Poll: patrons want
non-gaming amenities

Jul 11, 2006 3:37 AM

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).

ACTIVITIES

YES MAYBE NO
Dining  75% 18% 6%
Play slots 69 23 8
Shows/entertainment 40 40 20
Shopping 35 36 29
Table games 27 32 41
Swimming pool 23 36 41
Other casino games 13 31 56
Health club 11 33 56
Convention 10 14 76
Spa 8 38 53
Golf 8 17 75