Video games hold more interest for the current generation than slot machines. These games of skill usually end in bragging rights only, but Nevada is trying to find a way to bring gambling to the new generation. High scores could start paying out for the best video game players in casinos, according to a June 30, 2015 reveal. Plans to offer arcade video games with winnings paid out for the gamblers skills are currently in the works. Nevadans are working towards regulations to make the changes happen. A bill with rules is being drafted and will be handed to the Nevada Gaming Commission in October.
The idea has come from needing to get younger people interested in the games at casinos. Slot machines do not offer the thrills that PlayStation, Xbox and mobile game applications can.
Marcus Prater stated, “It’s certainly not your father’s one-armed bandit anymore.”
Prater is the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers executive director. He pushed for a change in the Nevada gaming law. The law allows regulators to set up craft rules for skill style games.
If the changes are made in Las Vegas, then it is going to influence other areas, including Reno and Atlantic City to add these skill games. Chances are tribal casinos and other gambling locations will also take up video game gambling before it makes a worldwide debut.
Video poker and blackjack machines do involve skill, but Nevada feels more is needed with a decline in slot machines. Nevada has 151,000 slot machines, which are all about chance winnings. The law states that everyone has to have the same chance to win on slot machines.
Game developers, slot machine manufacturers, regulators and lawmakers are attempting to make changes to increase Nevada’s revenue that has been in a downturn since 2007.
Revenue for 2007 was $12.9 billion, while revenue in 2014 was $11 billion. Slot revenue has decreased by 20% in that time frame. The recession was definitely a contributing factor for some of the decrease in revenue. However, there are many who agree the lack of young people being interested in casino games accounts for the continued loss of revenue.
According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority only 63% of people born after 1980 gambled in Las Vegas in 2014. This is compared to visitors who are 70 to 90 years old, which accounts for 87%. Approximately 78% of visitors are 51 to 69 years of age or in the baby boomer category. Generation X, which is individuals 35 to 50 accounted for 68% of visitors.
Greg Giuffria, who is trying to develop a video game with joysticks, controllers, and betting said, “The next wave of people aren’t going to stand there and play slots. The industry has to change or disappear.”
Currently, the games and payouts are being worked out. Many game makers are hesitant to jump into the development until there is a regulation that will allow for video game gambling. Slots are not going to disappear, but an arcade experience is now required with games that the newer generations are going to want to play.