Survey: GT readers at high end of gaming profile

Feb 19, 2008 5:58 AM

The results of GamingToday’s latest readership survey are in, and the tabulation reveals that the average reader visits a casino at least once a week, and has the time and disposable income to play the games at a much brisker pace than the average casino customer.

According to a consensus of the hundreds of surveys returned by readers, the largest portion of GT’s readership — more than 80 percent — fall into the "Baby Boomer" category, that is, adults aged 41 and older, with a huge subset in the 56 and older category.

It really should come as no surprise that the bulk of GT’s readers — as well as casino-goers in general — emerge from the generations that grew up on the music of Frank Sinatra, Elvis and Cher.

The post World War II generation cut their teeth on slots, bingo, craps and inexpensive buffets.

And for many casinos, that’s the crowd they target with their amenities, marketing and promotions.

"Our most profitable customers are still the older people whose kids have left home and have more disposable income," says Wendell Long, CEO of Casino del Sol in Tucson, Arizona.

Those sentiments were echoed in a speech last year by Harrah’s CEO and Chairman Gary Loveman, who said Harrah’s biggest and best customers are 45 years and older with the time and discretionary income to spend in the casino.

Loveman added that Harrah’s doesn’t market to 20-somethings who are always broke and too busy, or 30-somethings who are married with kids.

"God bless you, but we don’t need you," Loveman said of the less lucrative demographic groups.

In addition to being older, more than half of GamingToday readers have a household income greater than $51,000 a year, with 14 percent of them having an income in excess of $100,000.

About 50 percent have an annual gambling budget greater than $3,000, while more than 20 percent spend more than $10,000 gambling.

Based on a percentage of how strong the interest, the most popular games chosen by GamingToday readers, in descending order, include:

”¡ sports betting (55%)

”¡ video poker (48%)

”¡ slots (37%)

”¡ horse races betting (33%)

”¡ blackjack (31%)

”¡ craps (25%)

”¡ poker (20%)

Surprisingly, only 4 percent of readers said they had a strong interest in baccarat, while bingo and keno drew strong support from 12 percent and 15 percent of readers, respectively.

From a regional standpoint, most of those responding to GamingToday’s survey reside in Nevada, though a large number live in nearby states, such as California, Utah and Arizona.

There is also a significant readership in the Northeast, where GamingToday is distributed in Atlantic City and other Eastern seaboard locales.