Free slots play on the decline at land-based casinos, but not online.
For as long as gambling has existed, it’s been one of the most competitive industries the world has ever known. Look at Las Vegas, where the streets are teeming with massive casino resorts for miles. It takes more than an encasement of brilliant lighting and bling to draw customers to one establishment over another.
The online casino industry is no different. A website decked in pink will attract more females. One with beautiful half-clad women attracts more men. But what really draws in the numbers is the abundance and value of promotions. Particularly the kind that offer free slots play to new and/or existing members.
It wasn’t the online casino industry’s idea, either. Land-based casinos have been giving patrons free slots play to encourage visitation for decades. Internet operators picked up on that success, and went wild with it.
Free Slots Play More Valuable Online
Where you might expect to get $10 in free slots play at a land-based casino, the online variety are dishing up huge promotions. They match deposits at 100% or better, valued at hundreds if not thousands of dollars. And as usual, it’s the competitive nature between operators that’s driving up the value of these promos all across the web.
Unfortunately for brick-and-mortar casinos, free slots play isn’t having quite the same effect as it used to. The number of visitors is on the decline. Plus, the more casinos give away, they more it effects their bottom line.
Their digital counterparts are partly to blame for it. In today’s highly technological world, more people—especially the younger generation of gamblers—are placing their wagers on mobile devices. Land-based casinos are no longer convenient.
Players seeking sheer entertainment outside the home still visit, but those looking for a quick wager in their spare time have no use for them. And besides, the free slots play at online casinos is so much more valuable, these promotions no longer impress the majority of casino fans.
Less Players at Land-Based Slots
For the most part, millennials don’t even play the slots. This generation is looking for a more immersive form of entertainment. Slot machines are boring. They don’t have time for strategy-based table games like blackjack. They prefer fast-paced, action-packed games that incorporate some level of skill, much like the console video games they grew up on (Call of Duty, League of Legends, DOTA2, etc.)
Now, with patronage flagging, revenue falling and less players at the slot machines, land-based casinos are reducing everywhere are free slots play promotions. In Pennsylvania, casinos doled out 9% less in free slots play this year. Casinos in West Virginia dropped more dramatically, reducing such promotions by 21%.
In Las Vegas, casinos are adjusting too, attempting to appeal to the millennial generation in other ways. Some Nevada casinos now offer eSports betting (sports betting on video game tournaments) and skill-based, arcade-style gaming machines.
MGM Casino on the Las Vegas Strip has been the most aggressive in its appeal to 20-30 year old gamblers. They’ve installed a spacious entertainment lounge called Level Up, dedicated to attracting millennials.
Free slot splay may be alive and well at online casinos, but the land-based variety are clearly seeking out more effective ways to draw customers to the gaming floor.
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