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Casinos Turning to Videogames to Profit From Millennials


Get ready to trade your console in for a sack full of quarters and bus fare to Las Vegas. Arcades are making a comeback, baby!

Well…sorta.  After passing legislation to allow skill-based games in 2015, and with declining profits compared to less than a decade ago, many casinos see a profitable future by introducing gambling machines that are similar to the console and mobile games we play now.  They imagine there could even be single player or co-op versions of blockbuster titles, such as Call of Duty, added in the future. (It would not be the first time Call of Duty was made for a particular market or purpose.)

Outside some minor tech and visual upgrades, the slot machines in casinos are mostly running on the same fresh ideas from the 1970s.  The venerable one-armed bandit takes up the bulk of current floor space, but the experience has not changed.  The majority of people playing slot machines are over 50, and the numbers are declining.

Casinos have to attract younger suckers customers (people closer to earning a retirement than receiving it) in order to have a future.  Eric Meyerhoffer, CEO of Gamblit Gaming, talks about that future of casino gambling (AKA where Daddy goes to lose his kid’s college fund) and why their survival requires a change. He says, “Millennials have grown up in an era of digital media and games.  The passive experience of a slot machine does not resonate with them.” Fair enough, then.

For now, Gamblit is making machines that look more like giant mobile games, but they are beginning to work with publishers on ideas that will appeal to the gamblers of tomorrow.  We should begin to see more of these types of “smaller, more intimate areas with specialized themes” in a casino near you soon.

Jason became terminally addicted to videogames after receiving the NES at an early age. This addiction grew to include PC gaming and was cemented with the launch of the PS2. From then on, he was afflicted with epic RPGs, tense shooters, and deep strategy games, never becoming skillful, but never able to quit. He continues to play games (poorly) and share his passion for them to anyone willing to listen.

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