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The Real Gamblers Among Us 

By Jake Earl  Copyright © 2006

 As we all know, gamblers are a much studied group.  When a new mega-casino opens, the mix of slots vs. table games, cafes vs. buffets, etc. is already a known statistic.  Big conglomerates have all used research to find out who their customers are, what they like, what they’ll spend and how long they will stay during their visits.  This, in addition to those computerized “Player Cards,” tells them virtually everything they want to know about how we gamble.Harrahs has blackjack, BJ, and 21!

 Just released, we now have “Profile of The American Gambler,” an exhaustive survey compiled by Scripps Survey Research Center for the gaming heavyweight, Harrah’s Entertainment.  It covers casino play, to be sure, but it’s more about who we are as people.  Do we support casino gambling in our states? (Yes, the survey says.)  Do we save as much as non-gamblers? (Yes, again.)   Some very interesting profiles emerged from this research, and it’s a safe bet this will not be the last survey of its kind.

 Highlights of the study include:

 58% of adults (21+) have gambled in a casino at least once during 2005.

There were 209 million adults that gambled in a casino in the last 12 months.

The average gambler visited a casino six times in one year.

A majority of adults favor licensing casinos in their own state.

Gamblers save more and invest more than non-gamblers.

They are more likely to use technology (email, computers, satellite, cable etc.) than non-gamblers.

They travel more, and spend more than non-gamblers.

They expect to have more money for retirement than their non-gambling counterparts.

Understandably, those people with higher incomes gamble more than lower incomes.

Working older couples 45+ comprise the highest percentage of all sub-sets at 19%, with young singles at only 3%.

By far, Slot players comprise the largest group (71%) with table gamers making up the balance. 

There’s more Video Poker played than Live Poker (despite the TV hype of late), and BJ is played twice as much as any other table game.

Gamblers are less religious, donate more to charity, and are twice as likely to travel. 

Men are equally likely to gamble as women.

Non-gamblers eat out only ½ as much as their gambler counterparts.

Gamblers own newer cars; travel further on vacations, and are more “optimistic” about the future.

These facts seem to fly in the face of many preconceived notions of the irresponsible, gambler prototypes we’re used to hearing about, especially around election time.  Whether we like it or not, it seems gaming has become very Mainstream America.  I hope Harrah’s will do follow-up research with these same barometers being reviewed and re-tested.  It will be interesting to see how, and maybe why, things change in the future. 

Click Here to download 2006 Report (PDF)  It's free.

 Jake Earl is a staff writer for TrueCasinoStories.com