Have you been to a casino in the last 20 or so years? If so, you’ll notice one thing in common at pretty much every land-based casino. The moment you enter the casino floor, you’re greeted by the bells, sounds, and lights of the slots machines. Not table games. Not video poker machines. Slot machines.
By some accounts, casinos make as much as 90% profit from their slot machines. Table games exist to appease players, especially high rollers who love cards and chips. But the majority of money is made on the one-armed bandits, hence the name.
In fact, slot machines have historically been so profitable that at casinos offering both slots and table games, slots take up about 85% of the floor space, if not more, depending on the size of the casino.
But that could very well soon change if a casino in Baltimore, Maryland is any indication of things to come. Maryland is seeing a decrease in slot machine interest among younger players. According to a recent report, younger casino players prefer to play table games to slots games.
It’s getting so crazy that the two biggest casinos in Baltimore have tossed away nearly 1,400 slot machine and replaced the floor space with table games, along with restaurants and entertainment options.
The move from slots to table games isn’t limited to Maryland. Just take a look at North America’s biggest gambling market, Nevada. In 2001, the state housed 217,000 slots. Today, even though there are more casinos dotting Las Vegas Boulevard, there are fewer slot machines. In 2014, the total number dropped to 175,000.
So what’s with this shift in desired games? Well, attention span has a lot to do with it. Younger casino players, particularly Millennials, are used to being constantly stimulated. They’ve got their iPhones. They’ve got their iPads. They’re on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and everything else. If they’re not looking at their iPhone, they’re on their Apple Watch. And on all their gadgets, they’re used to fast paced games with interesting user interfaces. Slot machines, while fun, don’t necessarily satisfy the younger generation’s need for an adrenaline rush.
There’s one other piece of technology that’s contributing to the renewed interest in table games. We’re talking about us. Or all online casinos for that matter. Just a few decades ago, before online casinos, if you wanted to learn a table game, you had to do one of two things:
- Go to the library to research how to play a particular game.
- Go to a live casino and stand over a table to watch the game unfold.
You could only learn so much by reading or observing, so you’d have to sit down to play if you really wanted to understand the game. That all changed when sites like Palace of Chance came around. Now, if you want to learn a new game, you can create a free account, log in on your Mac, PC, smartphone, or tablet, and play that new game for free. With no one else to bug you at the tables, you can take the time to learn the game and become a pro.
What do you think? Are table games more exciting than slots? Do you think slots need to evolve to get younger players more excited? Comment below and let us know your thoughts.