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In this June 23, 2021 photo, people play slot machines at Bally’s Casino in Atlantic City, N.J. Panelists at the East Coast Gaming Congress in Atlantic City on Oct. 25, 2021, pondered what the casino floor of the future should look like to attract the next generation of gamblers.
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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Walk into a casino today, and the room couldn’t look more different from the 1942 movie “Casablanca” as Humphrey Bogart walks through the smoke-filled gambling tables.
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Of course, slot machines are bigger, louder and flashier than they were back then. But the central fact remains that the casino floor of today is no different than the casino floor of the past.
What the casino floor of the future should look like is a question the gambling industry has wrestled with for decades.
The issue was discussed Monday at the East Coast Gaming Congress, a major gambling convention in Atlantic City.
“It’s hard to get that kid out of his parents’ basement, and casino games aren’t going to do it,” said Joe Lupo, president of Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City, referring to young adults.
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The industry has tried various strategies to attract younger gamblers, with varying success rates. Six years ago, Atlantic City debuted so-called “skill-based” games for its casinos.
These were games where a player’s ability to perform a certain task was taken into account in determining whether he or she would win or lose a game—a departure from the strictly random games of chance that were the backbone of the gambling industry. the beginning
Casino executives and gambling equipment makers agreed at Monday’s conference that younger consumers want a varied experience, much more than the monotony of pressing a button and waiting to see if they win or lose.
“The younger generation likes to do something,” said Rick Meitzler, CEO of gambling maker Novomatic America. “They like to play on their phones. Ten to 15 years from now, you’ll see a 25-year-old become a 40-year-old and become part of our target audience.
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Jacqueline Grace, senior vice president of Atlantic City’s Tropicana Casino, said her company is constantly studying younger gamblers.
“What appeals to them?” she asked. “What’s going on with them? They like games of skill, not games of chance. They like to eat. They like to travel. They like experiences.”
Most casinos have adopted electronic table games, not only as a way to save on labor costs, but also to offer a less stressful introduction to games, especially card games, which can be intimidating to novice gamblers.
Panelists agreed that sports betting, and especially esports, or competitive video gaming, offers opportunities to connect with younger potential customers.
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Atlantic City and especially Las Vegas have begun to embrace esports as a way to fill their casinos and hotels with young customers interested first and foremost in playing online games against each other. But once they are done, they order food and drinks and engage in non-gambling activities that casino resorts offer.
“We think esports is the next big thing,” said Robert Heller, president and CEO of Spectrum Gaming Capital. “All the casino companies I’ve talked to are interested. It’s happening.”
Ari Fox, co-CEO of Gamecon, an esports tournament company, says the key is reaching young consumers where they are.
“Young people don’t go on Facebook; They don’t play on Instagram,” he said. “They talk about Discord. The key to earning them as customers is to earn their trust.” Gambling companies, he said, need to tell these customers, “This is not where your parents go. This is for you.”
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A woman plays a slot machine at the Golden Nugget Casino in Atlantic City, NJ on July 2, 2020. The US gambling industry was a big winner in the November 3, 2020 election, with three states approving sports betting and another three approving or expanding casino gambling. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) – The U.S. The gambling industry scored a big victory in Tuesday’s election, with three states allowing legal sports betting and three others allowing or expanding casino gambling.
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Maryland, South Dakota and Louisiana allow sports betting. That creates a situation where more than half the country could have legal sports betting by the end of next year, less than three years after a US Supreme Court ruling cleared the way for 50 states to adopt it if they chose.
Virginia has approved casino gambling at four locations, Nebraska has approved adding casino games to its racetracks, and Colorado has expanded the number and types of casino games it can offer while removing some wagering limits.
“It appears that Americans are becoming increasingly comfortable with legal gambling,” said David Schwartz, a gambling historian at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “Casinos in Virginia and racetrack casinos in Nebraska indicate that casino-style gambling is also on the rise. We’ve reached a point where voters seem satisfied that legalizing gambling will have a positive return for their state.”
“As a result of successful ballot measures in six gaming states, more Americans will have access to much-needed job opportunities, dedicated tax revenue and safe, regulated entertainment options close to home,” said Bill Miller, CEO of the organization.
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By the end of 2021, at least 25 states and the District of Columbia may have legal sports betting.
“We look forward to fulfilling the trust voters have placed in us by bringing 1,300 good-paying jobs, tourism dollars and economic development to the city, and we’re incredibly excited to begin construction,” said CEO Tom Rigg.
In South Dakota, a ballot question allows Deadwood casinos to add private sports betting. For now, mobile sports betting, the largest and fastest growing segment of the industry, will not be allowed
Sports betting would become legal in Louisiana parishes that have approved the measure; More than three-quarters appear to have done so.
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In Colorado, casinos in Central City, Black Hawk and Cripple Creek may waive the limit, capping the maximum bet at $100. They will be able to offer new games including baccarat, keno and a spinning wheel.