Skill-Based Casino Games Usher In A New Era

Tisha Walden | 08 Feb 2019

Skill GamesPsychologists have long realised the mental health benefits associated with feeling in control. Studies have shown that those who feel in control of their surroundings tend to experience fewer aches and pains, recover more fully from illnesses and even tend to live longer. Quite a compelling argument in favour of being in control then. Quite surprising is the fact that casinos have only just recently cottoned on to the fact that not everyone is equally happy about leaving it all to luck, and that the antidote to that old familiar uneasy feeling of not being in control, is not surprisingly, skill.

Younger people, especially, are particularly mindful of the difference between leaving it all up in the air and waiting to see how it will fall vs. being able to apply a certain skill or set of skills in order to achieve a particular outcome. A recent survey reveals that more than 70% of casinos have indicated that they plan to introduce games of skill, very much like typical video games, onto their floors. The reasoning behind the decision is simple; besides for the control factor, younger people are generally tech-savvy and want to do more than just push a few buttons on a fun night out.

But why the constant reference to younger players? It’s simple. Generation X is considered to be a financially secure target. They are the players of the future.

Report Sheds Light On Preference

The people behind the survey, California-based Synergy Blue, create skill-based games and platforms for a living. The truth is, these guys have done their homework, and when flipping through the pages of their report, “The State of Skill-based Games in a new era of gambling”, the wide scope of the research is what stands out the most.

Top executives associated with more than 100 casinos were questioned during the third and fourth quarters of 2018. Their brains were picked and their opinions gauged about a number of topics, but for our current purpose, we will focus on one element of the survey only; the question of what they considered to be the role of skill-based games in the future of the casino industry.

Determining The X-Factor

Many of the executives listed changing player demographics as a recurring theme, and more than 70% indicated that they had already, or were at least planning to, introduce skill-based games to their players.

For clarity’s sake, in our context, skill-based games have a component, or components, of skill. Imagine the typical arcade-style game. Even though you did not always win, based on your skills and experience, you would sometimes win thanks to a special stint here, or being particularly quick on the draw there.

What’s more, in the spirit of wanting to attract younger players to casino floors, executives have indicated that 50% of all operators now consider Generation X to be where the money is at, or at least where it will be at in the foreseeable future.

It’s safe to assume that the war between chance and skill is officially on.