WMS Gaming’s “2010 Active Gambler Profile,” like its groundbreaking 2009 predecessor, is an in-depth exploration of the “lifestyles, leisure-time habits and gaming preferences of active gamblers in North America” and was designed to gain fresh insight into player trends and preferences by expanding on what was learned from the 2009 study and by continuing to monitor those trends and preferences as they apply to today’s players and tomorrow’s.



BEHAVIOR IN FLUX


The 2010 Profile was culled from a sampling of North American adults (2,851 from the U.S., 601 from Canada) who visited a casino at least once during the previous 12 months. Respondents were classified as “Casual” gamblers (less than $500 in annual spend), “Frequents” ($501-$2,500) and “Avids” ($2,501 or more) and by age, as Millennials (18 to 30), Xers (31 to 44), Boomers (45 to 63) and Matures (64 and older).

Based on analyses of these groups, the Profile found a number of distinct dynamics are working to reshape player behavior, among them: a “growing sense of financial pressure” caused by the current economic environment; changing demographics; the impact of emerging technology and the growth of online gaming alternatives; the migration of media consumption from offline to online and mobile; the explosive growth of social media; and “shifting values and lifestyles”.



SOCIALLY CONNECTED



Active gamblers are active users of social platforms to share and/or consume entertainment online, the Profile found. Among the respondents with Internet access at home, 56 percent have a personal page or profile posted on Facebook, 18 percent on MySpace and 13 percent on Twitter. Approximately 11 percent are connected on YouTube and LinkedIn. Millennials are far more likely to have a page posted on Facebook (85 percent), but Boomers (52 percent) and Matures (38 percent) are catching up.





TIED TO THE WEB


The impact of technology on contemporary life is being accelerated by two factors: access to the Internet and mobility. More than 70 percent of U.S. and Canadian households have access to the Internet at home. The 2010 Profile found the typical North American gambler now spends an average of 21 hours per week on the Internet, roughly the same amount of time the television set is on in the average American household. U.S. active gamblers spend 15 hours per week on the Internet at work while Canadians spend an average of 14 hours.



UNLOCKING THE PHONE



The Profile found a little more than 292 million cell phones in circulation in North America and the incidence of ownership among active gamblers at 93 percent. Smart phone ownership is concentrated among Millennials (45 percent) versus 25 percent for Boomers and just 9 percent for Matures. Significantly, almost half of those who own smart phones have downloaded paid applications, and 69 percent indicated they have played a game on their phone.





TOYS ARE US


Ownership of a DVD player, Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox and/or Sony PlayStation is significant among active gamblers, the Profile found.