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Studies show millennials spend their money elsewhere in the gaming industry.
The gaming industry face challenges attracting millennials, the generation now coming to
dominate the workplace and the nation’s entertainment industry?
The Millennial Entertainment Preferences Study, finalized in July of 2016 and conducted by the
Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism at Stockton University, notes that
millennials gamble at significantly lower rates than members of other generations.
Indeed, only 8.5 percent of a millennial’s budget is spent on gambling, compared to 23.5 percent
spent by non-millennials.
That may look like bad news, but it doesn’t have to be.
Because millennials put more value and money on other aspects of the gaming experience, giving
much higher importance to food, fun entertainment and drink than non-millennials.
Fun and Entertainment Preferences Among Millennials.
As the study explains, millennials “clearly felt that drinking, social activities including bars,
lounges, nightclubs and happy hours were more important than did their non-millennial
With the prevalence of drinking activities, it’s not surprising that more millennials rated public
transportation as important versus non-millennials.” When offered to rank a list of 28 activities
they might pursue as part of a gaming experience, millennials ranked gambling as twenty-first,
way down the list.
While the top three preferred activities for millennials all involved food entertainment and drink.
The news on gambling might look bad, but millennials spend more money than non-millennials
on other “gaming experience” costs such as entertainment, nightclubs and transportation.
In a surprise, millennials extended their stays at gaming resorts for a week or more at a much
higher rate than non-millennials did, according to the study.
Millennials are also more social: The study found that less than half of millennials prefer to play
slots by themselves, while 70 percent of non-millennials prefer to play alone.
Millennials are different in the ways they spend their gaming money.
The data shows that millennials prefer a gaming experience that extends far beyond the casino,
spending their money on quality food, entertainment, drinks, lounge fun and nightclubs.
This is neither good nor bad news for the gaming industry, but poses a challenge for the industry
in designing a more holistic, less casino-centric customer experience.
Technology will play a key role, as millennials continue to use mobile apps and wearable
technology to live their lives.
Casinos need to think more expansively, offering experiences within a more entertaining, social,
fun environment spaces, and technology-enabled solutions that millennials have come to expect.
Imagine walking into a new casino space and getting a wearable, smartphone, tablet..... or
allowing their own, which will allow you to do transactions and track everything you do.
It will help create a better customer experience while providing lots of actionable data for
This data collection could allow gaming resorts to offer more personalized experiences, like
special promotions on food and drink or discounts and extend the customer stay and spend in
the new social/fun/entertainment and gambling environment. Such personalization shall be the
Of course, most important is how to utilize and capitalize these critical findings.
Millennials are presenting challenges to the gaming industry, forcing it to improve on non-
gambling parts of the entire experience, from better lounge chill/out, meet people, socializing areas, fun, entertainment and nightclubs to more diverse drinks and food options.
Whether millennials will disrupt or enable a casino’s growth is largely up to how it adapts to the
evolving customer expectations.
And a new study verifies that millennials aren’t fond of slot machines and table games.
Stockton University, located just outside Atlantic City, found that just under 21% of millennials
(35 and under), visit the East Coast resorts with gambling as their primary reason.
In contrast, 42% of those older than 35 named gambling as their top reason for visiting Atlantic
Millennials also spend just 8.5% of their trip budget versus 23% by non-millennials, according to
the research performed by Stockton’s University, Hospitality and Tourism Management.
The millennials were also asked what they would increase their spending on if money wasn’t a
The Stockton University survey polled over 500 millennials and non-millennials, most of whom
were from New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
The research was performed for Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality & Tourism at Stockton
As for millennials, they represent America’s largest population at 83 million people / over 30% of
the adult population / which is equal in most countries and markets now adays. And casinos are
trying to figure out how they can appease this population.
So far, more socialized spaces, entertainment, dancing, dinner, drinks, and nightclubs has been
an appropriate answer.
But slot machines haven’t caught the interest of the majority of younger visitors.
The objective for casinos is that they can attract more millennials and younger non-yet gambling
generations, by including a different environment which shall; differentiate from the
conventional and classic casino atmosphere, more fun, more entertainment, more background
music, more digital and technology format gambling, more social, an assortment of games
including joy, amusement, fun and skill-based element, which shall accompany gambling product
adapted to new digital formats. Including betting on sports, pre-match and live, with a second
to none cinematographic experience they can’t get at home, betting on virtual games and sports,
and do not leave behind any entertaining digital option as they become available in the market
or by law.
In fact, I am fully convinced that in medium and long term, if not already, the future casinos could
be based on the success of how well they are able to define and deploy this new environment to
complement and complete their offer addressing a fully universal customer profile, which shall
mainly attract the sceptic non classic gambler’s generations, while keeping and keep taking good
care of their core ever gambling customers.
The preferences of (Millennials and new generations of potential customers) regarding
entertainment, fun and amenities is of major significance to the casino industry and it represents
a critical asset of the future of their economic viability.
After all the other 30% of the older generation which compose the existing players are getting
older and needs to be gradually replaced with new breed of players which must come yes or yes
from the millennials and new generations.
The Stockton University study was sponsored by the major casino groups in order to have a
comprehensive understanding of the likes and likes, trends and preferences of the new
demography / also the not so new / so they can make a more accrued focus of their business
Other interesting findings from the research include that millennials find “all-inclusive” to be
important, Wi-Fi is a must, and over 30% of millennials said that easy access, comfortable
transport and parking was an important issue.
As for millennials’ gambling, 57% prefer table games over slot machines, and they like to play
video slots with family and friends.
The reflexions shall provide a clear vision of how things are evolving in the new generations
preferences regarding entertainment, leisure and what matters most to us, how to adapt part of
the casino gambling industry to attract, welcome and retain new players to enhance the existing
demand, and eventually replace gradually the generational factor.
At the end of the day, the objective is to optimize the economy of the industry and make a
business strategy and development to meet the customers, our key objective.
Eduardo Morales Hermo 10 September 2017
Source / Own elaboration / Data and empiric survey facts from various industry findings and
from Millennial Entertainment Preferences Study, finalized in July of 2016 and conducted by the
Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism at Stockton University,
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