Survey: 70% of Casinos Consider Adopting Skill-Based Games to Attract New Gamers

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30-second summary:

  • Generation X considered a financially secure target for casinos
  • Casinos are appealing to younger generations with skill-based games
  • 34% of casinos indicated that skill-based games will generate new revenue
  • Younger, tech-savvy gamers want to do more than push a button

A survey has found that 70% of casinos are planning on introducing skill-based games as they look at expanding their player demographics.

The report, The state of skill-based games in a new era of gambling, was conducted by California-based Synergy Blue, a creator of skill-based games and platforms.

Findings of the survey

The survey questioned executives from more than 100 casinos in Q3 and Q4 2018. They were asked what their top priorities were, the challenges they face, as well as the role they think skill-based games could have in the future of casino gaming.

The top expectations for new slot units on the floor were: 55% indicated that they increase time on the device, 45% noted they expand player demographics, while 70% said they have, plan to, or are considering adopting skill-based games.

Skill-based games are defined as games with skill components or games with arcade-style play.

On growth over the next five years, 50% stated that Generation X, who are considered financially established, are their target demographic. Notably, only 22% of casinos are focusing on the Millennial generation.

Regarding the challenges that executives think skill-based games solve, 67% stated that they appeal to a new generation of gamblers, 46% said they increase casino attractiveness via diverse product offering, and 34% highlighted that they generate new revenue.

Appeal to a new wave of gamblers

The report states: “In an effort to expand their appeal to a younger generation of players, many casinos have looked to skill-based games. This appeals to the next generation of gamblers, who grew up in the video game era.”

Of the casinos that have already adopted skill-based games or games with skill or arcade components, 81% indicated they provide a different player experience, whereas 38% said that they add a unique marketing element for their property.

However, of those who have yet to adopt skill-based games, 34% said that they have concerns over legal or jurisdictional requirements. A further 17% noted that they lack knowledge of skill-based games and 30% have concerns over their appeal to patrons.

Still room to grow

Even though 70% of casinos are thinking about adopting skill-based games, casinos highlighted that they needed to see skill-based games show growth in certain areas.

The report added: “Player appeal and player understanding topped the list, which shows that as skill-based games emerge, casinos and patrons alike are adjusting to a reimagined gambling experience.” Player appeal and player understanding received 51% and 50%, respectively.

Executives were asked what benefits of skill-based games would lead to adoption: 45% stated an increase in incremental revenue and 29% highlighted extending player demographics.

The report states that the casinos surveyed believe that skill-based games “could be the cure for what ails when it comes to their biggest pain points.”

“Most casinos currently grapple with revenue and expansion, which are the very issues they also think skill-based games could address for them,” it notes.

A shift in gamblers

Currently, casinos allocate a significant amount of floor space for slot machines as this is where most of the revenue comes from. However, how gamblers gamble seems to be shifting, with many tired of simply pushing a button in order to win a prize.

Casinos are becoming aware of this, as noted by the report. In a competitive industry they need to have an edge that will bring current and new gamblers to their doors.

Video games are from the Generation X era, meaning they are used to an immersion gaming experience, the report highlights. Not only that, but the gamers of the future will be more tech-savvy.

It could be that the introduction of skill-based games could bring the two together, creating an environment that delivers a new gaming experience, but also keeps patrons happy.