The millennial factor

Millennials are changing the game.
Goldman Sachs Asia division has published a report after meeting with investors from across Asia. One outstanding question that is getting a large amount of attention is, will brick-and-mortar casinos become less popular as millennials spend more time online?
Goldman argues this because 71 per cent of gross gaming revenue in Asia comes from travellers who look for a diversified entertainment experience. The report says casinos also benefit as more Asians travel abroad, especially the Chinese, who on average make three domestic trips annually, but only 0.1 trips overseas, and the latter should increase.
The millennial factor is always such a hot topic because they are such a large demographic on the rise and they have a different outlook from other generations. At the 2017 Global Gaming Summit (G2E) Asia this Summer, casino operators revealed that they were actively seeking millennial customers as a way of securing their future earnings, but isn’t this an obvious business practice?
Businesses watch trends to understand the potential impact of target demographics both current and future in order to develop marketing strategies that will maximise exposure of their brands. I don’t believe that it is reasonable to think that millennials will be any less interested in exploring gaming in Macau than older generations, but they will want a different experience from their parents.
The millennial audience loves excitement and unique travel, both of which Macau offers; in fact, for the past two years, Macau has been diversifying and succeeding with options of entertainment and dining for all travellers young and old. It may take the generation a few more years to develop dispensable income to explore high-end travel but interest in gaming will still exist.
One area, however, regarding the Macau gaming industry that continually fascinates me is the practice of offering water or tea to patrons while gaming, while fellow gaming city Las Vegas casinos offer alcohol in their options. Interestingly though, some Las Vegas casinos are now using automation to figure out how many complimentary beverages to give players.
If they aren’t gambling enough, the person does not get a free drink. Might millennials respond well to these types of incentives? Research and news often indicates that casinos are emplying technology and gadgets to increase their younger demographic draw but I think that equal focus on the experience of gaming would also increase loyalty and patronage.
The Millennial factor is in full flow; let’s see how it unfolds.