LONDON, Jan. 31 /CNW/ - The first comprehensive picture of the 'average'
online gambler has emerged from a huge new research project involving nearly
11,000 players from 96 countries. The 'eCOGRA Global Online Gambler Survey'
was commissioned by industry self-regulatory body eCOGRA (www.ecogra.org) and
is the largest study to date into player behaviour and attitudes to the
One of the most surprising findings to emerge is that although playing
for money was important in terms of making games entertaining, overall, the
majority of gamblers appear to not be playing to win money long-term - it's
more about the entertainment. When players across all forms of gambling were
asked why they gambled online, answers such as 'to relax', 'for the
entertainment and excitement' or 'to relieve boredom', heavily outweighed 'to
make money' or 'to win', highlighting that online gamblers view their pastime
as simply another form of leisure activity.
The scale of the sample has allowed researchers to create the most
reliable picture of the typical online poker and casino player to date.
The Average online POKER PLAYER is likely to:
- Be male (73.8%)
- Be aged 26-35 (26.9%)
- Play 2-3 times per week (26.8%)
- Have played for 2-3 years (23.6%)
- Play for between 1-2 hours per session (33.3%)
- Play one (24.1%) or two (24%) tables at a time
- Play both cash games and tournaments (34%)
- Play at big-blind (minimum stake) levels of 25p to GBP1.00 (61.2%)
- Play with 6-10% of their bankroll at a table at any one time (23%)
The Average online CASINO PLAYER is likely to:
- Be female (54.8%)
- Aged 46-55 (29.5%)
- Play 2-3 times per week (37%)
- Have visited more than 6 casinos in the preceding three months (25%)
- Have played for 2-3 years (22.4%)
- Play for between 1-2 hours
The best things about internet gambling are 'convenience and
accessibility' and 'fun and excitement', while 'losing' and 'financial
implications' came top of the worst things - as might be expected. The vast
majority of players say they are 'up' or 'down' within a range plus or minus
GBP130 a month or GBP32.50 per week - less than the cost of a night in the pub
with your mates and a taxi home.
When it comes to customer service, it appears that online gambling
companies do well when compared to other industries. The majority of players
felt they received either the same level or significantly better levels of
customer service, even when they'd had a dispute with a site.
Play takes place mainly at home (89.7%) in the evening; however one in
ten women preferred playing in the workplace.
Nearly 40% of respondents said they visited message boards or forums,
contradicting previous perceptions of online gambling as a rather solitary
activity. Message forums are visited to get information about sites (53% say
they visit for this purpose), to have a general read and catch up on news (40%
and 37% respectively), as well as find out about promotional offers (the most
popular of all, cited by 65% of respondents).
Wagers and winning
The typical wager is between GBP15-30 a session in casino games and poker
players said they typically played with 6-10% of their bankroll at any one
time. In a further sign of realism about their chances, a third of poker
players say that the game required more skill than luck, yet most say they
were simply 'averagely' skilled.
Reasons for playing at specific casino sites
The most important single motivator for playing at a particular casino
site is its bonuses (75%), followed by game variety (62%), deposit method and
reputation (both 56%) and then promptness of payouts (54%).
The poker results provide a fascinating snapshot into the area of
multi-table play. The majority of players play one (24%), or two (also 24%)
tables at a time, however researchers were able to ascertain that after four
tables, concentration drifts significantly and leads to dramatic drop off in
success. Likewise, the optimum amount of the bankroll that a player should use
is 2-10% at any one table to maximise winnings.
Both casino and poker players were more likely to do well financially if
they refrained from chasing losses and were unbiased in their approach i.e.
not influenced by previous hands/game outcomes - all players might do well to
take note here.
Just under 11,000 players responded to the survey, of whom only 29% had
previously heard of eCOGRA. Once informed about the role eCOGRA plays and the
measures in place to protect players, 69% of the 11,000 players said they
would look for eCOGRA's Play It Safe seal before playing on a site in future.
Andrew Beveridge, CEO, eCOGRA comments on the findings: "This is a
reminder about the vast majority of players who enjoy this form of
entertainment. Our job is to signpost players towards those operators who are
meeting the majority's expectations regarding fair play, responsible operator
conduct and provisions to address problem gambling. We are encouraged by much
of the feedback, but also recognise that we still have some way to go.
"This report provides invaluable information that will shape our approach
for the next year as we continue to provide players with a 'gold standard'
level of protection. We are delighted that the vast majority of players who
responded were supportive of eCOGRA's efforts and we hope this endorsement
will encourage those within the industry that have yet to apply for our 'Play
it Safe' seal, to do so over the coming year."
A summary report is downloadable from www.ecogra.org
10,865 people from 96 countries and 37 employment sectors responded to
the survey in September-October 2006. Fifteen focus groups were held in the
US, the UK, Canada, Germany and Sweden in November 2006.
eCOGRA, the independent standards authority for the online gambling
industry, is committed to protecting online casino and poker players around
the world. The non-profit organisation addresses the most important issues to
players: fast payouts, fair gaming, responsive and efficient service and
responsible operator conduct. eCOGRA provides an international framework of
best operational and player practice requirements enforced through
inspections, reviews, and continuous monitoring. To date, 112 sites comply
with these requirements and have been awarded the coveted "Play It Safe" Seal
that identifies to players the safest online gambling sites on the Web. For
more information on how eCOGRA is constantly improving standards in online
gaming for players everywhere, go to www.ecogra.org
For further information:
For further information: Stuart Hehir, Chameleon PR,