I am the demographic

By Deana Scott

Stop talking about millennials and give today’s gamer what they want…

I just celebrated another birthday (lucky me … and I mean that sincerely).

It’s been a gradual transition. I noticed it about five years ago when casino music moved from “oldies” 50’s & 60’s to “hits” from the 80’s.

I have found the lost player, and to my shock and horror, it is me. I have spent over 20 years in the gaming industry looking for the next gambling customer, only to realize I am that customer, and guess what? I do NOT like the product. To go a step further, none of my friends or colleagues do either.

We spend so much time talking about attracting millennials that we have skipped over women aged 45 to 60. If we expect to sustain and even grow our business over the next 20 years, we need to start talking to them and creating marketing that speaks to them … and I mean me!

Women in this age group are often overlooked by brands … talk to ME! It’s a good investment too, because women control 60% of all wealth in the US and make 75% of all household buying decisions. Put the millennials on the back burner for now. This is the market we want.

According to Claire Behar of Fleishman-Hillard New York, “Over the next decade, women will control two thirds of consumer wealth in the United States and be the beneficiaries of the largest transference of wealth in our country’s history. Estimates range from $12 to $40 trillion. Many Boomer women will experience a double inheritance windfall, from both parents and husband.”

There is a huge disconnect between marketers’ perception of this lucrative demographic and their actual lifestyle. Please don’t put me in the category of your “older player,” just call me a potential player. One that, unlike millennials, has time and money to spend.

Here are some tips for giving this demographic what they want:

1. Give up on the current slot floor layout – It’s time to create intimate niche social slot settings where I can chat with my friends, drink, eat, and yes, even put a few bucks in a game. Allow me to game in my hotel room or by the pool. All of this is “Found” revenue.

2. Offer social games – This is not just taking your existing slot game titles and putting them on handheld devices. Games need to have the appearance of skill and an additional competitive component or social interaction. The rest of the world is leaps ahead of the US when it comes to gaming on personal devices.

3. Create the right atmosphere – I like music, but I want to be able to hear the conversation of the friends I bring with me.

4.  You’re missing a marketing opportunity – Start calculating a player’s Total Worth (hotel, F&B, slots, spa, retail), not just theo win. I may not spend $100 in slots, but I will leave your property having spent at least $1,000 on food, spa, and poolside beverages.

5. Stop making me jump through hoops to be treated to a special offer – I will pay for the service. I just don’t want to be connected to the game with a string, and then asked to pull the coupon out.

6. Stay in touch – Also, please keep sending me an email even if I haven’t been back in a year. I gave you permission to send me information, so please do so until I say to stop. Maybe I will travel to a special event outside of my local market. Remember, I have time and money.

7.  Fix the ventilation – If you insist on offering smoking, then please FINALLY fix the ventilation. I don’t want to smell like an ashtray when I get home. Maybe I would play more if I could actually breathe while playing.

Finally, if this demographic isn’t enamored with what we offer, you most definitely are wasting money enticing millennials with the same tired product.