, providing a 60% profit margin per machine. The millennial generation are opting to play games that involve more skill. In this way, they have more control over the outcome of their betting activities. Traditionally, casinos haven’t favoured this as it increases the risk of payouts among the casino goers that actually have the skill to beat the house. However, for those punters that don’t have the skill level, it could potentially earn the casinos thousands in additional revenue.
The influence of popular culture
Popular culture has influenced people’s willingness to go to casinos. The major change is the mentality shift from chance to skill. This is evident from the increased popularity in poker. Poker players are becoming celebrities and playing professionally, earning megabucks! However, the process is achieved through skilled play and technical practice, of which many use online platforms. This was even made evident in the movie 21, which is based on MIT students playing blackjack and earning upwards of $6 million per year.
The influence of smart device applications
The casino apps development has taken the app market by storm. Casino games are shifting from the physical world to the virtual world on mobile smart devices. According to Statista, Casino Apps accounted for 14% of all app revenue on the iTunes market. According to industry tracking firm App Annie, the spending on mobile casino games has increased to a market of $2.7 billion in revenue. Gambling giants Pokerstars saw a mobile registration increase of 50% over the course of 2014. Online casino companies that have identified the trends early have profited well from their investment. It has also left traditional casinos struggling to reinvent themselves with the new gambling behaviours as they seek to understand and incorporate new ways to draw new crowds to experience betting at the casino.
Another issue is that betting is becoming more of a commodity with the increased accessibility through smart devices. Across most countries and states, restrictions had been put in place to prevent people from participating in gambling activities outside of the casinos. This provided some casinos with a form of monopoly. However, these barriers have been broken and the experience that people were previously seeking in terms of gambling at the casinos can now be done in the comfort of their own home.
Physical casinos are facing serious challenges with their online competitors
With the competition being more ferocious than ever before, creativity is needed by physical casinos to draw the crowds back. There is chatter in the industry where marketers have suggested that the physical casinos need to become more like gaming arcades that provide a similar experience to the popular gaming apps and video games. In a way, the physical casinos may become more like the gambling ‘Pachinko’ houses in Japan and across Asia.
The physical casinos have it tougher than they have ever done before. They need to lure millennials to gamble in their casinos by reinventing themselves as punters move their betting activities to web platforms. Should they synergise their casino gameplay with popular gaming styles from the app market, they should start receiving more gambling attendees participating and doing what they should be doing in any casino – spending big, in the hope of winning big!