ICE: Focus on non-gaming revenues to engage millennials

ICE: Focus on non-gaming revenues to engage millennials

Wednesday, February 3, 2016 Totally Gaming

Casino operators need to focus on how they can maximise non-gaming revenues if they are to remain relevant to millennials, a panel of experts claimed at ICE Totally Gaming today (Wednesday).

During a seminar focusing on the sought-after demographic, Chris Davidson, Executive Vice President of Global Strategy at travel company MMGY Global, stressed that the ‘millennial’ tag represents a mindset rather than a strict definition of those born between 1980 and 2000.

However, the opportunities of engaging with this mindset are undeniable.

“Twenty-seven per cent of millennial couples plan to take more vacations in the next 12 months, and 69% of millennials are more likely to try new things while on vacation,” he said.

“The figures show that millennials are more likely to gamble when they are on vacation, and 38% of millennials are interested in casino gambling.

He added that millennial families are likely to spend an average of more than $6,000 on vacations, as opposed to $3,500 for millennial couples.

“It is worth remembering that gaming is just one part of the millennial vacation experience and not the only part,” he said.

“There’s a lot more that they want to do, and what we are offering today is quite a traditional experience. Casinos should redesign gaming experiences to be more interactive and engaging.”

Brad Friedmutter, the Founder and CEO of renowned casino design firm Friedmutter Group, said that casinos should think about creating an entertainment space around gaming spaces, rather than the other way round.

“It doesn’t matter what people spend money on at your casino, as long as they spend money,” he said.

“At resorts we have designed, we have created exciting gaming spaces, beautiful guest rooms and pool areas that convert to nightclubs and concert venues.

“It would be really fun to design a space that works with the gaming equipment in there, so it’s a total package, rather than an existing space that then has gaming facilities coming in.”

Dave Wolmetz, who leads the North American OEM solutions team for Zebra Technologies across the casino, gaming and lottery industries, said that it was important for casinos to recognise technological opportunities when trying to tap into the millennials market.

“Millennials seem to take a long-term view of their debt and are willing to refinance it," he said. "They are also using cash less to pay for things.

“They are health-conscious and are twice as likely to leave their job as other generations. Their family and friends have the greatest influence on their buying behaviour.

“Retail today is under-delivering for millennials and bricks and mortar must evolve. By engaging with just 30% more customers, retailers could increase their conversion rates by 50%.”

Jim Walker, Senior Vice President of Global Revenue for Agilysys, said that 50% of millennials are video game players, but the evidence has shown that food and beverage expenditure in the US gambling hub of Las Vegas is growing at four times the rate of gaming expenditure.

"Millennials are the largest generation ever and they are digital natives and they want guest-facing technology," he said. "It doesn’t matter where you are - non-gaming revenue is where it’s going to grow."

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