Did 20-somethings ever really Gamble in land-based casinos?

Last Updated on January 26, 2018 by Trevor Hallsey

Are too many stats and analytic data ruining Las Vega casinos?

Slots at as Vegas CasinosFor the last few years, we’ve heard all about the movement to attract the millennial generation, aged 21-34, onto the casino gaming floor. Data and research has shown that millennials don’t gamble much, and Vegas casinos are worried it will destroy their bottom line in years to come.

They say if the world’s youngest legal-age gamblers don’t play slot machines, their largest source of revenue will soon suffer. Right now, it’s their parents and grandparents who do the vast majority of the gambling. When they grow old and no longer occupy the seats of slot machines, who will?

It’s a valid argument, in theory. But you also have to realize that they didn’t have nearly so many statistics in previous decades. Back then, every aspect of the gaming industry was not analyzed and picked apart like a Thanksgiving turkey. So who’s to say that previous generations, while in their 20’s, did much gambling either?

Young Visitors to Las Vegas Casinos

If you think about it, the majority of young people – in any generation, not just the current one – aren’t exactly the richest age group. These are college students. They have tuition to pay, student loans to worry about, and pay checks that don’t reflect the earning of their parents. Why would they waste their money gambling, when there’s so many more fun things to do in Las Vegas?

According to all that data that’s being collected and spewed forth, millennials spend most of their money at bars, restaurants and nightclubs, not casinos. But what 20-something doesn’t want to get hammered at a nightclub while in Vegas? When a youngster turns 21, they aren’t thinking ‘Oh, I can gamble now!‘. They’re thinking about booze, and experiencing the ultimate party atmosphere.

Price Gouging at Land-Based Casinos

Realistically, even if a millennial does come to Vegas with enough money to stock a bankroll, it would be gone before they got to the casino floor. The prices are ridiculous in resorts these days. Price gouging is going on everywhere.

They add ‘resort fees’ to hotel rooms. They charge exorbitant parking fees. The food and drinks are insanely expensive. $15 for a mixed drink is crazy, and that’s on the cheapest end of the menu.

Land-Based Casinos Nevada Gaming Revenue 2000-2016Millennials Will Gamble Later

Once this generation gets a little older, I have no doubt they will calm down on the alcohol and spend more time on the casino gaming floor. That’s what their parents did. That’s what their grandparents did. Just because Grandpa Joe seems mellow now, doesn’t mean he wasn’t a wild child back in his day.

For years and years, casinos marketed their gambling product to players. And for all those years, the revenue came pouring in.

According to data from UNLV, gaming revenue doesn’t exactly appear to be jeopardy. From 2000 to 2016, gaming win has risen from $9.60 billion to $11.25 billion. The table to the right shows a spike in 2006-07, but nothing dramatic thereafter.

Casinos are concerned because so many of their younger visitors are spending money in the nightclubs. The revenue for non-gaming is sky rocketing. But why is that such a problem? They are still making money, whether it’s in the casino at the bar.

Trevor Hallsey