What is the average age of an online gambler? Where in the world is the most online gambling activity? What percentage of online gamblers are female? The more difficult a question is to answer, the more crucial it is in forming a picture of your target audience. With our look at the target audience for the iGaming industry in 2023, you can get a better understanding of your players.
Online casino gaming and sports betting is a fast-paced, dynamic, and, most importantly, lucrative industry. The constant technological innovations and changing regulations around the world make it one of the most exciting industries to work in, with new challenges and opportunities presented every day. Most importantly, the current global iGaming boom shows no signs of slowing down — recent estimates predict that global revenues will exceed $100 billion in the next five years.
Following the events of 2020, when iGaming was less affected than many other industries — and even picked up some of the slack left by land-based casino closures — now appears to be a better time than ever to launch an online casino. While online gambling is a unique industry, one fundamental business principle applies equally to online casinos and sportsbooks as it does to retail, fashion, music, and other industries: knowing your customer is the key to success.
What is the average age of an online gambler in the United Kingdom? What about the country of Kenya? Australia? Is the market skewed toward men or women? What about levels of education and income? Where in the world does the most gambling take place?
It’s especially important for new operators who are just getting started with their online casino platform and integrating gambling and sports betting software to get a clear picture of their target audience. Continue reading to learn more about the target audience for online casinos in 2023.
Are stereotypes about young and male true?
There is no one-size-fits-all image of the average online gambler. While the specifics vary by country, online casino and sports betting players tend to be younger (18-35) and male (though the gender divide can be as small as a percentage point).
These are the same tendencies you’d expect from land-based gamblers, but they’re amplified online; one in-depth study of Canadian players discovered that while 58 percent of land-based casino players were male, the percentage rose dramatically — to 78 percent — when it came to online gambling. According to a 2017 Geopoll study, 69 percent of Kenyan men and 44 percent of Kenyan women have bet on sports. When it comes to young males, the rate of gambling participation rises dramatically; 77 percent of males aged 25-34 had gambled in the past, with nearly 60 percent gambling once a week.
When it comes to age, older gamblers, particularly those aged 60 and up, are more likely to prefer land-based casinos in many markets. This may change in the future, as older generations will likely be more comfortable with technology than they are now.
According to a 2019 UKGC survey, both males and females are becoming more interested in online gambling; 25% of males and 17% of females surveyed had gambled online in the previous four weeks, up 2% from the previous year.
Chinese gamblers are more likely to be men than women, according to the Journal of Industrial and Intelligent Information. Furthermore, just over half of Chinese players are 35 or younger, with 37% between the ages of 36 and 50 and 9% between the ages of 51 and 65. They also have a lower level of education.
Gambling is common in Canada, with six out of ten citizens partaking in some form of gambling. According to a University of Lethbridge study, 70% of online gamblers are between the ages of 18 and 39, with 47% being between the ages of 20 and 29. Males are vastly overrepresented in online gambling; while 17.6% of online gamblers are women, 82.4 percent are men.
Gamblers in Australia are also more likely to be men than the general population. Men account for 54 percent of the country’s gamblers, according to a 2017 study, despite the fact that only 49 percent of the country’s population is male, and 45.8% of Australian players are women, despite the fact that 51 percent of the country is female.
While online gamblers tend to be young and male, there are still a significant number of players in other age groups, from their early twenties to their late sixties — and the number of female players is steadily increasing in many countries. The iGaming audience is large enough that smaller demographics can still have a significant impact.
Income and education
Online gamblers have varying levels of education and income. Gambling participation rates are higher among the lower-income segments of the population in African countries like Kenya, and highest among the unemployed. Canadian online gamblers, on the other hand, have an average annual income of nearly $75,000 and are more likely to have completed at least some university education. Lower-income gamblers in Australia spend a higher percentage of their income on gambling, but higher-income gamblers spend more overall.
Engagement around the world
Different levels of gambling participation exist for a variety of reasons around the world. The high number of regular gamblers in some countries reflects a widespread, long-standing cultural acceptance of gambling. Many players will visit offshore gambling platforms even if gambling is illegal in their home country.
Europe, by some measures the world’s largest gambling market, has extremely high gambling participation rates.
