While trying to figure Millennials out remains a top priority for most gaming marketers, the reality is we shouldn’t ignore the group that is most attractive today: Baby Boomers.
The truth is Millennials are saddled with debt and lack the disposable income needed to feed the proverbial casino cash cow. Meanwhile, Baby Boomers (defined by the U.S. Census bureau as individuals born between 1946 and 1964) control roughly 70 percent of the country’s disposable income. According to a recent article in U.S. News & World Report, Boomers have a net worth that is 75 percent higher than that of 18-49 year olds.
There are roughly 75 million Baby Boomers with a great deal of spending power currently living in the U.S.—and they’re active. They’re living longer. They’re enjoying a more exciting lifestyle. A recent study from AARP indicates that Baby Boomers spend a staggering $120 billion annually on leisure travel—roughly 99 percent of Boomers planned trips in 2016 alone. Casinos are benefiting from the action. An October, 2016 AARP Bulletin article noted that nearly half of the 101 million visitors to American casinos were age 50 and older. Bottom line… they’re spending money.
However, riding alongside this “booming” spend is the burst of casino growth the country has experienced in the past decade. The U.S now has over 1,000 casinos in 40 states. More states, such as Massachusetts and Georgia, will come on board. So as the number of gaming options expands, the question becomes how do you entice the Baby Boomer to travel to your property?
Player Loyalty programs are critical to engaging and retaining players, as well as creating a distinction among properties. Over 80 percent of players engaged in casino programs say that they are driven by likeability of the property and staff. Players at all levels want to be a part of the casino and be recognized and rewarded for their participation and spending.
We already know that casinos aren’t just about gambling anymore. They’re a full entertainment experience, offering nightlife, live events and performances, dining and many with shopping locations. Casino properties will benefit greatly by integrating those ancillary services into their player rewards programs and by speaking directly to Boomers with rewards that they want. Once points are earned, they’ll see an increase in repeat business as well as an uptick in spending both on and off the casino floor.
With a generation that has an appreciation of life’s “finer things,” products in rewards programs need to be highly aspirational, on trend and have a high perceived value. Offering rewards that resonate with the Baby Boomer lifestyle—such as, fashion items, home automation and fitness technology—ensures a higher engagement and promises more spending. And keep in mind that “regifting” to their grandkids is also important, so include video game consoles, toys, etc.
At Rymax, we only offer products with high brand equity and the “latest and greatest” models. Based on demographic and geographical concentration strategies, Rymax creates a targeted selection of today’s most in-demand products, from our portfolio of more than 350 sought-after brands including, Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Breitling, Garmin, Nest and more.
In addition, players appreciate exclusivity and VIP access, so Rymax recommends holding mini events that give them trophy value gifts and access to management. These events are also beneficial for organizations because they provide an opportunity to gain valuable feedback from the target market.
To properly promote ancillary services, which will drive spending and ultimately boost gambling activity, casinos should also execute a comprehensive employee recognition program. Rymax works with many properties on points-based recognition programs for the front desk, for the servers in restaurants and bars, for player hosts and for other employee levels.
The combination of an effective player loyalty program as well as a well-crafted employee incentive program will drive repeat business and empower the Baby Boomer to spend more, spend often and spread the wealth.
And as for the Millennials, they, like generations before, will turn into their parents—and the cycle will begin again.