Turning Casino Games into Video Games
How long will it be before all our traditional casino games are replaced by videogames? Not very long, if I do my job right. I’m one of the people tasked with bringing younger clients to the casinos by making the games more appealing to new players. That means social games with an emphasis on skill, not to mention a more appealing video interface – maybe even the Oculus Rift I mentioned last time.
Let’s be honest: The coveted 18-34 demographic is still going to prefer playing these games online. However, brick-and-mortar casinos can get a slice of this business by installing newer skill-based machines, and they can give the younger clientele a reason to play them in “meatspace” by hosting large-scale tournaments. It worked for poker. It should work for casino games.
Out With the Old
The transition would be practically seamless, aside from all the heavy lifting. Most modern slot machines are already glorified videogames, instead of the mechanical one-armed bandits of yore. In September, the Nevada Gaming Commission put the rules in place that will allow for skill-based slot machines, after state lawmakers made them legal earlier this year. And something like 20,000 old machines have been removed from Las Vegas casinos since 2007.
So what will the new games look like? Exactly what people are already playing on their smartphones, stuff like Candy Crush and Bejeweled. All you need to do is build a house edge into the games. It will require a bit more creativity to turn popular titles like Halo or Fallout into casino games, but it can be done. It’s not rocket science. I learned how to do it, and I’m not a genius by any stretch of the imagination.
World Series of Slots
It’s the tournaments that have me excited about where this can go. I’m not much of a button-masher myself – I prefer strategy games – but I’ve been to some of the top e-sports tournaments, and I’ve also been to the World Series of Poker. It wouldn’t take much to put together a hybrid of the two, at least from where I’m standing.
I’m pretty sure the casinos feel the same way. They’ve already turned themselves over the past few decades into high-end shopping malls/convention centers that happen to feature casino games, just like arenas and stadiums and have done when it comes to sports. Think of all the “side” business these tournaments would generate for all the hotels and restaurants and such. Think of all the “free” advertising they’ll get from broadcasting these tournaments on ESPN. It’s a no-brainer, really. The other option is willful obsolescence.