GiGse: Give casinos a tax break to attract new clientele, says Pollock

GiGse: Give casinos a tax break to attract new clientele, says Pollock

Tuesday, March 29, 2016 Totally Gaming

Casinos must put their money on new forms of gaming and entertainment and end their focus on slot machines, according to Michael Pollock, Managing Director of Spectrum Gaming.

Pollock, whose company is a leader in research and professional services for the gambling industry, said that the sector must engage with research which shows Millennials are less interested than previous generations in slots, and want alternative forms of gambling, as well as an improved non-gambling offering.

Millennials, defined today as 21- to 34-year-olds, outnumber Baby Boomers by an estimated six million in the US, and Spectrum has warned that that the generation’s purchasing preferences will impact all industries that target discretionary income and leisure spending.

Pollock was speaking ahead of his appearance at next month’s GiGse, where he will lead a discussion entitled ‘Casino of the future – exploring the shape of the next 10 years’, in a joint session with the Millennial Summit.

“The No. 1 piece of advice is to reduce the emphasis on slot machines, and invest in non-gaming amenities,” Pollock said. “The era of the slot machine, in which casinos devote valuable real estate to rows and rows of machines is quickly ending, to be replaced by new games, ranging from skill-based to traditional table games, and on devices that are portable.

“In effect, the successful operators will be those who are willing to change their business models to embrace a new era.”

Spectrum works within the entire ecosystem of the gambling industry, and believes that governments must play their part in helping the sector to thrive. Pollock noted that tax rates must be reconsidered if gambling is to be able to make the changes which are essential to its future.

“Many casinos in the US operate under tax rates that can approach 50 per cent or more of revenue on slot machines," he said.

"Governments need to address tax rates and other regulatory policies that restrict the ability of operators to broaden their business model and reduce their dependency on their local, drive-in population.

“In turn, casinos need to leverage such government changes to build more attractions, ranging from night clubs to more restaurants and other attractions that will appeal to Millennials and others who presently do not visit casinos.”

The GiGse session that Pollock is to moderate will look at questions such as ‘how important will Millennials be to the casino business for the next 10 years’ and ‘how much revenue will be coming from gambling vs entertainment considering future product channels’. His fellow panel members will include Anton Dobrosevic, Vice President Gaming at Growth Advisors, Roberto Coppola, Director of Global Research & Consumer Insights at YWS Design & Architecture and Jason Rosenberg, Vice President, Online, Social, and Millennial Gaming at Whitesand Gaming.

“Attendees will learn about what makes Millennials different from other demographic groups, what they need to do to meet the needs of this emerging demographic, and what challenges they will face as they endeavour to change their business model," Pollock said.

“GiGse stands apart from other gaming conferences because it is known as the forum where technology meets policy. Every GiGse conference produces provocative, new ideas that attendees can ignore only at their own peril.

“This year will be no different, as the major talking points will focus on the need to adapt, the need for regulators to adopt new ways of thinking about gaming, and for operators to consider dramatic changes to their business model.”

* GiGse takes place from April 27-29 at the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco, California. For more information visit www.gigse.com

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