As technology continues to evolve to yet new heights and player tastes transform year-on-year, we see a seemingly never-ending stream of strategies on how to best target numerous demographics.

However, how do the industry’s numerous verticals tackle attraction and retention when it comes to those individuals that fall in the generation Y and Z brackets. We spoke to a slot supplier, a multiplayer game developer and a lottery provider to find out.

Rethinking gaming for a new generation of players features insights from Petra Maria Poola, head of business development and operations at OneTouch; Lloyd Purser, chief operating officer at FunFair Games; and Will Whitehead, associate director - accounts at mkodo.

CasinoBeats: What are the main challenges operators face when it comes to attracting Gen Y and Z players, and how are you helping them to surmount them? 

Petra Maria Poola, head of business development and operations at OneTouch.

PMP: Gen Y and Z players are generally more tech-oriented than their older counterparts. From an operator’s perspective, that has a number of implications. 

Firstly, your content portfolio must provide a diverse variety of different mechanics. In a casino market that is saturated with content, attracting the new generation of players means going beyond the simple ‘spin and win’ format that we’ve seen time and again. 

Offering a range of different game genres is also key, which is why we equip partners with a varied collection of arcade, table and slot titles. Finally, when it comes to attracting gen Y and Z players, there’s a strengthened imperative to optimise your content for mobile gaming. 

That demographic demands entertainment that can be enjoyed on the move, and without the right multi-channel offering, you’re unlikely to succeed in appealing to them.

LP: At this moment, the content on offer just doesn’t cater to the needs of that demographic. gen Y and Z players tend to opt for community-driven gaming experiences and although slots certainly have their place, they are currently solitary. 

Live casino providers, most notably Evolution, have enjoyed some success in delivering more social gameplay through titles like Monopoly Live and Crazy Time. Having said that, live games are not for everyone. For gen Y and Z players in particular, they’re a significant departure from the content available on mobile apps and consoles. 

Our games meet the requirements of next-generation customers by offering an experience which is social, active and simple. Multiplayer titles have proven popular in the crypto space, with crash-style games attracting a sizeable and consistent following. 

We believe now is the time for the mainstream casino industry to follow suit, and we plan on releasing a wide range of concepts that pioneer the multiplayer vertical. 

Will Whitehead, associate director - accounts at mkodo.

WW: At mkodo, we work with several lottery operators and assist them in developing products to better attract gen Y and gen Z players. Lotteries are investing a lot of time and resources into finding innovative ways to engage the younger audiences. These generations want instant results and gratification in everything they do.

This is the antithesis of the traditional lottery draw based game experience where you may purchase a ticket but must wait days for the results. 

Therefore, lotteries are evolving their games to include instant or daily draws, instant game content, or access to casino, sportsbook and Keno.

These additional game verticals offer a diversified experience to the customer and ensure they have continuous engagement with the lotteries. A significant challenge to lotteries is regulators being cautious about product evolution that appeals to younger audiences.

Regulators and lotteries must work together to encourage responsible innovation, allow new game concepts and verticals and recognise that gen Y and Z are the future lottery players.

 CB: From a marketing perspective, does appealing to that demographic require a unique acquisition strategy?

Lloyd Purser, chief operating officer at FunFair Games.

LP: Yes. When it comes to attracting gen Y and Z players, simply changing your old promotional campaigns won’t do the trick. We’re already seeing operators partnering with streamers to drive acquisition through slots by creating a community-driven experience, with influencer networks like CasinoGrounds playing an increasingly important role. 

Streamers will also be a highly effective acquisition tool for multiplayer games, offering the potential for influencers to compete against each other on platforms like Twitch and YouTube Live. 

The ever-growing importance of social media as a marketing instrument for our industry bodes well for the multiplayer games vertical, which offers a more social experience than anything else in today’s casino market. 

WW: It should. A key characteristic of gen Y and Z is that they are very socially conscious. They want to connect with brands that contribute to society and give back - who better than the regulated lotteries which give billions of pounds to good causes globally.

Lotteries should harness this socially conscious aspect of their business and bring an emotional connection to the younger generation. They should focus on the charitable donations and the positive impact they have on society. This will automatically raise interest from this generation and encourage both acquisition and ongoing retention. 

The younger generation are also heavily exposed to aspirational and materialistic influences and spend a lot of time on social media watching influencers on Instagram hanging out in exotic destinations, driving nice cars and showing off their mansions. This generation want to have the nice life and fancy things, so lotteries should be marketing the potential to have this lifestyle by winning the jackpot.  

PMP: Without a doubt. Customer acquisition tactics have changed significantly in recent years, and will continue to do so in the period to come. From the point of view of a supplier, if you perfect your product, then the right marketing strategy will follow. 

As a studio, one of the best ways to market your offering to operators is by demonstrating how it can attract gen Y and Z players, so the quality of your content must be front and centre. 

It’s crucial to monitor the latest developments from both inside and outside of the industry – if you can produce games which successfully tap into social media’s latest viral trend, you could be onto a winner.