Operator talk: MGM furthers Millennial appeal with launch of pioneering new product

Operator talk: MGM furthers Millennial appeal with launch of pioneering new product

Tuesday, April 19, 2016
MGM has linked up with oneLIVE, which is led by Michael Jabara

A new casino product that could shake up the casino industry’s relationship with the much-discussed Millennial generation is to be unveiled to coincide with GiGse.

MGM Resorts International and oneLIVE inc are set to introduce a combined effort that will reach out to the ‘connected consumer’ by linking the best elements of casino gaming and mobile technology.

The exciting venture will be unveiled by Lovell Walker, MGM Resorts’ executive director of interactive gaming, and Michael Jabara, president and chief executive of oneLIVE, who both believe the casino industry cannot afford to take a punt that today’s younger generation will simply metamorphose into traditional slots players when the hip Millennials come of age.

While MGM is one of world’s biggest casino operators, with properties across the US and across the globe, oneLIVE is a company that was set up by Las Vegas-based entrepreneur Jabara to help the land-based industry reach the vast and growing wave of tech-savvy young people with disposable cash and convert them into valuable, lifetime patrons.

"Clearly, land-based casino resorts will need to embrace mobile technology, or they risk being left behind as their mobile-centric customers leave them," Jabara said. "We've been fortunate to find such forward-thinking at all levels of MGM.

“This group that spans the generations embraces a tech-centric lifestyle, prefers spending their time and money when visiting the casino in restaurants, by the pool and socialising in clubs – not on the gaming floor – and they’re constantly glued to their mobile devices. Clearly, the gaming floor is facing serious competition with the digital revolution.”

While more will be revealed about the link-up with MGM, oneLIVE’s existing products include platforms that seek to extend the gaming floor to the smartphone. easyPLAY Mobile Tournaments offer real-money slot and table tournaments to hundreds of patrons across multiple properties, while easyPLAY Live Dealer extends the ‘live action’ from dealers on the floor to smartphones and tablets throughout the property, ship, or beyond to the online world.

Despite being an industry leader for decades, MGM clearly wants to maintain its position in the future as it looks at linking its game floor with digital technology, while the recent opening of the $375m (€330m) T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, with a launch party that featured The Killers, Wayne Newton and Cirque du Soleil, shows its commitment to developing the non-gaming revenues that are helping the Nevada resort to continue growth in turbulent times for the global gaming industry.

“There is no question that a new generation, with different experiences, interests and tastes, is here to stay,” Walker said. “Non-gaming revenues are growing and traditional slot and table games are not.

“Millennials - those born after 1980 - are an 87m strong demographic and now exceed the Baby Boomers in size, a fact that can't be ignored by anyone in the US gaming industry.

“At MGM Resorts, we see Millennials as a great opportunity and take their interests and needs very seriously. Everything from the checking-in process to the gaming floor to social activities are being rethought with the perspective of the Millennials.

“We are devoting enormous resources to this, which was shown by the opening of the 20,000-seat T-Mobile arena in partnership with AEG and sponsorship with a leading mobile company. Other initiatives will be announced in the weeks and months ahead.”

Walker and Jabara are each excited about the prospect of discussing their thoughts with the rest of the gaming industry at GiGse in California later this month.

Jabara added: “Both oneLIVE and MGM look forward to sharing with our colleagues at GiGse how true innovation can attract the next generation of players, all within the most strictly-regulated market in the US.”

* 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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