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From a physical perspective, hosting one of these events is no more onerous than hosting a musical act. Other games such as League of Legends and Mortal Kombat are also popular. The former had major events at the Key Arena in Seattle, the Staples Center in Los Angeles and at Madison Square Garden in New York. From the casino perspective, this is a great marketing tool. First, it creates awareness among the millennial generation; it brings them to your facility (although in relatively small numbers). The casino can sponsor its own team (or teams) within the leagues, and games can be televised, garnering even more visibility for the casino among this demographic. For the three to four months of the season, the casino can schedule weeknight events in its existing facility. The ability of social gaming to create new land-based gamers is reflected in the data. Both DFS and eSports certainly achieve the goal of reaching and catering to the recreational demands of millennials, but it has not yet been shown that this results in concrete improvement of gaming revenues. Some might say that in this new paradigm, the impact on gaming revenues is not as significant as offering a wide range of leisure activities beyond gaming that appeal to the broadest spectrum of potential guests, with the thought that once in the building they will spend money. That, some say, is the future of the casino industry. While this argument has some merit, the reality of the decision-making process will, for the foreseeable future, be slanted towards the generation of gaming revenues. While social gaming, DFS and eSports can deliver millennials to the casino, to have an impact on gaming revenues they must be attracted to the gaming product. Given this, the casino industry has put a lot of faith in game developers that are currently working on “games of skill.” It is these games that will engender play from millennials on the casino floor, regardless of whether they are attracted to the casino by online social gaming, eSports events or DFS. As yet, it is unclear as to how effective these “games of skill” will be. Given the high level of graphics and production found in the eSports environment, one must hope that the machine developers have looked closely at the products associated with eSports, and that they replicate some of that quality in these new games. I don’t expect that the first generation of these games will entirely solve the issue of attracting millennials as gamers. I do, however, hope that the subsequent evolution of skill-based games will become ever more appealing to this key generation. With an attractive and appealing set of skill-based games in place, then internet-based activities such as social gaming, DFS and eSports can drive customers to the casinos with a much greater likelihood of these new millennial guests becoming casino gamers. Paul Girvan is a partner and managing director of the Innovation Group and runs the firm’s New Orleans office. Girvan has been providing feasibility analyses to the gaming industry since the early 1990s, and in the last five years has increasingly focused on iGaming. The Innovation Group is co-producer of the iGaming North America Conference held in Las Vegas each April.

Profile for Global Gaming Business

Global Gaming Business, April 2016  

The casino gaming industries most respected and important international trade journal. Official publication of the American Gaming Associati...

Global Gaming Business, April 2016  

The casino gaming industries most respected and important international trade journal. Official publication of the American Gaming Associati...