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Why Millennials Will Gamble!

How to get Millenials into the casino, get them gambling, and keep them there. by: Victor H. Royer 

We all know that millennials are now the largest consumer group in the United States, surpassing even the Baby Boomers. We also know that – collectively – millennials are a bunch of spoiled brats who think they are entitled to everything, but don’t feel obligated to do anything to earn it.

Yet it seems that every casino executive, researcher, or pundit is dashing head-first into the millennial mêlée, as if this group was somehow the end-all of all things casino. Manufacturers are scrambling to make games that “will appeal to millennials”, but no one really knows what that is, what they should be, or how to do it. And least of all the millennials themselves, who – collectively – have no concept of what they want, how, or when. Or why.

So, in this mad-dash to cater to them, casino corporations are building more and more nightclubs and dayclubs, spending millions and millions on them, and also building more and more sports arenas, shopping malls, sidewalk-cafes, Ferris wheels, water parks and whatnots – while at the same time saying things like:

“Many of them [millennials] have no interest in gambling, and that’s fine with me.”

That’s Jim Murren, Chairman of MGM resorts.

Honestly, Jim – how can you say something that stupid?

Have you forgotten what kind of a business you are in?

You are in the GAMBLING business! Yup – THAT thing … the one you say you don’t care about.

This quote is from an article written by Anthony Cabot, which you can read at this link:


What’s even stranger, is that in this article, Mr. Cabot is agreeing with this! Here’s what Cabot had to say:

“He [Jim Murren] is exactly right. You conform your business to the customer’s preferences instead of trying to get them to conform to an antiqued business model.”


How do you think Las Vegas came to be?

How did it become so world-famous and so profitable? Was it because it conformed the “business to the customer’s preferences instead of trying to get them to conform to an antiqued business model”? Hmmm?

Since when has the Business of Gambling had to conform to anything? And why should it?

Las Vegas didn’t become world-famous and hugely profitable because it bent-over each time some group of one kind or another was touted as it’s end-game. Las Vegas, and the business of gambling, didn’t become so profitable because it conformed to anything!

On the contrary – it became so popular and profitable precisely because it did NOT conform to anything! It was a LEADER, and NOT a follower!

But that was at a time when the casinos were still run by people who understood that they are in the business of GAMBLING, instead of thinking they are in the business of everything else BUT gambling – as it now appears so thinks Jim Murren and Anthony Cabot. And others, too – shame on them!

In the above-referenced article, Mr. Cabot also writes:

“They [millennials] like dayclubs and nightclubs. They have no apparent problem with expensive bottle service.”

Ok – fine.

Dayclubs and nightclubs with expensive bottle service can be found anywhere. Even in places that have no casinos.

So why are those in the Business of Gambling scrambling to grease themselves and these spoiled brats in a breakneck slide into this oblivion of mediocrity?

Well – so say these so-called “leaders” of the gambling business – it’s because they spend a lot of money, and we’ll make good profits.

OK, no problem. Profits are good. No business can survive without them.

Atlantic City is now investing some $12 million in building another non-gambling nightclub. Good for them – well, maybe.

Something like that was a great formula when you had the likes of Frank Sinatra coming to play the 500 Club on the Boardwalk, when the only kind of gambling they had was illegal.

But now?

All that this “new thing” will do for Atlantic City is cost them more money, to build something that’s NOT unique to the city or it’s attractions, and divert money from far more profitable business centers into yet another stab at mediocrity, while causing more crime and hooliganism in the process.

In Las Vegas, this nightclub and dayclub rage is so over-saturated that it’s not only a drain on the profitability of the casinos which house them, but the ripple-effect of drugs, violence, shootings, and generally inhuman conduct among those who patronize these noisy centers of idiotic criminality is actually driving AWAY customers who DO matter – the GAMBLERS!

No amount of non-gaming attractions – not even cumulatively among all such offerings – can even come close to the profits that can – and used to be – generated from those who actually came to casinos for the one reason that casinos exist – to gamble, and play live casino online Games!

And that’s why – and where – we have this Great Disconnect.

The problem is NOT that the millennials somehow “don’t want to gamble” – the problem is that those who now control the casino corporations – like MGM Resorts – have NO CLUE about the actual business model in which they operate!

Caesars Entertainment is still fighting Bankruptcy in courts, after they basically wasted some $20 billion of their investor’s money in their overall operations – by sheer corporate stupidity – and are still sliding in the precipice of their own making.

This kind of conduct – by MGM Resorts and Caesars and others in the business of gambling – is a disease – a cancer of ignorance and sheer folly – that’s been infecting the leaders of the gambling industry for several decades. Now to a point where it looks like we are transforming Las Vegas, and Atlantic City, into arcades for spoiled brats, instead of centers of adult gaming centers, as it ought to be. It’s a death-wish being perpetrated in slow-motion all around us, and those that are in power to stop it are not only blind to it, but they themselves are, by and large, directly responsible for it.

So what shall we do with these pesky millennials?

Teach them to GAMBLE!

That’s all they need.

These are kids who grew up in a world where they were told that competition is wrong, that reward for excellence is politically-incorrect, that winning is terrible because it means someone else has to lose, and that everything they want they should get without doing anything to get it.

So, they go to nightclubs and dayclubs, get drunk, drugged-up and wasted, spending money on expensive bottle service – as Mr. Murren so gloatingly pointed out – and, in general, cause more financial attrition of profits overall than they contribute.

BUT – make them “see” what they’re missing, and – done the right way – they will flock to casinos! And, eventually, they WILL. Because they, too, will some day get older. And when they do, and realize how horribly they ruined themselves in their days of yore, they will then come back to the tried-and-true formula of great and traditional casino games.

Assuming, of course, that by that time we will still have casinos or will they be all live casino online.

Based on statements like those of Mr. Murren and Mr. Cabot, maybe not.

Maybe by the time the millennials realize what they have missed, today’s leaders of the casino corporations will have done away with casinos altogether, and replaced them with endless tree-lined boulevards of faux-French Cafes, shopping malls, and boring parks littered with torn scraps of greatness of the past.

Victor H Royer is President of Gaming Services & Research. He is a 33 year veteran of Las Vegas gaming, a 25 year consultant to the gaming industry, author of 46 books, and more than 4,000 articles on casino games and gaming. In addition he has researched and authored over 300 industry reports on the subject of player preferences, marketing, player development and customer relations. He can be reached at: DrVHR@aol.com