The results of a new Harris Poll suggests that adults might be cooling toward casino gaming, but the ones who aren’t will travel a great distance for the chance to gamble.
Specifically, the Harris survey revealed that 59% of adults say they have not visited a casino in the past 12 months, and 51% say they are not likely to do so in the next 12 months.
Moreover, the 49% who say they will visit a casino in the next 12 months, plan on participating in a variety of activities that may not include gambling (see related story on the MGM Grand’s non-gambling amenities).
Planned activities outside the casino include visiting restaurants (75%), attending a show or other entertainment offering (40%) and shopping (35%); planned casino activities include playing the slots (69%), playing table games (27%) or gambling in other ways (13%).
Further evidence that people might be seeking a non-gambling, entertainment experience is found in the low level of participating in slot/player club programs.
While four in 10 (41%) adults have been to a casino in the past 12 months, only one in four (24%) participates in a rewards card program.
Builders of new casinos should be encouraged that people will be willing to travel significantly to their fleecing pens, kind of like the cigarette smoker who’d walk a mile for his Camel.
Among those who have visited a casino in the past year, over half (54%) traveled 100 miles or more to get there, while less than one-fourth (22%) of casino visitors traveled less than 25 miles, and 23% traveled between 25 and 99 miles.
Other findings of the Harris survey, which was conducted in early June, include:
”¡ Those in the West are the most likely to have visited a casino in the past 12 months (52%) and over half (55%) are likely to visit in the next 12 months. Southerners are least likely (31%) to have visited a casino in the past year, while 36% of adults in the East, and 47% of adults in the Midwest have visited a casino in the past 12 months.
”¡ Southerners traveled the farthest to a casino — 66% of them traveled over 100 miles. About 58% of Easterners and 57% of those who live in the West traveled over 100 miles. Midwesterners had it easy — only 34% traveled over 100 miles to a casino; 39% of them traveled less than 25 miles.
”¡ Generation X’ers (ages 30-41) are emerging as gamblers. Only 4% of them visited a casino and did not gamble, as compared to 14 percent of the age groups. On the flip side, over the past 12 months, 10% of Generation X’ers and Baby Boomers (ages 42-60) said they had gambled 10 times or more, as compared to 8% of mature adults (ages 65 and up) and only 4% of echo boomers (ages 18-29).
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