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Biggest gamblers by country

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For the last two months our in-depth article series on gambling trends has focused solely on gambling's proliferation within various markets. We've analyzed global gambling growth, forecast future …

For the last two months our in-depth article series on gambling trends has focused solely on gambling's proliferation within various markets. We've analyzed global gambling growth, forecast future growth in Europe and assessed the potential for the rapid rise of online gambling in emerging markets like Asia and South America. Each of these articles has focused on place - in essence, where is online gambling strongest or likely to be strong soon? In this, the fourth article in the series, we turn our attention to people. Who are the people betting online? Who prefers online slots and who prefers poker? And what is the age, gender and educational breakdown of gamblers across game types? Though some of the article will compare gamblers by country (i.e. place), the real focus is the people inside of those places.

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  • Your article and survey returned me some unexpected results. Especially the one showing Australia at the top of your table. I've updated some of our demographic targeting to reflect those changes.

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  • 1. WORLDS BIGGEST GAMBLERS BY COUNTRYBy Jason FergusonFor the last two months our in-depth article series on gambling trends has focused solely ongamblings proliferation within various markets. Weve analyzed global gambling growth,forecast future growth in Europe and assessed the potential for the rapid rise of online gamblingin emerging markets like Asia and South America. Each of these articles has focused on place -in essence, where is online gambling strongest or likely to be strong soon?In this, the fourth article in the series, we turn our attention to people. Who are the people bettingonline? Who prefers online slots and who prefers poker? And what is the age, gender andeducational breakdown of gamblers across game types? Though some of the article will comparegamblers by country (i.e. place), the real focus is the people inside of those places.AGE, GENDER & EDUCATION SEGMENTATION AMONG GAMBLERSFifty years ago many considered gambling a scourge on society, and excessive gambling wasviewed as a medical condition. It was Robert Custer, an American psychiatrist studying gamblersand their behavior in the 1960s and 1970s, who first linked specific personality traits to apropensity for gambling and put forth the idea that gambling could be as addictive as drugs andalcohol. According to Custer, nearly all of the patients in his survey showed similarcharacteristics. On the one hand, they were clever, charismatic and generous. On the other, theywere impulsive, anxious, restless, in search of immediate gratification and chronically depressed.Its unclear whether the publics opinion of gambling has changed in the time since Custerpublished his findings. The widespread popularity of online gambling suggests otherwise. Hisfindings, however, paved the way for future studies that would explore the mutable andimmutable characteristics shared among gamblers.As an example, the British government now estimates that 0.6% of its citizens are excessivegamblers, and has linked this status to a host of other traits, among them poor health, beingsingle, separated or divorced, lacking employment and possessing, on average, less educationthan non-gamblers.Similar 21st century studies of gambling focus on age, gender and education segmentation ofthose participating in betting games. In 2009, a study conducted by GP Bullhound found that afull 43% of online gamblers were women.A 2010 study of U.S. online gamblers showed that those who prefer non-strategic games likeroulette, slots and craps are typically older than those that prefer strategic games like poker andblackjack. The study also showed that non-strategic gamblers were less educated (60.4% withsome college education compared to 79.6% for strategic gamblers), and more likely to be women(71.5% versus 30%).Yet another study revealed that women typically play longer and at lower stakes, while men playfrequently and bet more, but for shorter durations.
  • 2. The applications for data collected in these kinds of studies isnt only scientific. Online gamingoperators use this information to orient their existing websites and develop new ones. Thecurrent explosion of online bingo communities and their anticipated growth attest to the fact thatoperators are paying attention to who bets, how much and for what reasons.WHICH COUNTRIES SPEND THE MOST ON GAMBLING?When it comes to the location of bettors - and here we arrive at the "where" part of this article -surveys suggest that citizens of some countries are more likely to bet than others. The belowChart A compares citizens average annual gambling expenditures across the worlds 15 highestbetting countries. The results, which measured net spending in each country’s legal forms ofbetting divided by the number of residents aged 16 and up — were somewhat surprising.Australia is the big winner (or loser, depending on your opinion of gambling). Macau andMonaco, both of whom one would expect to see here, dont even make the cut. This is becauseboth derive the bulk of their gambling revenue from tourists. Singapore nears the top of the listdue to its recently opened and incredibly successful Marina Bay Sands and Resorts WorldSentosa casinos. The earnings of these two casinos alone nearly outgross the entire Las VegasStrip.Industry watchers expect to see more Asian countries at the top of the list soon. Western-style
  • 3. hotel-casino complexes are being built in Vietnam and the Philippines and developers aretripping over themselves at the prospect of markets opening in India and Japan.JAPAN VS. AUSTRALIA...AND SINGAPORE ON THE RISEThe below Chart B appears to tell a story similar to that of the above. In short, Australians andthe Irish gamble a lot. There are, however, two big differences between the informationpresented in these graphs.The first is that the above Chart A shows only average number of dollars lost per capita. Thebelow Chart B takes this one step further by converting these dollars into a percentage ofdisposable income per capita. If youre not sure why thats important, youre not alone. Below is amathematical explanation for why a country like Japan is in the top 30th percentile on one list,and in last position on another.Lets start by looking at what we know about Joe Japan.
  • 4. 1) He lost USD $375.00 on gambling in a single year. (Chart A)2) He spent 2.3 percent of his gross income in a single year. (Chart B)If we divide the total spent ($375.00) by the percent of income spent (2.3%), we arrive at X. Thisnumber represents 1% of Joe Japans total income. Add two zeros to the end of this number (i.e.multiply by 100) and we get the average total income (X) for Japanese residents.Doing the same for Australia, we arrive at an average Australian income of X. Thus, we can seewhy Japans position in Chart A is so different from its position in Chart B. Assuming that theaverage rate of loss while gambling is consistent across markets, in relative terms Japaneseresidents both outspend and out-lose their Australian counterparts.The second difference between the information presented in the charts is that Chart A showsinformation from 2003, while Chart B is from 2010. The decision to present information from2003 was intentional. Here, Singapore does not even appear on the list. A short seven years later,it is in position number two in terms of average spending. Why? Because, as earlier mentioned,Singapores resort and casino culture is booming. Experts predict gambling expenditures withinAsian countries will comprise more than twice that of all other markets within the next decade.WORLDS BIGGEST GAMBLERS BY COUNTRY: SUMMARYThe above charts and information on age, gender and education segmentation among gamblersoffers significant insight into the future of online gambling. Why one man - or woman - gamblesand another doesnt is another subject, as are gambling regulatory and legislative developmentsin individual European markets. Both will profoundly impact online gambling, and both will bethe subject of future articles in our series on gambling trends.