According to a 2019 report by the European Betting and Gaming Association, 16.5 million Europeans bet in 2018. Surprisingly, Sweden has the highest percentage of its gambling market taking place online of any European country, with nearly 60% of all bets placed on the internet. The United Kingdom has a 34 percent share of the European market, making it one of the world’s largest markets.
Online gambling participation has been steadily increasing for years, according to surveys conducted by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC). In a survey conducted by the UKGC in 2020, 47 percent of respondents said they had gambled in the previous four weeks, with 21 percent saying they had gambled online.
Many Asian countries have legalised gambling. Although there are no official statistics or numbers, it is widely acknowledged that gambling is extremely popular in China. While almost all forms of gambling are prohibited in China, Chinese players are catered to by a large number of offshore operations based in the Philippines.
According to a 2018 study, 51.5 percent of Macau residents, 52 percent of Singaporeans, and 61.5 percent of Hong Kong residents gambled in some way. Despite the fact that gambling is officially prohibited in Thailand, a 2019 report found that nearly 60% of the population gambles anyway. The same phenomenon can be seen in a number of Asian countries: no matter how strict the laws are, they can’t compete with people’s desire to gamble.
Sports betting is booming across Africa, with large numbers of Nigerians and Kenyans betting on football matches, particularly those in European leagues, on a regular basis. Around 60 million Nigerians between the ages of 18 and 40, or about a third of the population, bet on a regular basis, and 57 percent of Kenyans have bet in the past, according to a 2019 Geopoll survey. When looking at the younger demographic, the rate of gambling participation increases; 76 percent of Kenyans aged 17 to 35 have tried betting.
In other parts of Africa, 57 percent of Ugandan youths and 42 percent of Ghanaian youths have at least tried betting. South Africa is the continent’s largest gambling market, with estimated engagement rates of up to 50%, but the country’s online space is hampered by restrictive laws that only allow for online branches of established land-based retail betting shops.
Many Latin American countries are known for their love of football — and where there’s a love of a sport, there’s always a love of betting; nearly 60% of adults in Colombia have admitted to betting in some form. Brazil and Peru have the most high-frequency gamblers in Latin America, with 18% of respondents to a survey conducted by PR firm Sherlock Communications saying they bet once a week.
According to the same survey, 16 percent of Peruvians and Colombians bet once or more per month, and 38% of those polled — including citizens of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Colombia, and Peru — said they had gambled previously.
Free games, welcome bonuses, and special offers are the most important factors for Latin American players when choosing a bookmaker, with the exception of Colombia, where the use of a local payment processor is the most important factor.
According to many estimates, Australians gamble more than any other nationality; over 47 percent of Australians are said to gamble in some way. They also lose the most money per capita gambling, spending nearly $1000 per year, far exceeding the second-placed Singapore, where players lose just over $600 per year.
In the United States, which has the world’s highest overall gambling expenditure, online casino gaming and sports betting are only recently becoming regulated. Players in states that have already legalised iGaming are quickly learning to prefer betting online; in New Jersey’s first year of legalisation, 75% of sports bets were placed online.
In the United States, social casino games are also extremely popular. It’s highly likely that the state-by-state rollout of iGaming schemes will be greeted with marked enthusiasm by American players, who have widespread passions for sports and betting, as well as a love of convenience.
Size and frequency of bets
The size and frequency of players’ bets will aid online casino operators in setting bet limits, forecasting revenue, and making other predictions. According to a 2019 report from the European Betting and Gaming Association, European bettors placed a bet every 2.5 days on average in 2018. In that year, a total of 31.6 billion bets were placed by 16.5 million European players.
Players in the United Kingdom place bets on a regular basis, but not as frequently as European bettors. A UKGC survey found that 16 percent of respondents gambled less than once a month, 33 percent once a month, 31 percent once a week, and 20 percent twice a week.
According to a study conducted in the United Kingdom in 2020, online sports bettors wager more than those who visit retail stores. According to the research, 38.7% of online bettors wagered £10-£100 ($13.80-$138), while only 29% of land-based bettors wagered the same amount.
Players in African countries are more likely to place low-value bets. It is estimated that 30% of Nigerians bet on a daily basis, with average bets of 300 Naira (approximately $0.78). According to a Geopoll survey from 2019, 58 percent of Kenyan male gamblers bet at least once a week. The average bet in Kenya is £1.30 ($1.80), according to the Kenyan National Bureau of Statistics, with Kenyan punters placing up to 180 million individual bets in a single month.
