Casinos lose out to home entertainment in US

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Fewer adults see the appeal of casinos, according to new research from Mintel. Only 30% of US adults visited a casino in the past year, down from 35% in 2001.

Billy Hulkower, Mintel senior analyst, said: “This shift has been gradual, which suggests that this is not a result of the recession. Casinos may be losing audience to the increasingly compelling entertainment offerings in the home; such as HDTV, high-end video game systems and the internet, including Internet gambling.”

Of those who did visit a casino in the last 12 months, 27% were Indian reservation casinos, followed by 24% in Las Vegas and 12% in Atlantic City. Adults aged 25-34 were most likely to visit a casino in the past year (56%). Some members of this age bracket may not yet feel the full brunt of family financial responsibilities.

On average, adults who visited a casino won or lost more than $330. Men, at $501, appear to wager larger amounts than women ($140). “Men take more risks in their gambling behavior and will remain the key customer base for casino operators,” said Hulkower.

Three in four adults (76%) set a budget for their casino visits, and most have reasonable expectations about the outcome. More than half (55%) expect to lose when they gamble, but are just doing it for fun. Surprisingly, 20% of gamblers claim that they usually win more often than lose.

Despite online gambling being illegal in the US, 12% of adults have visited an online casino or gambling site in the past 12 months.

Mintel’s research shows men are significantly more likely to play poker or other gambling games online, visiting online gambling sites five times in the past year, compared to once for women.