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HOLD GAMING


Targeting Millennials and Gen-Z


Phillip Runyan, founder and CEO of Hold Gaming, on targeting the next generation of casino-goers.


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asinos face new growth challenges as their core players age and the new generation are less attracted by traditional casino games such as slots and video poker. These new players have been raised on video games and mobile technology and are looking for those experiences in casino gaming, which is a shift from what the traditional casino offers. To achieve the desired growth, casinos need to target Millennials and Gen-Z with content that resonates with them. This includes iGaming, sports betting and eSports – with  casino. These digital offerings also allow casinos to not only target new players but also provide differentiation amongst themselves, which further helps attract new players. We need to innovate if we want to continue to appeal to the next generation of casino- goers, while not isolating the current audience. The casino world has had to rapidly adjust to the rise of technology, like many other industries. Activity is no longer just occurring within the confines of land-based casino walls, and operators are constantly


74 NOVEMBER 2019 GIO


looking for ways stand out and convert land-based players to online.


The move to iGaming is gaining momentum, but we still have a long way to go. While over 80 percent of US States have casinos, less than 10 percent offer real money iGaming. It is no secret that news around the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) has been the talk of the industry. Since its repeal, casinos have been hyper-focused on adding sports betting


We need to innovate if we want to continue to appeal to the next generation of casino- goers, while not isolating the current audience


to their repertoires to attract new players. Amongst all the hype, ‘shiny-object- syndrome’ is in action, with many operators jumping on the bandwagon to avoid missing out. Despite huge success and interest, sports  due to seasonality of events, peaking around March Madness and NFL season and dropping off in between. It doesn’t provide a consistent, viable offering to attract customers. Enter esports – a genre that’s become a silver bullet for casino operators trying to attract millennial engagement. Esports does a great job appealing to a target audience who have been raised in the digital world and thrive on competition.


The rise of esports has been immense, with the industry expected to generate $1.65 billion in revenue in 2021. It’s proving to be a great solution to appeal to gamers, but the growth


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