I went to Vegas with a friend a couple of years ago and didn't gamble once. I didn't really see the point—I don't have a lot of disposable income, so why set what little I've got on fire? People thought this was dumb, but it turns out this is just the Mark of a Millennial—according to a recent-ish study of Atlantic City visitors, millennials spend two-thirds less money on gambling than their older counterparts.
The study, which I indeed received as part of my infamous "millennial survey" Google alerts, was released over the summer by the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming at Stockton University. Researchers surveyed 500 visitors to Atlantic City casinos—350 of whom were between the ages of 21 and 35—and found that the younger crowd spent only 8.5 percent of their total trip budget gambling, while visitors over 35 blew 23.5 percent of theirs. Furthermore, only 21 percent of millennial visitors said they wanted to make gambling a priority, with most spending their time drinking instead of playing the slots. More than twice that number of over 35-year-olds, meanwhile, said they were there to gamble.
This makes a lot of sense. While millennials are oft-maligned as money mis-managers who blow whole paychecks on brunch, studies have shown they're actually much more conservative spenders than older generations. Plus, slot machines are boring AF—this has prompted casinos to look into stocking their sad little windowless rooms with video games, but arcades are probably cheaper and some have better beer.
The reason this Atlantic City casino study is important, though, is that Atlantic City is rapidly circling the bowl. If younger generations would rather drink and party than play the slots, it would behoove casino owners to make their hotels more...well...fun, off the casino floor. “It needs some more bars, it needs some more flashy, some good restaurant choices, all within walking distance. When you are at the beach you don’t have to hop in a car,” Jill Campbell of Harrisburgh, Pa. told NJ TV Online earlier this month. Also, pogs.