Gambling on the Future: Gambler Profile SurveyPublished August 1, 2009 by OCR Editor
A recent report has highlighted profound implications for the gambling industry, identifying a changing population base and posing new challenges.
The 2009 WMS Active Gambler Profile Survey is proving an excellent eye-opener for industry bosses. The survey questioned over 2,000 American gamblers. This was a representative sample in terms of geographical location, level of activity (the group covers casual, frequent and active gamblers), as well as capturing the feedback of those who gamble in virtual as well as land based casinos.
The survey highlights four trends in the current profile of gamblers and in addition, uses demographic data to highlight predicted changes to the casino customer base. There follows a short summary of the findings:
Time Starved Gamblers
1st Trend: As with society in general, gamblers feel "time starved." 48% of those surveyed said that they have less personal time than they would like.
Why Does This Matter? The industry needs to compete with other activities and pursuits. They need to have a product that can attract busy consumers to use their limited spare time on gambling and also ensure that what they have on offer fits in with the hectic lifestyle of their customers.
Need to Diversify
2nd Trend: The demographic composition of the population is changing; as well as having an aging population, gambling is also seeing increased participation by generations X and Y. In addition to this, the current gambling profile is over-represented by the White ethnic group. Even though 69% of the current US population is white, an unrepresentative 92% of gamblers in the survey classed themselves as white. This figure should ring huge warning bells as by 2042 50% of the US population will be non white.
Why Does This Matter? The industry needs to respond to both the aging population (every 9 seconds someone in the US turns 50) as well as the technically savvy generations X and Y. In addition there is a massive opportunity to attract gamblers from more diverse ethnic groups.
3rd Trend: Gamblers have a disproportionately higher level of internet access than the general public.
Why Does This Matter? In contrast to their "laggard" public image, gamblers are actually technically smart and internet savvy. With more and more products able to access the net, the industry needs to be able to gear itself up to usage via a growing range of high tech products.
4th Trend: Whilst in the past gambling was a private pursuit, it has increasingly become a social activity. Gamblers like interaction as well as the thrill of the game.
Why Does This Matter? Whilst land based casinos have always been a great social adventure, virtual sites need to ensure they find ways to meet their clients' social needs.
If the industry is to continue to prosper it needs to attract the untapped customer bases highlighted in the report.
WMS provides services, including such surveys that help viewing the online gambling industry through customers' and players' perspectives.