Moody Blues For Gaming

Moody's Investors Service released a report which does not shed good light on the future of regional casinos. The report cited the main demographic aging, and the younger generation not showing an interest in gambling as the biggest hurdles.

A report from Moody’s Investors Service concluded regional casinos are at a risk for failure as younger generations show little interest in gambling and older generations continue to age. Less discretionary income for the baby boomer and mature generations are cited as a cause for concern.

Another cause, is the same one which seems to rear its head quite often, the lack of interest millennials are showing with gambling. In its report, “The Walls are Closing in on Regional Casinos,” Moody’s points out that one of the main problems lies in the fact people now have a plethora of entertainment options compared to years past.

In the defense of casinos, Timothy Wilmott, president of CEO of a company that owns racinos and casinos in Ohio, feels the report is too pessimistic. He also points out the report does not take into account the recent growth of casinos and an economy which is growing every day. “If you look back over the last five to seven years there has been a tremendous amount of new supply in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland,” Wilmott said.

Increased competition has been the major result of the growth, according to Alan Silver, a former casino executive, and now assistant professor of restaurant, hotel and tourism at Ohio University. “Those properties [regional casinos] rely solely on repeat business, not long-term stays,” he said. “There is an oversupply. They have to make up with non-gaming amenities. They have to maximize what they have.”

Wilmott and Silver both acknowledge the industry needs to work on ways to attract younger gamblers now. “We just hired some people who are looking at how we can expand our offers over the Internet and the digital world to try and connect with our customers,” Wilmott said.

Moody’s cites one problem as the younger generation not having the same disposable income of their parents. “The smaller working-age population also needs to support the growing older dependents, “ the report said. With the last of the seven racinos in Ohio just opening last year, it will take several years to draw any conclusions about the long-term profitability of the industry. “It is still a very new industry in Ohio, “ Wilmott said.