Insight: Change games, environment and mindset to attract Millennials

Insight: Change games, environment and mindset to attract Millennials

Friday, January 29, 2016 Totally Gaming
MMGY Global's Chris Davidson says that a new approach is key

Casino operators must make three key changes if they are to attract young people not currently interested in the sector, according to Chris Davidson, executive vice-president of global strategy at MMGY Global.

Davidson, appeared in the Millennials & Gaming seminar at ICE Totally Gaming, and said that a shift in the games offered as well as alterations to layout could help to entice young adults aged between 18 and 33.

A recent survey conducted by MMGY, the marketing giant, suggested that theme parks, outdoor adventure, spa/wellness and sporting events are more popular among young Americans than gaming as a possible vacation activity.

“In order to increase the appeal of casino gaming to Millennials long-term, I believe it will be important to pursue a series of initiatives,” Davidson told “Doing any one of them alone will likely be ineffective.

“Firstly, as has been widely proposed, designing skill-based elements into gaming devices will be increasingly important. Millennials have grown up on skill-based video games, and this perception of control is critically important. 

“Secondly, casino games, and their gaming zones on the floor, must evolve to be more social, a concept in line with how Millennials view gaming establishments broadly these days. Namely, that gaming is simply one amenity of several offered by a gaming establishment or resort for social enjoyment, engagement and interaction. 

“Thirdly, it will be important to mitigate the stigma that slot machines, especially, are games only grandparents play in the casino.

“One way casinos can address this is by designing a series of spatial zones throughout the building, each of which would appeal to specific demographic or psychographic audiences and create a broader sense that the experience is one for ‘people like me’.

“Each zone could offer different types of skill-based gaming devices and social experiences that would appeal more readily to a younger demographic.”

Davidson took part in a panel discussion entitled ‘The Future of Gaming: Millennials and Technology’ at ICE alongside representatives from a wide range of casino sector operators.

Davidson is particularly keen to hear from other attendees as to what differences they believe exist between the Millennials and other generations. 

He said: “One fundamental question related specifically to Millennials and gaming is, ‘Are Millennials truly different from older generations when it comes to their gaming preferences and priorities, or are these consumers simply not ‘of gaming age’ quite yet?’ I’m fascinated to learn more about the different facets of this debate from gaming experts from around the world.

“Our research suggests that Millennials are much more interested in acquiring life experiences than they are material goods. And travel is an incredibly important part of their lives. They are curious travellers, seeking to meet new people and try new things when they vacation.”

The habits of Millennials and how the industry should adapt will be covered in depth at GiGse, running from April 27-29, San Francisco, CA. For updates on GiGse 2016 and to register for tickets, visit: or follow

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