Skill-Based Gaming comes to Caesars Casinos in Las Vegas

Skill-Based Slots by Gamblit Gaming invade Caesars Casinos in Las VegasLast year, Nevada amended its gambling laws to allow Las Vegas casinos to incorporate skill-based slot machines and other tactful gambling amusements. With the help of a California-based gaming technology developer, Caesars has finally launched its first installment of skill-based gambling devices with the hopes of bringing millennials back to the casinos in Las Vegas.

According to Bloomberg, Gamblit Gaming unveiled a number of new games on the operator’s floors this week. One of the games requires players to search for hidden words on a letter board. Another challenges them to match same-flavor smoothies from a virtual juice bar, where they must combine groups of three or more.

Do these themes sound familiar? They certainly should. All of these games mimic the social gaming phenomena that’s gripped mobile users for the last few years, like Words with Friends and Candy Crush Saga.

Another new skill-based game, called Grab Poker (pictured below), pits friends against each other in a battle to achieve the highest ranking poker hand. Each player must grab cards from the center of a screen, dealt one at a time. Once all players have 5 cards, the best hand wins. It’s a great strategy game, because simply grabbing the cards can result in a bad hand, but being too slow to grab the right cards can blow an opportunity to win it all.

Grab Poker Skill-based game

Grab Poker by Gamblit Gaming, photo TravelWeekly

These games are perfect for the casinos in Las Vegas, because when friends compete against one another, the establishment always comes out on top. Each player pays to play, the casino takes a small cut, similar to the rake in live poker games, and the player who wins keeps the remainder of the pot.

Casinos Can’t Thrive Without Millennials

Caesars properties, along with other Las Vegas casinos who’ve recently taken the skill-based plunge, are hoping this new genre of games will bring millennials back onto the gaming floor. Today’s younger generation of gamblers don’t play the old fashioned slots, and tend to spend more on alcohol, dining and other forms of entertainment than anything else.

Raised on multi-player console, PC and mobile games, these players need more interaction and social stimuli to urge wagering dollars from their pockets. As Gamblit CEO Eric Meyerhofer explained:

Typically slot machines are a very solitary experience. Our games are designed to be played in groups with friends.”

Casino operators have defined a clear need to attract younger gamblers onto the gambling floors. The Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers reported that in 2014, US slot machines yielded just $295 billion, steadily falling from a peak of $355 billion in 2007. The economy takes some of the blame, but casinos know full well that millennials don’t play slots like their former generations do.

AGEM reports falling Slot Machine revenue

More Las Vegas Casinos Shifting Focus

Caesars properties aren’t the only Las Vegas casinos looking to attract the newest generation of gamblers. The MGM-owned Bellagio has integrated a new skill-based game from International Game Technology (IGT) derived from the classic Atari title, Centipede.

Over at the Wynn Encore, management chose to make-over its Player’s Club area with a more modernized party atmosphere. It now contains a DJ booth and themed lighting around a lounge seating area, equipped with flat-screen video slots. Owner Steve Wynn actually pulled the championship-size white-lacquer billiards table from his own penthouse suite in Manhattan to really set the mood.

Even in Pennsylvania, where laws don’t yet permit skill-based slots, the Sands Bethlehem is making changes. They’ve installed stadium-style seating around a circular space where live dealers conduct blackjack games. These players can bet on the action at the table, rather than taking a front row seat; a scheme the casino believes will help players feel less intimidated as they can still participate while learning the more intricate rules of the game.

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