Will Video Games Take Over Casinos and Push Slots Out?

Slots have been the cash cow for both land-based and online casinos for years. But lately, land-based casinos haven't had the same success with slot machines, prompting them to seek new alternatives that will attract millennials.

Given that many people under the age of 50 enjoy video games, casinos are preparing to offer arcade-style gaming.

As Forbes points out, millennials don't get excited about pushing a button over and over again in hopes of winning prizes. This is one big reason why the number of Las Vegas visitors who gamble has dropped more than 15% in recent years.

A company called GameCo is currently developing arcade-style machines to draw players to casino gambling floors. Called Video Game Gambling Machines (VGMs), these machine combine the skill of video games with casino betting action.

GameCo's first VGM project is called Danger Arena, a first-person shooting game where players bet between $0.50 and $20.00 to play a round. The goal is to shoot as many enemies within the round to earn a profit. Killing seven enemies allows you to break even on your bet, and shooting more helps you collect a profit.

Some of the different styles of VGMs that players will have access to include fighting, finding objects, puzzles, sports, and MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena).

The Declining Future of Slot Machines

Forbes points to slots statistics that show their decline, making for the possibility of a video game takeover. Here are a few important points from their infographic:

  • Slot machines account for 75% of land-based casino revenue
  • Gambling revenue has been declining rapidly since 1991
  • In 1991, 58% of casino resort revenue came from gambling; in 2014, this number dropped to 37%
  • In 1990, 87% of Vegas visitors gambled while there; in 2014, only 71% gambled
  • Millennials make up 27% of Vegas visitors, but only 61% gambled
  • Compare the above stat to Baby Boomers (78% gambled) and Generation X (68% gambled)

When Will VGMs Hit Casinos?

The numbers clearly show that young people are gravitating away from slot machines and other forms of gambling. So we'll soon get to see how VGMs perform when they hit casinos. But the question is, when will they enter casinos?

There's no definite timetable. But with New Jersey already having approved arcade-style gambling for Atlantic City casinos, we could see VGMs in casinos within the year.

The only issue is how fast GameCo can get these games ready for gambling. And there might be some bugs and kinks to work out in the beginning as well. Nevertheless, it shouldn't be long before people are playing casino video games for real money.