It’s been claimed that the current generation of ‘20-Somethings’ (aka Gen Y or Millennials), will be leaders in a significant generational shift over the coming years. So what does this mean for gaming? 

There is a view that millennials’ usage of mobile technology and online social networking will see the gaming floor of the 2020s looking more like a comfortable library rather than a gaming floor. Of bigger concern, is that the current uninformed media coverage of poker machine gambling may affect their collective social conscience such that it may be seen as unacceptable.

To help the industry in understanding this next generation, IGT and ClubsNSW recently conducted detailed research, using Utting Research, to delve into the attitude of 20-Somethings towards gambling.

Attitude to gambling

While 20-Somethings aren’t considered a large gambling demographic in hotels or clubs and despite media negativity, research showed there wasn’t a strong aversion to gambling or poker machines, with over 50 per cent of respondents gambling at least once every six months.

Demographic insights

Of the respondents that gambled:

  • 58 per cent were men and 42 per cent female
  • 65 per cent were in the 25-29 year old age group.
  • Most live with a spouse/partner (36 per cent) or with parents (31 per cent).
  • Perhaps surprisingly, 52 per cent had an average gross income above $80,000+
  • On average they spent 10.1 per cent of their income on leisure activities and 3.4 per cent on gambling
Hotels vs clubs

20-somethings prefer pubs over clubs:

  • 60 per cent of respondents go to a pub every month and 30 per cent to a club
  • Pubs are seen by this group as better for most things (food, drinking, watching sports etc) except playing pokies with 26 per cent preferring a club (22 per cent in pubs).
Gambling preferences
  • After scratchies and lottery tickets, sports betting was the most popular form of gambling with 42 per cent having participated in the last three months. Pokies were next with 33 per cent
  • Despite the belief that online gambling would become a leading provider, regular use of online gambling was low
  • There is a belief that they want “social” gaming, but respondents weren’t interested in casino roulette/poker-style games
  • Higher risk-taking forms of gambling seem to be favoured by younger players, perhaps as a result of both age and less financial responsibility
Playing the pokies
  • Over 50 per cent of respondents stated that excitement about the possibility of winning money ranked as the number one key driver
  • Relaxation and entertainment were strong secondary motivations for those that identified as regular poker machine players
  • Among frequent poker machine players, socialising was a significant factor
Importance of the 20-somethings

While some may still be sceptical of the significance of this group to their business now, insights from the 2016 ABS Census are very revealing.

  • In Australia the millennials group is larger as a proportion of the population than the same group in the U.S.
  • In every state across Australia the largest age group are millennials, except in Tasmania
  • Across Australia the combined population of millennials and Gen X-ers outnumber everyone else (54.4 per cent of the total estimated population)
  • Millennials will be the largest population demographic group for at least the next 25 years.

This is a simple excerpt from IGT’s research paper. Register for a free copy here.

Vanessa Cavasinni

Vanessa Cavasinni is the managing editor of Australian Hotelier and Club Management, trade publications for the pub and club sectors respectively. Vanessa has been at the helm of Australian Hotelier since...

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