SHORTLY after Mark Frissora took over as chief executive of Caesars Entertainment last year, he paced the floors of his American casinos, with their rows and rows of idle slot machines, and grasped the scale of the existential threat that faces his industry. Casino customers are ageing, and younger people have little interest in taking their place. Mr Frissora called on his company to brainstorm a new “casino within a casino” to draw in millennials who grew up playing video and mobile-phone games.

Next door on the Las Vegas Strip, Jim Murren, CEO of MGM Resorts International, the city’s largest gaming operator, is making similar moves. Mr Murren has convened a committee of millennial employees to work out how to keep the business relevant to future generations. Both firms will soon open experimental spaces for young people, including new types of slot-machine games that test players’ skills as much as their wallets.

These offer a glimpse of a casino of the future that looks very different indeed. There are gravity-free rooms where you can literally climb the walls; LED screens that continuously change interior backgrounds; and...Continue reading