by Hillary LaClair, Senior Editor
Casino owners everywhere have gathered to discuss the future of slot machines, and what they can do to continue its survival in the industry. With online casinos gaining more popularity over land establishments, operators have come together to determine how to attract younger customers.
This was the subject of many conference panels at this year’s Global Gaming Expo. According to Casino City Times, “The Big Four – International Game Technology, Bally Technologies, Aristocrat Technologies and WMS Gaming – showed off more breakthroughs to interest younger players while still appealing to their core audience of over-65 gamblers.”
“You’re talking about a demographic that’s dying,” said Al Thomas, executive director of research and development for WMS Gaming.
Over the next years, casinos will offer slot machines to its customers that use server-based technology, very similar to online casinos, that will enable managers and gamers to select games to download on a machine. This is probably the best means of competing with online casinos, allowing a younger audience to access a variety of slots games and other services usually not available to them at the casino.
IGT introduced a slot machine with a library of over twelve games. Customers can switch slot games in nearly 20 seconds. The machines will also offer customers coupons and random tournaments, as well as the ability to order cocktails and make show reservations.
The company has also released a series of movie themed slot games to appeal to their younger demographic. Customers can enjoy a “Jaws” and “Sopranos” slots game, as well as advanced version of classic video game favorite, Pong. IGT has released a “Star Wars” games, and WMS showed a “Star Trek” themed game at the gaming expo.