Casinos and Millennials – Is Your Casino Optimized for the Next Generation?

Millennials or the Generation Y is the segment of people who are born between the years 1980 and 2000. The rise of the internet and ultimately smartphones glued them to their mobile devices and kept them away from gambling. The casino gaming industry was a hit amongst their previous generations.

According to a survey by CMO (Adobe), the millennial group consists of nearly 87 million people in the United States and 122 million in the European Union. They are expected to account for nearly 30% of retail sales in the US alone – that accounts for €1.2 trillion of expenditure (1 EUR = 0.88 GBP / 1.17 USD as of 20th May 2018). US and EU Millennials are by no means equal – their percentages among EU countries differ greatly already – but for sake of simplicity we will use examples from both sides of the pond that underline general developments.

Apart from being the first generation having grown up with modern technology, they do have certain key similarities that render them distinctively different from their previous generations:

1. Home ownership:

Despite common speculation that millennials aren’t willing to settle down or follow along with the traditional stepping-stones of adulthood, most millennials do dream of owning a home. The problem is that most cannot afford one, even though millennials in the US are more confident that they can make the dream of homeownership come true.

2. Cause and sustainability:

Media portrayals of millennials are often conflicting. Some praise them for supporting and/or seeking employment at socially responsible companies, or their willingness to pay extra for sustainable offerings. Others call out millennials’ hypocrisy and question whether their good intentions line up with real-life actions. Millennials — in both the US and the EU — generally support socially responsible brands. They believe in sustainability as a principle, although their financial situation does not allow them to do as much as they want and make them live out their sustainable beliefs in their own unique ways.

3. Money is the culprit:

A common theme is money, a clear narrative of cash-strapped Millennials, many who have become adults in a time of relative scarcity, feel stuck in an endless stressful loop.
Millennials want to stop wasting money. Lack of funds is the primary obstacle, yet the most common motivator to aim for improving their circumstances of life.

Peep into Gambling Habits of Millennials

Most casinos have realized that they can only attract the millennial group if they introduce new trends and technologies in the gambling industry. The Generation Y is not as “addicted” as their parents or grandparents amongst whom casino games were the favorite pastimes. Casinos for Millennials will have to evolve a lot, as this generation does not want to spend its hard-earned money on pure gambling. They are also not at all interested in traditional slot machines when accessing gaming sites. On the other hand, they are more likely to download the app if there is any, making them an easy target for mobile gaming.

The statistics also showed that only 21% of the millennial group in the US rated gambling as an important activity. Nearly twice as much rejected the idea – which is a great matter of concern for the renowned casinos in Las Vegas and Macau. This led to many casinos carving out ways to minimize the generational gap in order to attract the Generation Y towards gambling. A way that online casinos have already started leading.

Changed Outlook on Gambling

The Digital Age provides changed views on gambling because the present generation may not like playing on traditional slot machines but not all of them have given up gambling altogether. Insights on iGaming show the following points that describe Millennials’ gambling ways:

• Young people are looking forward to variation in present gambling formats.
• They do not spend money on less entertaining slot machines but rather spend on drinks, dance and dinner when being in Vegas.
• It becomes very important for casinos to optimize their gambling techniques to fit the needs of the Generation Y too.
• Millennials try their hands on gambling activities if they feel that the games are testing their ability, and they often choose fun-themed games.
• Land-based casinos in the US are offering fantasy sports related to football, golf, etc. which has attracted the millennial group largely. They are in love with this newer gambling experience.
• Online casinos see an increase in usage, especially when combined with a sportsbook – making use of a great cross-selling opportunity.
• They do not want to gamble for the sake of gambling. It’s important to combine thrill, experience and a way to make big money.

Attitude towards Gambling Industry

Millennials present a changed viewpoint towards the gambling industry because of the main focal factor that is their salaries and payouts. The US Census Bureau conducted a survey that states the following things (all numbers and findings are transferable to the EU):

• The highest salary earned by the millennial group living in Washington DC is just €34,000 annually on an average. Whereas, the lowest salary is only €14,500 while in few states like California, Texas, Florida, etc. young professionals earn about €21,500.
• The reports suggest that they make 20% to 30% less than the previous generation or the baby boomers in the same age group of 18 to 34 years. In the US, they often times have to deal with crippling debt from their university education.
• They also have a mindset of keeping a cheerful attitude. This makes them less prone to the gaming industry.

Millennials still have a strong spending power but they do not want to risk their little money in the gambling industry. The only solution to attract the millennial group is to promote skill-based and entertaining casino games. Modern casinos should use innovative technologies, which will assist in fascinating and attracting the Generation Y towards the casinos.

Online casinos should take the lead even more and increase their spending in “future” technologies like Virtual Reality. Imagine walking through a VR casino, gambling away and maybe even order food and drinks from a delivery service – all from one app. Another solution is segmenting your customers via facial recognition, and pay out bonuses or free drinks according to facial expressions, a tool that SAP is currently working on.


It has become important for casinos to optimize themselves according to the taste of this young generation. This will help in pulling Millennials towards traditional and online casinos alike. For this, “the place” needs to display some energy and vibrancy to the gamblers. They should introduce advanced technologies when designing the latest casino games.

Moreover, the gaming industry should focus on their customers to be an active participant in the activities that will help in transforming the social experience in reality. In order to save the casinos from suffering monetary losses, it has become mandatory to render newer experiences to the consumers. Casinos should offer a great amount of the prizes in a fun and experience-based environment.

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