By Kacey Bradley

New trends are continually disrupting the hospitality industry. Casinos can revamp their current reach and revenue strategy by understanding these trends and what they mean for the future of gaming.

1. Young Marketing

If you’re only marketing to baby boomers, you’re behind on the times. Even a millennial approach to advertising fails to look ahead. Generation Z — those born in the mid-1990s to early-2000s — are about to make a huge impact on the business world. By 2020, they will account for 40% of all consumers, and together, they have $4 billion to spend at their discretion.

Social media, including the use of influencers, should play a significant role in any strategy. In 2016, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority tried a similar approach targeting millennials. By teaming up with social influencers on Vine, a now-defunct video-sharing platform, the campaign generated 400,000 engagements on Vine and 79 million impressions on Twitter.

2. Interactive Gaming

Players love traditional slot machines and blackjack tables. However, time and technology are racing forward, and today’s consumers want social and interactive play, similar to online gaming. James Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International, claims, “The slot floors that you see today are not going to be in existence 10 years from now.” Many casinos have already reduced their slot offerings.

Arcade-style games are expected to become the norm. Players might battle villains or swap letters in a puzzle game. They can even watch clips from their favorite TV shows. The curved touch screen creates an immersive experience, while the 4D effects — like a seat that rocks or buzzes — transition digital gaming into reality.

3. Mobile Gambling

In the U.S., 81% of the population owns a smartphone. It’s easier than ever to get online, play games and browse the internet. It’s no surprise many prefer virtual play over physical gaming, able to experience the excitement of a casino from the comfort of their own homes. When a player wants to visit, the app can provide directions to join the fun.

Hotels and casinos both utilize online gambling technology to encourage engagement. Mobile apps can also keep track of lottery tickets and time-sensitive promotions. Location-based marketing, like geo-fencing, can be used to target mobile users within a designated distance, such as 30 miles. You can even target players who visit a competitor’s location.

4. Inclusive Experiences

Revamp your casino reach and revenue strategy by looking at the big picture. Consider how all available revenue streams — both gaming and nongaming — can benefit the guest.

Common casino and resort revenue streams include:

  • Shopping
  • Wellness
  • Entertainment
  • Accommodations
  • Food and beverage

Most casinos already have a wealth of information about players. Use this collection of data to understand how they prefer to spend. One player might like to splurge on the most expensive suite in the house, but never revisit the resort. Another, while opting for the cheapest room, might visit several times a year and frequent the gift shop.

Once you know the habits of your guests, you can assign values to your revenue streams and pinpoint where to optimize.

5. Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is taking the world by storm, expected to be the fastest-growing segment in the global gambling market. With just a headset, users can transport to a new, immersive dimension. There, they can enjoy the exciting atmosphere of a traditional casino while playing games like blackjack, slots, roulette and more. Who wouldn’t want to bet and have fun from the comfort of their own home?

VR casino games are more realistic than ever. Players can win free spins, chips and bonus money offers. Plus, great design, real casino sounds and in-game chats enhance the experience. Even in the digital world, players want the option to connect with others. Only now, they can talk to people from around the globe.

Today’s consumers have different expectations than older generations. To reach them, it’s essential to spread the right message on the right platforms. Many brands have turned to social influencers as a way to target players in authentic ways. Mobile gaming is also becoming the norm, with gamers preferring the comfort of home over a physical location. Casinos can use these trends to understand the growing market and optimize their strategies.