Reaching The Younger Generation
The future success of online gaming as a whole relies solely on the millennials, according to industry experts.
Millennials, or anyone who has come into adulthood towards the end of the 2000s and early 2010s has been reluctant to participate in traditional casino and sportsbook gambling. Instead studies have found that younger generations enjoy spending money on drinks and tabletop gaming, which of course, is somewhat cheaper than playing your favourite games online. As you would expect though, mobile and desktop casinos have had much more luck attracting youth due to the appeal of modern technology. Mobile gaming has been particularly popular, with reports suggesting that 42% of gamers now play on their mobiles.
There’s also the feeling among the gaming community that casino gambling, especially normal casino gambling with regular real people is something for old people. That might not be far from the truth, with the average age of the online gamer now 35 and the age of regular casino players is over 40 years old. Initially, this might seem surprising as other data does show that online gambling participation is on the rise with young adults. However, this makes sense when you understand that millennials take up a much smaller share of the population. So, even though participation might well be up, the average age will skew towards the older generations.
Overseas in the UK, their Gambling Commission believes that the amount of younger gamblers is on the rise and that the 18 – 35 population will eventually drive industry growth.
The UK Gambling Commission recently revealed a report that highlights a number of trends in the online gaming market. Before, the portion of people in the 18-34 bracket who played online gaming was around 10.6% in 2008. Fast forward to 2014 and this has risen to 17.5%, indicating good growth in the sector.
There has also been a more modest rise of 4.1% in the same age category for regular casino use, moving from 14.8% in 2008 to 18.9% in 2014.
So, why are more younger people playing online casino?
Increase in smartphone use
Industry experts are pleased by the increasing numbers of 18-34 year-old gamers who are accessing mobile gaming through their mobile phones.
There’s no surprise that mobile devices are reshaping the online gaming industry. There is evidence to show that mobile gaming is rising well over 10% each year, and the expectation is that that this year we’ll see mobile gaming take up more than 40% of the whole online gaming market worldwide!
Mobile devices have also allowed people from all over the world access to gambling websites. It is estimated that 91% of millennials from MEDCs (More Economically Developed Countries) own a smartphone, and unsurprisingly, this has a knock-on effect, as more smartphones results in more potential players.
The improving economy
With young earners having more cash in their pocket under an economy that is looser on their wallets, they’ll ultimately have more disposable income available.
The economy is also creating more jobs for the ‘lost generation’, who have entered the job market at a time where a lack of jobs has haltered employment opportunity. Since young people at one point could only scrape by, it’s unsurprising that they can’t afford to gamble.
Now, with more money in their pockets they can relax with a little poker, or enjoy the delights of blackjack and roulette.
A lack of security concerns
The fact that online casinos were once seen as risky business has now taken a turn for the better. Online casinos are now one of the most secure gaming platforms on the planet and are accredited and managed by gaming bodies such as eCOGRA in Australia. The enhanced security on gaming transactions has now allowed younger gamers to relax when playing online.
The fact that gambling is more acceptable!
According to researchers from Trent University in Nottingham, online gambling has become much more acceptable and it appears that several factors are driving this change.
One of the largest concerns was, of course, the risk of fraud. When the industry began in the early 1990s, a number of scrupulous gaming operators were based in tiny countries with no regulation whatsoever. Since this happened, governments around the world have been working with online casinos to make sure this doesn’t happen.
The brand is, of course, an important aspect of online gaming and if they’re familiar with a brand they’re more likely to play. Operators have also sponsored major events, which has allowed gambling to be more open to the public eye and major brands are now essentially household names.
More Skill Based Games
Experts have observed that millennials prefer skill-based games as opposed to the generic coin operated slot machines. This could be due to the fact that a large portion of gamers play next-generation video games on consoles such as the xbox one and PS4, and as such are used to high quality graphics.
Bricks and mortar casinos have already jumped on to this trend, with skill based slots to be released this year. In fact we’ve already covered that, so take a look here!
