Millennials: Gaming, Smart phones, and Smart Slots

We do know that recreational gaming preferences change as people age. But we can probably expect the combination of factors that drive consumer behavior (technology-enhanced player experiences, Mobile gaming, explosion in new game concepts and play-styles, etc.) to disrupt the heretofore predictable migration of player engagement over to slots and Lottery as consumers mature. Previous generations were not exposed to the ubiquitous variety of gaming options that the current generation of “digital natives” has been immersed in for many years now. It may not be realistic to think the next generation will repeat the patterns of their forebears.

Milan, Italy - June 18, 2014: Angry Birds is a video game by Finnish game developer Rovio Entertainment first released for iOS in 2009. It sold over 2 billion copies across all platforms

Middle-aged and older gamblers have always loved traditional slot machines, but millennial consumers are not as captivated by pushing a button and sitting idly by while a random number generator determines the betting outcome.

Many inside the gambling sector believe this decline in business will reverse itself as the millennials reach middle age – the sweet spot of traditional slot machine users and Lottery players alike. We do know that recreational gaming preferences change as people age. But we can probably expect the combination of factors that drive consumer behavior (technology-enhanced player experiences, Mobile gaming, explosion in new game concepts and play-styles, etc.) to disrupt the heretofore predictable migration of player engagement over to slots and Lottery as consumers mature. Previous generations were not exposed to the ubiquitous variety of gaming options that the current generation of “digital natives” has been immersed in for many years now. It may not be realistic to think the next generation will repeat the patterns of their forebears.

So what is the sector to do? The world of commercial operators is adapting just as we would expect them to – by giving the consumer what they want. Regulatory restrictions are smoothing a path for that by becoming more liberal in general. Game styles like DFS and skill-based games are further complicating the whole regulatory landscape. And ‘complicated’ is not good for sectors like Lottery which depend on the ability of legislators to enact laws to protect the consumer and society, and it is not good for regulators who depend on clarity of laws to enforce them effectively.

Historically, for instance, games that included elements of both skill and luck, like poker, have been regulated as “gambling” that impose higher taxes, higher standards of consumer protection, and much stricter regulatory standards to comply with. Currently, regulators typically monitor and control the promotional tactics used to attract and retain players. There are restrictions to how free-plays, bonus plays, and other enticements can be used to drive increased playership. Insofar as skill-based games are not classified as ‘gambling’, consumer protection rules like these may not be applied, or their application may not be as rigorous.

Smartphones Fuel Gaming Among Millennials

Millennials – the tech-savvy generation of young adults who are coveted by marketers across all industries – are using mobile smartphone technology to fuel unprecedented interest in gaming.

In a recent report by the UK Gaming Commission, the percentage of 18- to 34-year-olds gambling on their smartphones has increased from 10% in 2008 to 17.5% in 2014. Mobile gambling is an estimated $36 billion behemoth worldwide. This is the first truly “on-line digital native” generation, and their use of mobile phones reflects their familiarity and proficiency with technology – they spend an average of 3.2 hours per day on their smartphones.

This heavy use of smartphones is great news for the Lotteries and commercial gambling companies who have moved their services online. Advancements in smartphone technology have enabled the placing of bets for sport, playing online poker, accessing online casinos, and playing the Lottery. More access means more opportunity for players to engage with gaming operators. Millennials can now gamble via social networking sites and play games through apps, while providers can capture behavioral tracking data to inform game design, market segmentation and targeting, and promotional strategy.

The explosive growth of Mobile gaming is also diving dramatic shifts in game development, and player attraction and engagement tactics. Game developers traditionally focused on achieving such metrics as DAU (daily active users) and MAU (monthly active users). New thinking centers on “regulars,” those who play a certain game every day (in many instances, 90 minutes or more per day). Developers try to create a gaming environment that will continue to engage such high-value frequent users. Frequently, this can be achieved through social gameplay within a game…the player-to-player interactions, sharing, and competing that appeals to dedicated players. To emphasize the strategic importance of regulars, Kabam, a company that has created six game titles that generated $100 million in revenue, is working to develop games that may last for as long as a decade! And with the release of Lumberyard, a free, cloud connected game engine, Amazon has now moved into gaming. Amazon-owned Twitch also just acquired Curse, a gaming content and resource hub visited by more than 30 million people each month.

The stage is set for unprecedented innovation and sector growth … And sector disruption.

