Millennials don’t like slot machines, so the people who think about casinos in Las Vegas are looking to something they do like: video games.
The Associated Press reports Nevada’s gambling regulators are creating rules for “skill-based” gambling games, thanks to a law passed earlier this year. Theoretically, that could be like playing skeeball at the arcade, except instead of earning a million tickets to trade them in for an eraser, you might win some cash. And casino game creators are thinking about how to make your obsession with collecting coins in Super Mario help them collect coins from you.
Vegas is reportedly also interested in free-to-play mobile games like those made by Gamblit Gaming, a company whose website reads “Gaming meets gambling—and everybody wins.” These games often use the same tried-and-true slot machine tactics to part players from their money, designed to entice you to stick around and keep tapping away by delivering just enough fun to hook you and encourage you to spend real money. They’d be a dangerous fit in actual casinos with more money on the line.
Casinos want a way to reach that demographic, and it sounds like mobile games that let you gamble while you’re in the casino could be it. It makes a lot of sense—from the casinos’ perspectives—and this might be the beginning of Vegas becoming a giant arcade for adults, a creepy extension of free-to-play’s already creepy relationship with addiction in its top-paying players. Then again, what else would you expect from Las Vegas?