Vegas has a problem: people aren’t gambling as much any more. Specifically, the majority of people visiting casinos are Millennials, but the majority of people using slot machines are over 50. While the city has seen a lot of makeovers in the last few decades, slot machines have stayed pretty much the same, and they dominate the floors of many casinos. What’s the answer, then? Well, it looks like video games may be.
We’re all familiar with video poker and things like that, but casinos are talking about bringing in actual video games, the kinds of console or mobile experiences that people love to play. They’re looking at ways to introduce gambling elements to games like Angry Birds (though not that title specifically), or get people betting on e-sports like StarCraft or Counterstrike. They want to introduce skill-based games that people can gamble on.
How exactly that will work out remains to be seen. While betting on e-sports wouldn’t be that much different than betting on a boxing match, making a gambling version of a console game might be harder. Smart players will only bother if they’re confident they can win, but that can be said about poker as well. The thing about video games, though, is that they’re supposed to teach you when you fail, so that you get better at the game and can beat it. That model really doesn’t work for casinos, who want people to spend more money than they win, so teaching them how to win isn’t really in the casino’s best interest.
Should you expect to see arcade cabinets in casinos in the future? Sure, maybe something like that; but without some very careful planning and design, don’t expect them to be a hit right off the bat. Not with self-described gamers, at least.