eCOGRA Global Online have announced the results of a research project involving nearly 11,000 online gamblers from 96 countries.
The eCOGRA Global Online Gambler Survey was commissioned by industry self-regulatory body eCOGRA (www.ecogra.org) and is the largest study to date into player behavior and attitudes to the industry.
One of the most surprising findings to emerge is that although playing for money was important in terms of making games entertaining, overall, the majority of gamblers appear to not be playing to win money long-term – it’s more about the entertainment. When players across all forms of gambling were asked why they gambled online, answers such as ‘to relax’, ‘for the entertainment and excitement’ or ‘to relieve boredom’, heavily outweighed ‘to make money’ or ‘to win’, highlighting that online gamblers view their pastime as simply another form of leisure activity.
The scale of the sample has allowed researchers to create the most reliable picture of the typical online poker and casino player to date.
The Average online POKER PLAYER is likely to:
- Be male (73.8%)
- Be aged 26-35 (26.9%)
- Play 2-3 times per week (26.8%)
- Have played for 2-3 years (23.6%)
- Play for between 1-2 hours per session (33.3%)
- Play one (24.1%) or two (24%) tables at a time
- Play both cash games and tournaments (34%)
- Play at big-blind (minimum stake) levels of 25p (USD 0.49) to GBP1.00 (USD 1.96) (61.2%)
- Play with 6-10% of their bankroll at a table at any one time (23%)
The Average online CASINO PLAYER is likely to:
- Be female (54.8%)
- Aged 46-55 (29.5%)
- Play 2-3 times per week (37%)
- Have visited more than 6 casinos in the preceding three months (25%)
- Have played for 2-3 years (22.4%)
- Play for between 1-2 hours
The best things about internet gambling are ‘convenience and accessibility’ and ‘fun and excitement’, while ‘losing’ and ‘financial implications’ came top of the worst things – as might be expected. The vast majority of players say they are ‘up’ or ‘down’ within a range plus or minus GBP130 (USD 255) a month or GBP32.50 (USD 63) per week – less than the cost of a night in the pub and a taxi home.
When it comes to customer service, it appears that online gambling companies do well when compared to other industries. The majority of players felt they received either the same level or significantly better levels of customer service, even when they’d had a dispute with a site.
Play takes place mainly at home (89.7%) in the evening; however one in ten women preferred playing in the workplace.
Nearly 40% of respondents said they visited message boards or forums, contradicting previous perceptions of online gambling as a rather solitary activity. Message forums are visited to get information about sites (53% say they visit for this purpose), to have a general read and catch up on news (40% and 37% respectively), as well as find out about promotional offers (the most popular of all, cited by 65% of respondents).
Wagers and winning
The typical wager is between GBP15-30 (USD 29-58)a session in casino games and poker players said they typically played with 6-10% of their bankroll at any one time. In a further sign of realism about their chances, a third of poker players say that the game required more skill than luck, yet most say they were simply ‘averagely’ skilled.
Reasons for playing at specific casino sites
The most important single motivator for playing at a particular casino site is its bonuses (75%), followed by game variety (62%), deposit method and reputation (both 56%) and then promptness of payouts (54%).
The poker results provide a fascinating snapshot into the area of multi-table play. The majority of players play one (24%), or two (also 24%) tables at a time, however researchers were able to ascertain that after four tables, concentration drifts significantly and leads to dramatic drop off in success. Likewise, the optimum amount of the bankroll that a player should use is 2-10% at any one table to maximise winnings.
Both casino and poker players were more likely to do well financially if they refrained from chasing losses and were unbiased in their approach i.e. not influenced by previous hands/game outcomes – all players might do well to take note here.
Just under 11,000 players responded to the survey, of whom only 29% had previously heard of eCOGRA. Once informed about the role eCOGRA plays and the measures in place to protect players, 69% of the 11,000 players said they would look for eCOGRA’s Play It Safe seal before playing on a site in future.
Andrew Beveridge, CEO, eCOGRA comments on the findings: “This is a reminder about the vast majority of players who enjoy this form of entertainment. Our job is to signpost players towards those operators who are meeting the majority’s expectations regarding fair play, responsible operator conduct and provisions to address problem gambling. We are encouraged by much of the feedback, but also recognise that we still have some way to go.”
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