New Jersey Casinos Unable To Bring In Millennials Post Lockdown
Atlantic City casinos reopened with new health and safety protocols in early July, but operators have found that millennials are avoiding casinos even more than they had before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Before the pandemic, casino operators looked to attract millennials by opening a number of non-gaming establishments like restaurants and dance clubs, which helped them have some measure of success.
But without these added attractions post COVID-19, it appears millennials are back to avoiding the casinos.
According to the Ocean Casino Resort’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer Mike Donovan, their first weekend after reopening was dominated by older crowds.
Millennials Like to Do Things as Groups
Research conducted by Jane Bokunewicz, an associate professor at Stockton University in hospitality, revealed that millennials generally do not prioritize gambling in their nights out.
Bokunewicz is the institute coordinator for Stockton’s Levenson Institute for Gaming, Hospitality, and Tourism. She was part of a slew of studies on the entertainments habits and behaviors of millennials.
According to Bokunewicz, her research has led her to believe that millennials value dining, drinking, and dancing venues above all else when going for a night out. Only 20% of the millennials she surveyed identified gambling as a key part of their night out. This is in contrast to the over-35 group, where gambling is the top draw, with 42% of respondents stating it is a priority for them.
Bokunewicz said that, while millennials enjoy casinos, they do so for different reasons compared to older generations. For instance, the social aspect of gaming is much more important for younger people than it is for older people. Millennials enjoy gambling in groups, even when playing slots. While online sports betting does appeal to millennials, many operators are finding that the lack of mainstream sports continues to hamper action.
Gambling in groups will likely continue to be taboo in local casinos for the foreseeable future due to concerns about the resurgence of the coronavirus in the US.