Rutgers University Studied the Online Gambling Industry’s Demographics
Rutgers University released a study of the online gambling industry in New Jersey this week. The study showed that three-fourths of the online gamblers in the state were men, while age was a major determinant in whether players use responsible gaming tools made available by New Jersey’s regulations.
The research, which was performed by the Rutgers Center for Gambling Studies, is called “Internet Gaming in New Jersey”.
Researchers found that 94,255 people gambled online in New Jersey at some point during 2014. Of that total, 14.23% took advantage of measures in the regulated gaming market which were legislated to promote responsible gaming.
Coveted 25-34 Year Old Demographic
The demographic which used the tools for responsible gaming most often were those 25 to 34 years old. 31.15% of the 25-34 demographic were using loss control features such as time limits, cool-off intervals, and periods of self-exclusion. Overall, those under 35 showed themselves to be a great deal more tech-savvy.
The research indicated just under 75% of the gamblers were men. Of the 94 thousand players, 72,366 were male.
On a Record Pace in 2016
Analysis of the revenue data suggested that the online gambling market is improving. The five online casino operators combined to generate $122.18 million over a 7-month period from January to July. With five months to go in the year, it appears New Jersey is on the way to its best-ever year. If the same numbers applied, the total amount cashed in the next 5 months should be about $80.5 million.
The analysts believe the anti-problem gambling measures could be improved. They recommended the various methods for prevention of compulsive gambling be given a brand name or program name, to help market its advantages to players.
Outreach and Marketing Was Key
Increased outreach and marketing is only one of the methods suggested to increase awareness. Another is to make anti-addictive gambling measures be made of the signup process, as well as a measure to keep players gambling moving forward. For instance, if a person wanted to keep their gaming account active, they would have to show they learned some of the problem gambling measures.
If that is the case, the end-of-year revenues should be in the $196 million or $197 millioin in 2016. That would be the most New Jersey has generated since their sites launched in late 2013.
$49 Million Improvement This Year
Last year, the state earned $148.88 million from online gambling, which was a record at the time. An increase to $197 million would represent a 33% increase over 2015. While the numbers are far below Gov. Chris Christie’s predicted $1 billion windfall, the additional funds do help the Atlantic City casinos.
The inclusion of PokerStars to the gaming industry in late-March likely accounts for a great deal of the increase. PokerStars is the top poker site on the Internet, with 70% of the global market. In its first week of operation, it led the pack and has ever since.
Responsible Gaming Measures
The small percentage of gamblers who take advantage of the responsible gaming measures might be a concern to some readers. Only 14.5% of all Internet gamblers in the state of New Jersey use the tools given to them by lawmakers and gaming operators to help curb problem gambling. That might indicate to some members of the playing community that the tools are not that popular with gamblers.
Of course, the percentage also might indicate that few players need to use such tools. Public policy groups that oppose the expansion of gambling tend to believe at least 5% of all gamblers exhibit some level of gambling addiction. The American Gaming Association and other gaming advocates around the globe have released studies which show 1% to 2% of the gaming public exhibits compulsive behavior.
Whichever statistic one assumes, it is clear that at least 10% of the gaming public which does not have problem gambling issues also use the tools to curb such behavior. Under those circumstances, one might assume that an overwhelming percentage of the people who don’t use the tools do not need them. Of course, one could also assume that problem gamblers do not use such technology at all.
More research must be performed in order to see how much overlap there is between those who use the loss control technology and those players who are problem gamblers.
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