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Synopsis

Français
Millénaire : Jeu, smartphones et machines à sous électroniques. Aptitudes, chance, vidéo, A/R, social gaming et mobile se combinent pour créer une expérience de pari attrayante qui change la composition du marché du consommateur pour les jeux de hasard. La génération du millénaire est devenue adulte avec une technologie omniprésente et ses préférences en matière de divertissements et de loisirs englobent généralement un élément technique. La technologie a aussi ouvert de nouveaux horizons d’expériences de joueur, plus nombreuses et plus divertissantes. Les machines à sous traditionnelles ne leur parlent pas, du moins pas comme aux précédentes générations de joueurs. Quelques chiffres : le chiffre d’affaires des machines à sous à Las Vegas a reculé de 17 % au cours des dix dernières années. Les jeux de table ont diminué de 3 % Selon un rapport de PWC Remote Gambling Research d’avril dernier, la participation des joueurs dans les canaux physiques au Royaume Uni est restée stable au cours des cinq dernières années alors qu’elle a augmenté de 20 % dans les canaux en ligne. Nous pouvons certainement nous attendre à ce qu’une combinaison de facteurs qui déterminant le comportement du consommateur (expérience joueur améliorée via la technologie, jeu sur mobile, explosion de nouveaux concepts et de styles de jeux, etc.), vienne perturber la migration jusqu’ici prévisible des joueurs vers les machines à sous et la loterie à mesure qu’ils vieillissent. La croissance explosive du jeu sur mobile est aussi un moteur de profondes mutations dans le développement des jeux, l’attraction des joueurs et les tactiques d’implication. Les développeurs de jeux se concentraient traditionnellement sur l’obtention de scores tels que le nombre d’utilisateurs actifs quotidiens et mensuels. La nouvelle logique est axée sur les « habitués », ceux qui jouent à un certain jeu chaque jour (dans de nombreux cas, 90 minutes ou plus par jour). Les développeurs essaient de créer un environnement de jeu qui continuera à impliquer de tels joueurs fréquents à forte valeur. Le moment est venu pour le secteur de connaître une innovation et une croissance sans précédent... ainsi qu’un bouleversement sans précédent.
Español
La generación del milenio: Juegos, teléfonos inteligentes y tragaperras inteligentes. Habilidad, suerte, vídeo, realidad aumentada, juego social y móvil se combinan para crear una atractiva experiencia de juego que está cambiando el rostro del mercado del consumidor para los juegos de azar. La generación del milenio ha crecido con una tecnología ubicua, y sus preferencias de ocio y recreo suelen mostrar elementos tecnológicos. La tecnología también ha abierto ámbitos completamente nuevos de experiencias cada vez más entretenidas para el jugador. Las tradicionales máquinas tragaperras no les interesan, o al menos no tanto como a las generaciones previas de jugadores. Hechos: los ingresos generados por las máquinas tragaperras de Las Vegas han disminuido un 17 % durante la última década. Los juegos de mesa han caído un 3 %. De acuerdo con el informe PWC Remote Gambling Research Report de abril de este año, la participación de los jugadores en canales físicos en el Reino Unido se ha mantenido estable a lo largo de los cinco últimos años, mientras que los canales en línea han subido un 20 %. Presumiblemente, se espera que la combinación de factores que impulsan el comportamiento del consumidor (experiencia de jugador mejorada por la tecnología, juego móvil, explosión de nuevos conceptos y estilos de juego, etc.) interrumpa la hasta el momento predecible migración del interés del jugador hacia las máquinas tragaperras y la lotería que hasta ahora tenía lugar con la madurez del consumidor. El explosivo crecimiento de los juegos para móviles también está generando cambios dramáticos en el desarrollo de los juegos, así como en las tácticas para interesar y atraer a los jugadores. Habitualmente, los desarrolladores de juegos se concentraban en lograr indicadores como DAU (“daily active users” o usuarios activos diarios) y MAU (“monthly active users” o usuarios activos mensuales). La nueva mentalidad se centra en los “regulares”, aquellos que todos los días juegan a un juego determinado (en muchos casos durante 90 minutos o más cada día). Los desarrolladores intentan crear un entorno de juego que siga atrayendo a estos usuarios habituales de alto valor. El escenario está listo para un crecimiento e innovación sin precedentes en el sector… y también para la disrupción.
Deutsch
Millennium-Generation: Gaming, Smart-Phones und Smarte Glücksspielautomaten. Geschicklichkeit, Glück, Videos, erweitere Realität (Augmented Reality, AR), Social Gaming und mobile Geräte zusammen schaffen ein attraktives Spielerlebnis, das die Struktur des Verbrauchermarkts für Glücksspiele verändert. Die Millennium-Generation ist mit allgegenwärtigen Technologien aufgewachsen, und ihre Freizeitpräferenzen beinhalten meist eine technologische Komponente. Auch haben diese neuen Technologien völlig neue Bereiche von immer unterhaltsameren Spielerfahrungen geschaffen. Traditionelle Spielautomaten können diese Generation nicht begeistern, zumindest nicht in dem Maße, wie das bei vorherigen Generationen der Fall war. Information am Rande: Die Einnahmen von Spielautomaten in Las Vegas sind im letzten Jahrzehnt um 17 % gesunken. Das Glücksspiel am Spieltisch ist um 3 % zurückgegangen. Laut einem Bericht von PWC zu Online-Glücksspielen von April letzten Jahres ist die Teilnahme an örtlichen Glücksspielen in Großbritannien in den letzten fünf Jahren gleich geblieben, während die Teilnahme an Online-Glücksspielen um 20 % gestiegen ist. Wir können wahrscheinlich davon ausgehen, dass die Kombination der Faktoren, die das Verhalten der Verbraucher beeinflussen (eine durch Technologie erweiterte Spielerfahrung, Mobile Gaming, rascher Anstieg an neuen Spielkonzepten und -stilen etc.) den bisher vorhersehbaren Übergang von älter werdenden Spielern hin zu Spielautomaten und Lotterien stören wird. Das rasche Wachstum im Bereich Mobile Gaming führt ebenfalls zu großen Veränderungen bei der Entwicklung von Spielen und schafft Taktiken, um die Aufmerksamkeit der Spieler zu erregen und zur Teilnahme zu bewegen. Spieleentwickler haben sich in der Vergangenheit auf Maßeinheiten wie täglich aktive Nutzer (daily active users, DAU) und monatlich aktive Nutzer (monthly active users, MAU) konzentriert. Der Fokus des neuen Ansatzes liegt auf „Stammspielern“, das heißt solche, die ein bestimmtes Spiel jeden Tag spielen (mehrmals, 90 Minuten oder mehr pro Tag). Entwickler versuchen, eine Spielumgebung zu schaffen, die diese wertvollen häufigen Nutzer weiter fasziniert. Das ist eine gute Grundlage für beispiellose Innovationen und Branchenwachstum...Aber auch für Störungen der Branche.

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