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Marketing To The ‘Millennials’

Published: February 8, 2016 3:30 pm ET

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The ‘millennials’ just aren’t flocking to casinos in the same manner that their parents and parents' parents did. That is hurting the casinos’ bottom line. That being said, decision makers at the gaming centres are rethinking their philosophies in an effort to attract the much-coveted younger demographic to their facilities.

As an article on the website of The Augusta Chronicle states, mixed martial arts events (MMA), tattoo businesses and big-name music acts more appreciated by younger audiences are being booked in an attempt to make the casino a ‘go-to’ spot.

Illinois-based casino consultant Steven Norton was cited in the piece, and, according to Norton, casinos are putting their own futures at risk if they are not catering to millennials in their operations.

Electronic Dance Music (EDM) has been en vogue for a while now, thus casinos have booked big time acts like DeadMau5 and Tiesto to perform. The resurgence of tattoos into mainstream youth culture has not died off just yet, thus ink studios are being introduced at some casino complexes.

“You want to develop good customers now so that we don’t become the horse-racing industry of the future, where all of our people have died off and we don’t have any new blood coming in,” Norton was quoted as saying.

Trot Magazine Editor Darryl Kaplan recently penned a column on the topic of millennials, and how they appear to be gravitating toward event-based experiences, not necessarily sitting in front of a slot machine, which can be deemed more along the lines of a sedentary, solitary act.

In his piece, Kaplan quoted Daniel Sahl, an associate director of the Center for Gaming Innovation at UNLV, as saying that “millennials, especially, think of leisure activities as ‘a social experience that you share with friends. Gambling does not resonate with them as particularly fun to do.”

The major aspect of Kaplan’s column is that casinos might not be aware of it, but some of them actually house the ultimate social event right under their own roofs.

“When done right, horse racing is the ultimate experience. At the same time that casino executives scratch their heads looking for the answer to their problems, it sits under their noses, at the track,” Kaplan wrote. “Whether it’s dressing up or partying in the infield, meeting horses before the races, trips to walking rings or winner’s circles, jog cart rides, paddock or backstretch tours, we have the winning formula. It just needs to be put together.

“They talk integration. We are integration.”

To read Kaplan’s column in its entirety, click here.

(With files from The Augusta Chronicle)

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