Slot players will get less free play at Pennsylvania and West Virginia casinos as the industry transforms into a different state.
US.- Pennsylvania and West Virginia are reducing free slots play as it works as a less necessary incentive than it did just after the recession through years 2009 to 2011. According to triblive.com, the amount of free play awarded in Pennsylvania peaked at US$681.2 million in fiscal year 2012-13 but dropped to US622.4 million in 2016-17.
“From operator’s point of view, there’s a cost to giving a player free pulls on a slot machine,” casino consultant Vince Manfredi said, and explained that even as free play is one way to attract visitors, it’s not necessarily the best way. “There’s an expense, and the expense has to be managed,” he added.
According to Manfredi, the decline in free play is due to the improvement of the national economy, that makes free play not as necessary as it was during the recession years. In addition, baby boomers (casinos’ biggest source of slot machines players) are getting older and playing less.
“We’re in a state of flux,” Manfredi commented and said: “The slot experience has to be reimagined to appeal to a younger audience. The younger person is not as inclined to play in a traditional slot experience because it doesn’t compare well with other kinds of electronic gaming experience, where there is competition, there is socialisation, there is more entertainment value through the animation.”
He also explained that “casinos that are savvy have identified what can make a difference. ‘Wheel of Fortune’ is ‘Wheel of Fortune,’” (one of the top slot games in the industry). “An environment that’s perhaps less smoky, or more friendly, or (has a) loyalty program a little bit more favorable” will attract customers, he added, as quoted by triblive.