Casino operators such as Caesars Entertainment have flirted with the idea of using skill based machines at their casinos in an attempt to change the status quo of swamping their casino floors with traditional slot machines and introduce these new and innovative skill based games to the younger generation.
Caesars Entertainment partnered with GameCo and introduced over 20 skill-based machine games earlier this year, at a number of their properties in Atlantic City with the idea of attracting the millennial generation who were not very interested in engaging in traditional forms of gaming. Market analysts had predicted that the millennial generation who are generally in their 20s and early 30s, want to play games that entertain them and force them to think and use their skills.
Casino operators around the world have targeted millennials for a number of years now, looking to crack the code that will enable them to successfully attract this younger generation to their casino properties. Casino operators in Atlantic City were also under pressure to generate more revenue as the brick & mortar casino industry was struggling due to a sluggish New Jersey economy and the fact that Atlantic City gamblers were spending less.
Skill Based Machines Flop
However the experiment with skill based games at Caesars properties did not have a lot of success and the company was forced to remove all of the skill based games due to the fact that they were not generating enough money to cover their charges and licensing fees. Caesars and GameCo made a mutual decision to remove the games but have not yet give up on the idea that skill based games could be the next big thing in the casino industry.
In a statement, gaming consultant Robert Ambrose said “Casinos thrive on new gaming content, and the skill-based products will definitely be increasing their footprint long-term as more of the customer base is exposed to the products. I think with the skill-based product, the industry needs to take a long-term view.”
Must Take Long Term View
GameCo co-founder and CEO Blaine Graboyes share a similar view with Ambrose and says that the momentum to have skill-based games at casinos is very much present and expects skill-based machines to occupy more than 5 percent of the gaming machines present on casino floors by the end of 2022. Should Graboyes prove to be right in his estimates, it would be good business for skill-based machine operators such as GameCo as that would mean more than 50,000 skill-based machines will need to be installed by 2022.
Tropicana Atlantic City has been one of the casinos that has experimented with skill-based games and is adopting a long term view. Steve Callender, the general manager of the property said that slot machines currently outperformed skill-based machines but they have found that skill-based machines are slowly gaining acceptance and generating incremental revenue from a new demographic of players.
Better Marketing Strategy
One of the reasons why these skill-based games could have flopped at Caesars could be because Caesars did not adopt the right marketing strategy to promote these new skill-based games. Ambrose believes that casino operators cannot operate the same strategy they use to market traditional slot machine games which is placing the slot machine on the casino floor and letting players make the decision to play the new slot machine.
Skill-based machines appear similar to traditional slot machines in many ways and are often overlooked by players as they are unable to differentiate the two machines. Ambrose believes that casino operators must market skill-based machines in a completely different if they are going to make it a success and get the millennials over to play them.
Since millennials spend a lot of time on social media platforms, Ambrose says it will be a good marketing strategy for casino operators to come up with skill-based marketing campaigns and run them across popular social media platforms which will not only attract millennials but get them talking about it within their community and eventually lead to them playing these skill-based games.
One thing is for sure is that casino operators will continue to experiment with skill-based games and look to crack the code to break into the lucrative millennial market.
 
 

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