February 24, 2010

Falling attendances in US casinos due to online gambling

A recent report by market research firm Mintel has revealed that less than a third of adults visited a casino in the United States last year, down from 35% in 2001, with 12% of adults having visited an illegal online gambling site during the same period.

Mintel reported that only 30% of adults had visited a casino in the past year, despite the continued glamorisation of Las Vegas and gambling. Of those who did visit a casino in the last 12 months, 27% were Indian reservation casinos, followed by 24% in Las Vegas and 12% in Atlantic City.

“This shift has been gradual, which suggests that this is not a result of the recession,” said Billy Hulkower, Mintel senior analyst. “Casinos may be losing audience to the increasingly compelling entertainment offerings in the home; such as HDTV, high-end video game systems and the Internet, including Internet gambling.”

Adults aged 25-34 years old were most likely to visit a casino in the past year (56% of respondents). On average, adults who visited a casino won or lost more than $330, with men ($501) appearing to bet larger amounts than women ($140).

“Men take more risks in their gambling behaviour and will remain the key customer base for casino operators,” Hulkower added.

Three in four adults (76%) set a budget for their casino visits, and most have reasonable expectations about the outcome. More than half (55%) expect to lose when they gamble, but are just doing it for fun. In addition the report says that 20% of gamblers claim that they usually win more often than lose.

Despite the illegality of online gambling in the U.S, 12% of adults have visited an online casino or gambling site in the past 12 months. Mintel’s research shows men are significantly more likely to play poker or other gambling games online, visiting online gambling sites five times in the past year, compared to once for women.

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