Overall, it’s not a stretch to say that online players bet more money, and more frequently, than their land-based counterparts.
There are a variety of reasons why online gamblers bet on slots or sporting events. It’s primarily seen as a form of entertainment — a way to unwind and have a good time. Many players see it as a way to socialise with their peers; in fact, it’s becoming more common for social media users who try social casino games to move on to real money games, especially if they’re enticed by bonuses and other promotions.
Aside from entertainment and socialisation, wealth is another motivator. Gambling is often seen as a source of income or even a way to quickly become wealthy in African countries such as Kenya and Nigeria.
Players’ behaviour may reflect these differences in motivation. Players who see gambling as a form of entertainment or socialisation may wager once a week or once a month, whereas those who see it as a source of income are more likely to wager several times a week, if not every day.
Players frequently set time limits and budgets for themselves. Players who stick to a budget are more likely to stop playing when their money runs out, whereas players who stick to a time limit have set aside a specific amount of time to relax by playing the slots. If they believe they are on a winning streak, these players are more likely to increase their wager to make the most of the limited time they have. This is a more common betting pattern among online players.
It should come as no surprise that mobile betting is becoming increasingly popular.
In Europe, the percentage of people who gamble on their phones is steadily increasing, with mobile betting on the verge of overtaking desktop betting by 2022.
In the United Kingdom, according to a 2019 report by the UKGC, 50 percent of online gamblers bet via mobile, with 72 percent of those aged 25-34 and 76 percent of those aged 18-24 doing so.
Mobile technology is helping to fuel the African betting boom. According to a Geopoll survey in Kenya, 88 percent of sports bettors have placed bets on their phones, with 55 percent betting at least once a week.
Gambling’s future, like that of many other industries, is online, and iGaming’s future is mobile. As a result, game developers are creating mobile-friendly — and even mobile-first — titles.
Level of experience
Online casino games are enjoyed by players of all skill levels. Many social casino players make the leap to real-money gaming after being enticed by a sign-up bonus or other offer, and find that they enjoy it.
Players with different levels of experience will have different preferences in games. Return to Player (RTP) and volatility rates will be familiar to experienced players, who may not be as impressed by pop culture themes as those who are new to slots.
Similarly, the more experienced a sports bettor is, the higher their expectations for receiving fair odds will be.
What people are betting on
In short, online casino and sportsbook customers have the same preferences as their counterparts in the real world. Player preferences, as well as levels of engagement, differ by region.
Slots, casino table games such as blackjack, roulette, and baccarat, as well as betting on horseracing and sporting events such as football, are popular among European players. Australia and Canada are in the same boat.
While football betting is popular in almost every market, the most popular sports betting disciplines vary. If you have a sportsbook in India, don’t forget about cricket, and if you have one in Ireland, it wouldn’t hurt to offer betting on local sports like hurling. Football betting is primarily focused on European leagues in African countries such as Kenya, Nigeria, and others, while punters in Latin America bet heavily on their national leagues.
According to one Australian study, men are more likely to engage in strategic gambling, such as card games like blackjack and sports betting, while female gamblers prefer games of pure chance, such as slots, though this may not be the case in other parts of the world.
Asian players will appreciate the ability to play Dragon Tiger, Sic Bo, Mahjong, and other Asian-inspired games. Indian players have access to the same casino games as European players, with the exception of some regionally specific games such as Indian Rummy, Indian Flush, and Andar Bahar.
Online players in 2023
So, who is today’s online casino player? The first image that comes to mind is probably accurate for the most part: young and male. Players in more developed countries have higher levels of income and education, and they’re often very interested in technology — they live in a mobile-first world, at the very least.
However, a single photograph is insufficient. Despite the fact that males account for a higher percentage of players than females, there are still significant numbers of female players, particularly in Europe and North America. While the 18-35 demographic has the lion’s share of slot players and sports bettors, huge numbers of older players spin and wager every day in lower-income countries.
Overall, while it’s safe to assume that the majority of online casino players are young men, there’s a growing case for considering female gamblers and those in other age groups as well — after all, gambling is an equal-opportunity source of entertainment.
InTarget, as one of the leading CRM and Marketing Automation platform in the iGaming industry, provides everything you need to manage and retain your players.
Contact us today to make 2023 the year you launch a profitable online casino or sportsbook.