How Online Sportsbetting is Changing the Casino Demographic

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How Online Casinos are Changing the Demographic

Traditionally, the typical casino demographic has been individuals over the age of 40. For years, operators have struggled to determine how they would engage the younger crowd at their casinos. Many attempts were made by introducing skill-based games, more affordable plays, and esports games. While these ideas might have seen a long-term positive outcome, they were taking up space on casino floors where a hefty amount of time was spent: traditional slot machines. 

After years of trial and error, casino operators believe they’ve finally found a way into the lives of millennials: their smartphones. 

The Millennial Move

A “millennial” is defined as an individual who was born during the 1980s and late 1990s. This collective group was the first to experience regular internet usage in their daily lives. Because of this, it is no surprise that they consider online casinos and sportsbooks a more comfortable way to start gambling. 

This up-and-coming demographic will likely affect how operators and developers handle the changing industry. 

“This is an industry tailor-made for this group…driven via a mobile device and able to be consumed and utilized in quick, bite-sized interactions. Coupling this interactive experience with the social environment of a retail sportsbook is ideal for the younger crowd because it is mobile technology, highly social, and very shareable,” says Josh Swissman (partner of The Strategy Organization in Las Vegas).

PENN Entertainment Tailoring Retail Locations

One company that is experiencing a shifting demographic is PENN Entertainment. They have seen growth in this age group and have plans to make changes to their retail location to cater to them. The company reported a 10% increase in the average daily theoretical win for players ages 21-34 compared to quarter three last year. Other age groups saw less of an increase, with ages 34-44 at 4%, 45-54 at 3%, and 55-64 at a 1% increase. The above-65 age group’s theoretical win average dropped by 5%.

PENN Entertainment CEO Jay Snowden knows how important it is to keep this age range engaged and has shared the company’s plans.

“We are continuing to re-imagine our properties to appeal to this demographic with dynamic retail sports books and sports bars, third-party F&B concepts, refreshed hotel products, new entertainment, and best-in-class technology, which we believe will pay meaningful dividends in the quarters and years ahead.”

Online Casinos to Retail Casinos

Players in this age group were some of the first patrons to return to retail casinos after being closed during COVID-19. The older generations, mostly 65+, were a little slower to return because of health concerns.

CEO Bill Hornbuckle says that 40% of new customers to the MGM Loyalty program came from its online platform BetMGM. Both its online and retail casinos have seen vast growth in “money spent” since last year.

Caesars has also seen many customers translate over from online sports betting to in-person. CEO Tom Reeg said: “We are getting over $200 million of incremental brick-and-mortar casino play out of customers that were sourced in digital…That number continues to grow.”

Possible Future Changes

As technology changes, so does the casino industry. With virtual reality and other entertainment advances, the casino space will most likely develop right alongside it. We can be sure that these operators will work their hardest to be ready when the next generation of players enters the scene.

Mac Daniel is a Michigan native and freelance writer for PlayOnlineCasino and PlayOnlineSportsBetting. He has experience writing about a wide variety of topics, including healthcare, tourism, non-profit organizations, and most recently casino and sportsbetting news. To check out more of his work, visit: