Five Video Games Perfect for Vegas Casinos

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Can Vegas Casinos use video games to attract a younger crowd? Maybe, if they’ll utilize these five titles.

Earlier this year, CBS News ran a story that originally appeared in late 2014 detailing the necessity for Las Vegas to change its nature—and in some cases even its physical structure—to attract younger generations. Citing a 12 percent drop in gambling revenue last September, the article discussed the fact that younger people tend to prefer the clubs, parties, concerts, and drinks of Vegas, rather than simply the gambling. Due to this development, new venues are being developed that will focus more on the total experience than on the casino games.

That being said, don’t expect Sin City to give up on its traditional games any time soon. Those, too, can be adapted to appeal to a younger demographic. In fact, according to the Las Vegas Sun, plans are already underway in this regard. Casinos and gaming companies are reportedly pushing a bill that would allow for skill-based gaming in casinos, which may just translate to video game-like experiences. Specifically, it’s mentioned that the slot machines, historically the most popular and profitable of casino attractions, could become more like standard video games.

How significant would this shift be for the Vegas casinos? Just consider the sheer number of slot machines there are throughout the city. This is made evident on reference site Mayfair Casinos, where they list pretty much all of the action going on within Sin City casinos. And even though different casinos boast different options, the one constant among almost all of them is that they offer slot machines. Several casinos are noted as having 800 or more of these machines, and others are known specifically for bringing in the newest models to keep things fresh. In short, while some casinos may have better poker rooms or friendlier blackjack dealers, they all rely heavily on lots and lots of slot machine play.

So naturally, if slots begin to more closely resemble traditional video games, it’ll be a very big and noticeable shift in Vegas entertainment.

But which video games, exactly, would they use? The aforementioned Las Vegas Sun article mentions Super Mario, but does so only in the loosest terms. Other discussions on Vegas gaming options have suggested the adaptation of popular app games for slot machine-like formats. Really, though, we have no idea, which is why I’ll now take it upon myself to make a few guesses and suggestions!

1. Temple Run

Temple Run has a lot of potential advantages. To begin with, it’s simple enough to be played on small screens with minimal controls, which means there could be whole banks of Temple Run games without taking up any more space than standard slot machines. Additionally, the game lends itself easily to various themes and updates (such as the Oz and Brave editions we’ve seen in app form), which could attract a broader audience.

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But perhaps best of all is the potential betting formats that could be applied. One way to do it would be to wager a given amount on a game and collect coins within the game until you reach that amount—with any excess being your winnings. They’d have to tip the odds in favor of the casino to make it viable, but it’s a fun gaming concept in any case.

2. Bloons TD 5

Really, any tower defense game could work beautifully in a casino setting, for all of the same reasons I just mentioned regarding Temple Run. I chose Bloons TD 5 because in my opinion it’s probably the best in its genre right now. Betting could work similarly to the way it could in Temple Run, essentially letting players wager on their own performance.

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3. Sporcle

Who doesn’t love a great quiz game? Sporcle was wildly popular online at sporcle.com before it ever became an app, and now it can probably legitimately be called the biggest quiz game in existence. The trouble here would be repetition, as people could just play quizzes they’ve already learned the answers to, and the casinos may stand to lose more often than they win.

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However, the basic concept remains a good idea for casino gaming. The folks at Sporcle could team with casino game makers to design original or randomized quizzes and trivia. Then, players would make accounts so that the games they’ve already played could be tracked.

Mortal Kombat

I just picked one, but really Mortal KombatStreet Fighter, or even a casino take on the popular apps Marvel: Contest Of Champions or Injustice: Gods Among Us could work. For that matter, even other console brawler games like Super Smash Bros. orSoul Calibur could work—really, anything that involves one-on-one arcade style fighting.

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These games have near universal appeal among gamers and could work beautifully for casinos. One way to do it would be to have players pitted against one another—say, $5 each buys a game, $1 from each player goes to the casino, and the remaining $8 goes to the winner. This seems to be a flawless gaming model for “the House.”

Grand Theft Auto V

Finally, if casinos really wanted to get ambitious, they could look into opening up a few Grand Theft Auto V gaming stations, where players could attempt missions, heists, etc. with real money payouts. As with other games, it would have to be skewed in a way that assures the casinos an advantage, but choosing a title so beloved and so entertaining would guarantee a steady stream of players.

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Naturally, there are plenty of other options. Anything Mario-related would appeal to a huge audience—betting on Mario Kart races, for example—along with various puzzle, tower defense, and endless runner games. There’s also a high likelihood that developers will simply design new games meant for casinos. But if we’re talking about adapting existing games to bring more players and more revenue to Vegas casino floors, these five seem like a good group to start with!

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