It really shouldn’t come as a big surprise that the playing habits of millennials is causing the iGaming industry to make major changes to how it manages itself. In fact, any company that doesn’t factor in the preferences of millennials is making a huge mistake because these people don’t just make up half the size of the industry’s potential customer base but they are also very vocal about their likes and dislikes.
The point was driven home at the recently concluded ICE for which the entire igaming industry had assembled in London’s ExCel convention centre. Oulala Games head and co-founder Valery Bollier made a very interesting point during his short presentation which was part of the ICE VOX Prophets competition. He actually won the competition because the judges agreed with his position that the industry had to find ways of catering to the gaming habits and preferences of millennials. He also cautioned industry peers to start adapting to the needs of this market segment or risk imminent extinction.
Growing Market Segment
It will only take a few years before millennials become 50% of the potential customer base of the online gambling industry. Unfortunately, the industry is waking up to the fact that this young generation is quite unlike the ones that came before it. Not only does it have different expectations but it is also very particular about getting exactly what it wants (or rejecting something that doesn’t meet its exacting needs). Therefore, it is a big mistake to ignore this segment.
Changing Expectations From Gambling
The existing business model of online casinos is to pit customers against the house, with the house retaining a small edge. Players have been quite comfortable with this because this is also how the land based gambling industry operates. Millennials, on the other hand, aren’t particularly thrilled with this model. Instead, they prefer games that pit them against other customers, basically because they are competitive and eager to show off their superiority over others. There’s also a social element to this, and millennials enjoy the company of their friends when gambling. Therefore, social media will have to have a major role in the business in the future.
Millennials have a tremendous fascination with video games, having grown up playing them. Therefore, they haven’t really enjoyed gambling online unless the games in question have gaming console quality animation.
One of the biggest success stories of late has been the Daily Fantasy Sports segment because it isn’t just sports betting. Players like the idea of building fantasy sports teams, and it has to be admitted that it takes quite a bit of skill to succeed in these games. As a matter of fact, this particular vertical has become so popular that it has managed to draw customers away from sports betting.
When Will The Industry Change?
It’s been a while since customers have been looking for a new online gaming experience, but the industry has chosen to ignore it perhaps on account of inertia. After all, the industry has been expanding at a spectacularly fast rate. However, an analysis of this growth will show that while some of it is fuelled by new customers, the biggest chunk of it comes from cannibalisation of the land based gambling industry. Therefore, the industry definitely needs to look into this issue before it growth grinds to a halt.
There isn’t a lot of time available to the iGaming business because it has to work now to attract this segment before it moves completely out of reach. In fact, it will have to develop new technologies as well in order to get the highly prized millennial business.