Southern California casinos are renewing their offer

Sports betting, online casinos, video game and race track wagering are a serious competition of classic-style casinos.

US.- Southern California casinos are adapting to the new century where millennials seek for entertainment, but also for enjoying to the fullest what they experience. Investments are made in comfortable rooms, minimalist hotels with every glitzy commodity and modern restaurants.

Bicycle Casino, in Bell Gardens, spent US$50 million in constructing a luxury 99-room hotel with swimming pool, spa, sauna, gym and a fancy restaurant that offers 28 types of beer on tap. A paradise for young people who spend more time in the entertainments they pay for. “With the hotel here, you are not just coming to gamble but to eat and hang out,” commented Nichoel Jurgens, professional poker player that has been a client for over 11 years.

But Bicycle is not the only example. Pechanga Casino & Resort, in Temecula, is remodeling the establishment with US$285 million that will add a 568-room hotel wing. Also with spas, fitness center and restaurants. “I think we are all trying to expand our offerings to reach out to a new audience,” explained Mike Crenshaw, vice president of casino operations at Pala Casino Spa & Resort, which renewed its building with an outdoor patio to invite bands and artist. US$5.7 million were invested in the project that also made an underground wine cave.

“In general, the gaming industry is trying to engage millennials,” expressed Alan Meister, a gaming industry expert and principal economist at Nathan Associates. But specialists affirmed that young people don’t care for gambling as previous generation does. So the industry is balancing between unprecedented renovations and classical style to keep loyal customers.

After all, numbers don’t change that deeper in Southern California, but the difference is seen in the amount of bets that is increasing. “After the recession, the bottom lines were historical lows. We started to see an uptick in 2011. Every month things improved,” said Mark Macarro, Pechanga Tribal Chairman. But according to Lucy Dadayan, senior policy analyst for the Rockefeller Institute, not every remodeling effort is worth it because next generation could be more interesting in traveling and experiencing food and places rather than gambling. “They may try to attract them, but I have not seen much increase in millennials visiting casinos,” concluded Dadayan.