WANTED: Millennials – Casinos Target the Younger Generation

Casinos and gambling related business are scrambling around looking for ideas to attract heards of people’s children and grandchildren through their doors.  This because millennials are less likely to spend their money gambling in casinos than the older generations… big problem for gambling institutions nationwide

“As a recovering compulsive gambler and millennial…this worries me.” – Addictmommakingamends

To avoid “impending doom” (no, not really, I hardly think casinos will ever doom at all.), Borgata Casino, Harrah’s Resort, Resorts Casino HotelTropicana Casino and Resort, and the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) recruited the help of Stockton University, in New Jersey.They funded the Millennial Entertainment Preferences study to discover what exactly is going on with millennials.

The study focused on two groups that it categorized into

  • millennials (21-35 yrs as of 2016, millennials)
  • non-millennials (36 yrs and over as of, including generation X, baby boomers, and silent generation)

Once the results came in…


Boom/Jason Taellious/Flicker/CC by-SA 2.0

The study showed most millennials prefer to spend their time and money in social activities like casual restaurants, night clubs, beaches and concerts [1]…not GAMBLING. In fact, according to the study itself “gambling was not mentioned by participants until they were specifically asked[2].

The numbers revealed that millennials show 1/2 as much interest in gambling than non-millennials and spend almost 2/3 less money gambling than the older generations. Even more disappointing for casinos, was that even if cash flow was a non-issue 35% would gamble more.  Less than the 50% of non-millennials who would increase their gambling if money was a non-issue[3].

“Gambling is not as important to those under 35,” [4] said Stockton University’s Jane Bokunewicz PhD., assistant professor of Hospitality and Tourism Management Studies, says here.

Personally, I would like for it stay that way.

But of course, this wont happen if casinos can have it their way.  The study also aimed at identifying key issues casinos can address in order to get more millennials gambling. Millennials were asked, in detail, about their accommodation, gambling behavior, and video games preferences. To read the study itself, click here. Information that without a doubt, will be used to tailor the gambling industry to lure those under-35ers in.

“The preferences of (Millennials) regarding entertainment, accommodations and amenities is of major significance to the casino industry…”- Rummy Pandit [5]

Rummy Pandit, Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism LIGHT

“We’re excited that the institute can provide this kind of forward thinking and demographic analysis, which benefits the industry and the region.” -Tom Ballance [6]

Tom Ballance, LIGHT Advisory Board & COO Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa


OK yay for casinos and the billionnnnns of dollars casinos make every year.  Good team work.

—   but   —

Who is looking out for the millions at risk of developing a gambling addiction?

What studies are being conducted to collect more information on the effects of gambling?

Why aren’t we actively educating people about the facts of gambling addiction?

When will we recognize that gambling addiction is a real problems that affects tens of millions of lives?


Clifton Hot Spot – South Africa/South African Tourism/Flickr/CC by-2.0


High Limit Slots/Dawn Pennington/Flickr/CC by-ND 2.0

Why lure them away from fun and social activities like beaches and concerts to put them in a dark- artificially-lit sensory-overloaded-cave that has the potential to ruin their lives?



Sounds drastic, but it is very very possible. I know, because it almost happened to me.

I am not entirely against gambling, but I do believe it should come with big warnings signs that flash as bright as slot machines lights.


ib2629.jpg/Mark Goebl/Flickr/CC by-2.0

What bothers me is that casinos come in full force to suck customers in.  Everything from slot machine designs, to lighting, to layout, has been carefully researched and implemented do seduce you in and keep you around.  If not careful, the average gambler can quickly fall prey to addiction.

We need to make sure we look out for our well being since it’s obvious the gambling industry wont. They pretty much have carte blanche as far as gambling addiction prevention and treatment is concerned.  Nobody warns us against gambling like they do with drugs, alcohol and tobacco.  We are all familiar with the D.A.R.E program.  No one told me growing up that gambling was just as addictive and deadly.

What if I want to go to a casino?  I won’t have a problem like you or the rest of the millions of gambling addicts in the U.S., you say.  Read more on gambling statistics here.

Ultimately, that decision lies on each individual.  Just be aware, be realistic, and be knowledgeable.Know that there is a fine line that can’t be crossed when it comes to gambling.  I encourage everyone to actively educate and encourage each other to be as aware of the gambling industry, as they are about us.


[1] Bokunewicz, Jane and Pandit, Rummy.(2016, July) Millennial Entertainment Preferences Study. Lloyd  D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality & Tourism. Stockton University. Web. 14 September 2016. pg. 12-13, tbl 1 & 2.
[2] Bokunewicz, Jane and Pandit Rummy.(2016, July) Millennial Entertainment Preferences Study. Lloyd  D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality & Tourism. Stockton University. Web. 14 September 2016. pg. 6
[3] Bokunewicz, Jane and Pandit Rummy.(2016, July) Millennial Entertainment Preferences Study. Lloyd  D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality & Tourism. Stockton University. Web. 14 September 2016. pg. 3
[4] Survey of Millennials’ Entertainment Preferences Finds Opportunities for Atlantic City Market. (2016, August 31). Retrieved from https://stockton.edu/news/millennials-entertainment-preferences-gaming-levenson-survey.html * 4. 5. 6.

featured image: targeting.gif[animated]/Gilberto Santa Rosa/Flickr/CC by-2.0


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