There’s a few things in this world that have become staples for millennials – HBO on a Sunday night, Instagramming food, and totally immersive video gaming. The latter is truly a phenomenon. What was once dismissed as an activity for the socially challenged has become mainstream and downright cool. Gaming has left your parents’ basement and gone viral on the internet-of-things, accessible anywhere and anytime. The line has blurred between traditional gamers, jocks, hipsters, fashionistas, and the rest. They’re all online and gaming to some extent, even if it’s just on the Starbucks app-of-the-week. Gaming is trending amongst millennials and is here to stay.
One place feeling the brunt of this demographic shift, is Sin City. The new and next generation are not as thrilled as baby boomers by the notion of sitting down and pulling the arm of a slot machine. Grandpa’s old gambling halls are a thing of the past. They have become more irrelevant than a third season of True Detective. But what if you could take advantage of this millennial pastime and bet on the outcomes? Well, for the city of Las Vegas, that line of thinking is Plan A.
So, without further ado, we present video games in the casino. Yes, video games in the casino. That’s the future and the here and now. Everybody saw it coming, but it’s gone from being a pipe dream to now becoming a reality for the state of Nevada.
The types of games will be assorted. Everything from Madden to Call of Duty tournaments are taking place almost daily. Which means, if you are particularly skilled at ‘shoot em up’ games (for example), you could make a lot of money on your next trip to the Strip. So that talent that your mother said would never get you anywhere in life, could actually be quite lucrative after all. Feel free to share this article with her if it helps.
Just by looking at the numbers, inserting gaming stations in casinos, is a move that had to be made.
According to CBS, only 63% of millennials (those born after 1980) who visited the city, actually gambled in Vegas last year. As opposed to their parents’ generation (ages 51-69), which drew 78%, and their grandparents demographic (ages 70 to 90), which saw 87% percent hit the casinos. So as you can see, something needed to be done to lure in the next wave of the nation.
US land-based commercial casino revenues are still growing, but at nowhere near the same pace as they used to. In 2009, the total gross was $34.3 billion. Five years later, the number has only increased by $3.6 billion – a less than 10% growth.
Meanwhile, the worldwide online gaming market has almost tripled over the past decade and was projected to jump another 9.5% in 2015, to $91.5 billion dollars in revenue. The United States shares one-third of that success with $37 billion dollars in 2014 – a 65% jump over a five-year period.
Online gaming is a business and a booming one at that. eSports tournaments are getting better ratings than the World Series, so it’s a no brainer that Las Vegas is trying to take a bite out of the action. For millennials, betting on who can stay alive longer in a virtual world is a little more exciting than hoping for three straight cherries.
Logically, the online betting world is attempting to keep up. The industry represents a marriage of both worlds (video games and Las Vegas) and has jumped leaps and bounds in response. The reason for their recent success? For one, the tech behind it has attempted to follow advances in video gaming, and caused a further shift (rift?) away from old Las Vegas into the new world. Online slot and table game provider GoldenSpins uses 3D gaming technology to deliver a more engaging experience to enthusiasts. The production value in their game trailers alone is staggering when you consider the back-alley label that was once put on the industry.
The graphics of these games has superseded the old MS Solitaire so much so, that it’s almost like watching a Dreamworks production (excuse the dramatic license). Since BetSoft, the industry leader, began producing games (and trailers) in 2005, they have delivered a cinematic 3D experience that the market had never before seen. And now, with brick and mortar operations feeling the tide turn, this hybrid technology is creeping onto the paisley patterned floors of The Strip.
Much like the revolution of the internet and the smartphone, the future of Las Vegas (and Atlantic City, etc.) also looks like it too will one day be delivered on a screen. In other words, your traditional brick-and-mortar could one-day be smoke-free, dealer-free, and casino chip and cup-free. Do you hear that? That’s the sound of Bugsy Siegel rolling in his grave.
Welcome to the new world Vegas, we’ve been waiting for you.