The latest gamers to hit the Las Vegas scene are less into lucky 7s and playing cards and more into automatic weapons and speeding cars – which is why the City of Lights is adapting its strategy in an attempt to please Millennials: a new video-game style of gambling is in the works in an attempt to pull in the mostly untapped 21-29 year old demographic.
A new Nevada law was passed this year that demands regulators craft rules for new skill-based games – such as those commonly played on PlayStation and Xbox. Currently, electronic slots are, by law, based solely on luck, but skill could finally come into play with this new wave of virtual gambling.
Senate Bill 9 was backed by the slot machine industry and others who hope to see skill play a role in virtual winning and losing. Companies are now working on the next generation of “slot” machines that would include joysticks and controllers to make luck less of a component in the final payout.
Despite the gaming feel, the new “arcades” would be far from child’s play with the same restrictions and minimum gambling age as traditional casino activities.
Lawmakers hope to have the laws ready for Gaming Commission approval by October. The ultimate hope is to revive Vegas’ gambling revenue, which the Nevada Gaming Commission reports fell 3.65-percent between July and December 2014.
Part of the decrease can be attributed to Millennials’ seeming disinterest in the traditional gambling sector. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reports that only 17-percent of casino visitors were under age 29 in 2014, down from 19-percent in 2012. The mean age for visitors – who also tended to be married – was 45.
Bill 9 backers are hoping the law will allow Vegas casinos to adapt to the under-29 demographic and boost the revenue that has gone missing in recent years.
The Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino is one such venue looking to implement the new arcade-style gaming.
(Photo credit: Donald Bell, Creative Commons.)
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