G2E Asia Discusses Social Gaming as a Tool for Drawing Millennials at Casinos

Social gaming was among the topics broadly discussed during this year’s edition of the Global Gaming Expo Asia (G2E Asia), held between May 16-18 at The Venetian Macao.

At the Social Gaming: Adding Value to Customer Life Cycle and Loyalty session, PlayStudios Asia Head of Rewards Christy Fung talked about the importance of social gaming for attracting the millennial cohort to land-based casinos.

Millennials are very close to reaching their spending prime and becoming the largest demographic on the planet, gradually replacing the Baby Boomers. Bearing this in mind, this particular group will become a more and more important target for gambling operators from all around the world in the years to come.

According to Ms. Fung, millennials are harder to reach with traditional marketing tools. The generation of twenty- and thirty-somethings is “mobile-savvy and gaming-oriented” and it is a good idea for land-based casinos to look into that direction in order to attract their attention, the gaming expert pointed out.

PlayStudios Asia develops social casino apps, targeting mainly players from the Asia-Pacific region. Ms. Fung explained that this category of mobile games is still in a very early stage of its development, but is growing quite rapidly at the same time.

Millennials are known for their constant pursuit for challenges of a different kind, and social casino apps certainly can provide them with such challenges. What is more, these offer the opportunity for members of that particular generation to socialize. Socialization, particularly via technology, is another important feature that distinguishes the cohort from its predecessors.

Social casinos have already been deployed by major land-based casino chains, MGM Resorts International being one such chain, to reach the millennial generation and to draw it to casino premises.

Although social casino games are free-to-play, they offer players to buy virtual currency that enhances player experience. Such in-app purchases are actually what make the sector one with big potential for profitability. According to Ms. Fung, social casino players are very engaged, playing an average of two hours a day.

The high engagement rate may be attributed not only to the quality of the content offered, but also to the fact that playing on hand-held devices is much more convenient than playing in actual casino buildings. However, it is believed that social gaming is a good way to introduce potential customers from the millennial generation to the experience casinos offer and to eventually draw them to brick-and-mortar venues.

The 11th annual G2E Asia conference and exhibition reported record attendance of over 14,000 participants, including industry executives and experts, media representatives, and other gambling insiders.

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