With Las Vegas casinos nearing reopening, questions are surfacing as to what will help drive the economy back to glory.
We know that for one, casino operators must continue developing strong reopening plans and safety protocols so that visitors can feel like Las Vegas is a safe space to return to amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
Confidence in air travel is also a big one, as it’s the first step in getting out-of-state travelers who might not be close enough to drive in, the peace of mind in taking the journey necessary to get to Las Vegas.
But what else could help revive Vegas’ economy when the city does finally reopen? Well, according to Synergy Blue, a Las Vegas skill-based game maker, the answer could be younger gamblers.
According to Synergy Blue’s CEO, George Washington, it doesn’t come as a shock to anyone that the younger demographic is more risk-oriented and has a bigger appetite for social interaction, especially after being cooped up for the past two months.
Younger Demographic Likely Safest to Return
With the highest risk group of the coronavirus being those 65 and older or those with underlying health conditions or chronic lung disease, all signs point to the younger demographic as being the healthiest to return to Las Vegas resorts when they reopen.
Synergy Blue’s survey found that 62 percent of U.S. gamblers who were 29-years-old or younger said they would return to Las Vegas whenever stay-at-home orders and the shutdown are lifted, as opposed to the group 60 years old, where only 40 percent said they would return.
While younger gamblers aren’t known for being heavy spenders, if a higher percentage of them are willing to return to Vegas, they could prove as the driving force behind the city’s long-awaited economic recovery.
“It’s going to take time for some people (to return), but there’s a positive spin to this,” Washington said. “Over half of the people surveyed are willing to come straight out there (to casinos). People will be back to some normalcy soon.”
Younger Gamblers Could be Pose a Paradox for Casino Operators
According to Nehme Abouzeid, president and founder of LaunchVegas LLC, a consulting firm in Las Vegas, while the younger generation will likely be the first to return to land-based casinos because of their health, the typical slots player is older.
Abouzeid says it would be an “inverse relationship.”
The Las Vegas Convention Visitor’s Authority (LVCVA) also found that older gamblers typically shell out more money compared to their younger counterparts. Around 30 percent of baby boomers were found to have a total gambling budget of around $600.
Young Travelers Who Don’t Visit the Casinos Can Still Help Las Vegas Recover
Even if young travelers aren’t going to be hitting the slots or crap tables, their tourism will still help Las Vegas recover.
There is a lot for younger visitors to be attracted to in Las Vegas, from pools to shows and restaurants. And with the layouts of these popular amenities being modified to fit social distancing, younger tourists can feel ease returning to them to have fun while being protected.
Online Gaming Sees Major Boost Amid Nationwide Casino Shutdown
The survey also revealed that online gaming has ramped up heavily amid the nationwide shutdown of casinos.
According to the survey, 64 percent of the 1,000 U.S. gamblers questioned said they’ve played mobile games or participated in online gambling during the pandemic. It was the first time to gamble online for 1 of 5 of those surveyed.
“It seems that online gaming is having its test-drive moment,” Abouzeid said. “With land-based casinos shuttered, virtually no sports to bet on, and media consumption up due to the lockdown, online casinos are enjoying a unique window of opportunity.”
A whopping 93 percent of those gamblers surveyed also said they would continue to gamble online or use mobile gambling even when stay-at-home orders are lifted. But while this online sector has seen a major boost amid the outbreak, Washington said the growth shouldn’t hurt traditional casinos as the two options provide different advantages for different gamblers.
Washington expects to see more growth in the online gambling space, but not enough that it will noticeably put a dent in the traditional brick-and-mortar casinos.
About Synergy Blue
Founded in 2013, Synergy Blue is an industry leader in entertainment gaming solutions, known for the skill-influenced and arcade-style games they create. They create “Fun You Can Bet On!” The Las Vegas-based gaming company designs products for an emerging class of players. They have products and applications spanning across six different countries.