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Atlantic City Skilled-based Slot Machines Fail to Meet Expectations

Posted by Maya Michaels on Friday, June 16, 2017

Atlantic City fail in their attempt to get under Millennials’ skin

Three Atlantic City Casinos, Harrah’s Resort, Caesars and Bally’s, decided to remove 21 skill-based slot machines after six-month test period since they failed to make enough money to cover vendor fees.

Casino Test for Millennials

As Atlantic City was on the verge of bankruptcy in 2016, people were spending less and less money in casinos due to a sluggish economy. Casino operators tried out various promotions and marketing methods in order to revive their business and attract new players. Their main idea was to attract millennial generation, those born between 1980 and 2000, to their gambling facilities. This demographic is visiting the city more than ever but apparently not to gamble. Reasons behind this peculiar statistic was found it the fact they grew with high-tech video gaming and are more comfortable with online slots.

They do not seem to be interested in one-dimensionality of casino slots but need something more challenging and appealing. The casinos teamed up with GameCo, a skill-based slot software developer, in order to introduce 21 skilled-based slots to the facilities in November 2016 hopping they would become a major game-changer.

Skilled-based slots pay players based on their skill unlike traditional slots of chance. The payout formula is consistent with slot machines, though, returning 83 cents on every dollar spent. They do employ a similar financial model but there is a key difference – skilled-based slot game players can reduce the house edge by being more adept at a certain game. Up to 71% of the players playing skill-based games were millennials but that wasn’t enough to make them viable.

Failed Experiment

Since the experiment did not bring success, “Danger Arena” and other skill-based slots were pulled from the gaming floor after they failed to earn their keep, Melissa Price, senior vice president of gaming enterprise for Caesars Entertainment, said.

“We all understood that we were learning and experimenting,” she said. “It was a big learning experience for all of us. People have to come find the games in a sea of 1,500 slots.”

And with 75 million of the US population being millennials, they are now America’s largest generation. Their buying power stands at $2.5 trillion and it’s no wonder casinos are committed to trying-out skill-based slots in future despite the temporary failure.

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