Industry insiders have already revealed that they’re investing more money into skill-based slots than ever before, and wish to capitalise on the growing popularity of these games. Even the guys and girls at Lucky Nugget Casino are getting rather excited about these awesome new slot games,
Gaming industry experts believe that future games should look like a combination of regular roulette games and video games. Skill-based games are there, of course, to make sure the play is more entertaining for an audience that requires more and more attention. Video games have often employed gambling as a means of entertaining casino players. Grand Theft Auto and Fallout: New Vegas are one of a few video games that have introduced blackjack and roulette into the stories.
Slot games are set to get more creative!
Creativity, it seems, is the key to gaining the attention and subsequent loyalty of millennial gamers. Social media was created by the millennials and so they now expect novel and interesting experiences as opposed to just regular Vegas-style slot machines with a couple of slightly interesting bonus features.
Innovation, it seems, has lagged since the online gaming industry started and as such CEOs of major gaming companies have put greater emphasis into the design and user experience of the online slot game. Some suggest that tough government controls have stifled this creativity, and so they haven’t been able to reach the true potential of what they can do, but games are getting better all the time and millennials are responding to this by playing them.
There has been suggestions of complete and utter personalisation by using algorithms that change individual experience for each user. Basically, the aforementioned algorithm analyses the content based on the page and then looks at the relationship between the user and the gaming provider, subsequently choosing games that they like; something similar to personalized ads from Google.
Slot machines were operated with coins some time ago, as hard as that is to believe. Nowadays, as ridiculous as this sounds, coin-operated slot machines are a thing of the past. Video slot technology has left mechanized slot machines in the dust and has paved the way for a new future of gaming. Ultimately, modern slot games introduced a flashy, glamorous side of Vegas, and paid in the thousands instead of hundreds of dollars.
Progress in slot machines over the last decade has occurred in leaps and bounds, with virtual gambling now a reality, and mobile gaming one of the most popular ways to play in the 21st century. Estimates currently suggest that 184 million people will be playing online casino via their mobile phones by 2018, with a good portion of these players being millennials.
The speedy development of mobile gaming was a testament to the time, with the majority of large casino brands now establishing a complete casino experience on the mobile.
Without a mobile platform casino operators would lose a large portion of gaming revenue and so keeping up with the times has become more imperative than ever before!
The introduction of the live dealer
The live dealer was the next big advancement in the world of online gaming. The live casino service has brought the real casino straight to your home allowing you to experience the thrill of Las Vegas from your laptop, mobile or tablet. Live gaming was yet another milestone in terms of progression from the basic online casinos we once knew to the online casinos with a wide range of modern, complex online games. In the minds of the regular gamer, this was the pinnacle of online casino play.
And so, the question on everybody’s lips is: what’s next for the world of online gaming?
Well, apparently, casinos are now breaking the boundaries of gaming once again!
Virtual gambling is now the future
When the Oculus Rift and GameFace appeared on the market this year it was no surprise that online casino websites would start to take advantage of the technology. The new Virtual Reality (or VR) experience was ground-breaking on more than just one level; it was now the height of gaming and a brand new way of experiencing our technological advancements. Now a user can take advantage of their new gear and play online casino from the comfort of their Oculus Rift.
Admittedly, this happened sooner than we expected, with online casinos releasing casino software perfectly suited for virtual reality gambling not long after the devices were released. The odd yet brilliant thing about virtual reality hardware is that it hasn’t exactly changed over the last hundred years in terms of design. The concept has remained rather much the same as seen below in this informative, yet slightly disturbing image.
At first glance of the device, the Oculus Rift looks like a large set of swimming goggles, covering the majority of your face. Walking around the casino is simple and is done with your hands via the controller that comes with the system.
Once the casino has loaded you are then free to walk around as you normally would in a regular casino; talking to fellow gamers, playing the slots for yourself or even joining a blackjack table. Once you’ve reached the table you can use regular hand movements that you would in a normal casino; this includes placing chips on the casino table in roulette and waving your hands to stand in blackjack.
So, with Virtual Reality set to be a pull for all the millennials, alongside improvements in security, creativity and personalisation – including those awesome skill-based slot – the future is looking bright for online gaming!