Millennials: Gaming, Smart phones, and Smart Slots
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.
All over the world, more and more companies are integrating sustaina...Read more
The report is a result of a Call for Tender (No 641/PP/GRO/IMA/17/11...Read more
Possible solutions to the tax challenges of digitalisation In March...Read more
Martin ADAMS, CEO of Codec.ai, Marketing & Innovation Advisor, UK The issue? The issue is audiences are fractured and fragmented, it’s so easy to fail to engage with audiences in culture and......Read more
Ribbens outlined what he believed we needed to challenge, in order to move into the digital age that is ever growing in the current climate. His first point was amending our way of thinking – we n......Read more
Zoe CAIRNS, CEO at ZC Social Media, International Social Media Speaker, Trainer & Consultant, UK Speaking at the EL/WLA Marketing seminar, Zoe Cairns addressed just what’s hot in today’s soc......Read more
David Caygill, Managing Director Innovation Division, Iris Worldwide, UK His first point, experience is everything, underpins every brand. In the days where technology is at the forefront of convers......Read more
Particular themes stood out consistently among the seminar. Certain trends were obvious, trends all of us should be doing all we can to immerse ourselves in this year to stay with the current cultur......Read more