Casino attendance down, but gambling still a jackpot of entertainment

February 22, 2010

Chicago (February 22, 2010)—The success of movies like Ocean’s Eleven, Swingers and The Hangover have glamorized the idea of Vegas and gambling…but a recent report from Mintel shows that fewer adults actually see the appeal of casinos. Only 30% of adults visited a casino in the past year, down from 35% in 2001, a 14% loss.

Billy Hulkower, Mintel senior analyst, comments:

“This shift has been gradual, which suggests that this is not a result of the recession. 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.”

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. Adults aged 25-34 were most likely to visit a casino in the past year (56%). Some members of this age bracket may not yet feel the full brunt of family financial responsibilities.

On average, adults who visited a casino won or lost more than $330. Men, at $501, appear to wager larger amounts than women ($140). “Men take more risks in their gambling behavior and will remain the key customer base for casino operators,” Billy Hulkower notes.

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. Surprisingly, 20% of gamblers claim that they usually win more often than lose.

Could online gambling have anything to do with the decrease in actual casino visits? Despite online gambling being illegal in the US, 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.

About Mintel

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