Casino City Press is a leading publisher and distributor of market research for the land and online gaming industries. Information about gaming properties, their suppliers, and executives is published in book and CD form, and is also provided as an online subscription with up-to-the-minute data.
Casino City’s Gaming Business Directory is the number one book on the gaming industry. Their iGaming Business Directory also provides the world’s most comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date guide to the major components behind the online gaming industry’s explosive growth.
In the latest edition of our Analyst Q&A series, Managing Editor Gary Trask discusses the key facts, figures and trends in the global gaming industry. Part 1 will focus on the key challenges facing the industry in 2016.
Q. In your opinion, what are the three biggest challenges facing the gaming industry in 2016?
It's become almost a cliché, but, the biggest challenge for the gaming industry right now is attracting the younger generation, not just now, but as they get older.
The most profitable casino demographic is still the “Baby Boomers,” but at 50 years or even older, they aren't getting any younger, and, according to every report or study you read, millennials simply do not wish to spend their discretionary dollars or free time sitting at a slot machine or blackjack table. Maybe that will change in five years when the oldest members of Generation Y turn 40, but the industry isn't banking on it. As a result, they are desperately trying to cater to what their future customers will demand, and the results have been mixed.
The second challenge is related to drawing a new customer base and that's introducing new "interactive" games that prospective players will find exciting and challenging, yet fair. A casino can no longer survive alone on slots, blackjack and roulette. Gaming habits are changing. The recent introduction of skill-based games on casino floors is a step in the right direction.
Finally, the U.S. casino industry would benefit from the regulation of online gambling, but individual states have been painstakingly slow in officially passing proposed laws. Most everybody is in agreement that online gambling is going to happen eventually in states other than Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware. And while we saw great progress in the first half of 2016 in states like New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan and California, nothing advanced far enough to allow residents of these states to start playing online. The hope is that there will be a domino effect once a few of these states push legislation through, but getting those first few dominos to fall has been a challenge, to say the least.
Q. Has there been an increase in non-gaming operations at gaming facilities? What impact, if any, has this had on revenue streams?
Yes. Visitation numbers in Las Vegas, for instance, were at an all-time high in 2015, increasing by 2.5%, but the amount spent on gambling was stagnant. People aren’t going to casino-resorts to just gamble anymore. In fact, a lot of casino visitors these days don’t gamble at all and the ones that do are finding other things to do when not gambling. They are spending more on spas, F&B and entertainment, providing a more stable revenue stream in these areas.
Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for Part 2 of our Q&A with Casino City Press. Gary talks about the increasing demand for iGaming and how he expects the North American and Indian gaming industries to perform over the next five years.
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Gary Trask the managing editor of Casino City Press. He is a Boston, Mass. native with more than 20 years of experience as a writer and editor and has covered the casino/gaming industry since 2007.
(Image credit: Bago Games)