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‘GLOBAL ONLINE GAMBLER SURVEY’: An Exploratory Investigation into the Attitudes and Behaviours Internet Casino and Poker Players. COMMISSIONED BY ECOGRA (E-COMMERCE and ONLINE GAMING REGULATION AND ASSURANCE).

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commissioned by ecogra e commerce and online gaming regulation and assurance

‘GLOBAL ONLINE GAMBLER SURVEY’:

An Exploratory Investigation into the Attitudes and

Behaviours Internet Casino and Poker Players

COMMISSIONED BY ECOGRA (E-COMMERCE and ONLINE GAMING REGULATION AND ASSURANCE)

AUTHORS: JONATHAN PARKE, JANE RIGBYE, ADRIAN PARKE, JACQUI SJENITZER; RICHARD WOOD; BELINDA WINDER; LEIGHTON VAUGHAN WILLIAMS

introduction internet gambling behaviour
IntroductionInternet Gambling Behaviour
  • Despite the growth we know little about Internet gambling behaviour and who does it
    • Medium
    • Type of behaviour
  • Prevalence is difficult to estimate
    • Most have more than one account
    • There may be a reluctance to be identified (e.g. National Surveys)
  • Suggested profile of the Internet gambler so far:
    • Internet poker = 85% male (IGWB, 2004)
    • Internet poker = average age < 40 years old; females even younger
introduction internet gambling behaviour1
IntroductionInternet Gambling Behaviour
  • There is a general lack of research
    • Biased samples (e.g. Ladd and Petry, 2002)
    • Focus on “pathological gambling”.
  • In a period consolidation, other means of competition is now necessary (i.e. trust and brand loyalty):
    • Confidence and need to offer a player “shortcut”
  • The aims include exploring the following:
    • Basic dynamics of Internet poker and casino behaviour
    • Player protection and social responsibility
    • Idiosyncratic and peripheral factors
method survey
MethodSurvey
  • Internet Mediated Research (IMR) – 85 questions
  • Advantages and disadvantages of this approach
  • Collecting data on gamblers is a difficult task
  • Largest and most representative survey to date
  • Varied sources (e-mails; portals; media and eCOGRA)
  • Players targeted?
  • Ethical Clearance
method focus groups
MethodFocus Groups
  • Key topics arising from survey – further exploration
  • Advertisements were placed in a variety of sources
  • Sessions usually lasted 90-120 minutes
  • Details of participants include:
results general information
ResultsGeneral Information
  • The majority of online play takes place at home
    • Most commonly in the evening, followed by late night,
    • women were significantly more likely to play work.
  • Just under half of players are influenced by the software provider when selecting sites.
    • Casino players were more likely
    • One in five players was unsure
results message boards and forums
ResultsMessage Boards and Forums

Almost 40 per cent of respondents stated they visited message boards or forums.

  • mostly one to three times per day.
results internet casino typical player profile
Results - Internet CasinoTypical Player Profile

The typical Internet casino player is likely to:

  • Be female (54.8%)
  • Aged 46-55 (29.5%)
  • Play 2-3 times per week (37%)
  • Have visited > 6 casinos in the preceding three months (25%)
  • Have played for 2-3 years (22.4%)
  • Play for between 1-2 hours per session (26.5%)
  • Wager between $30-$60 (18.1%) per session
  • Play video slots (80.9%) of which they consider bonus games to be the most important aspect of the game
results internet casino motivation
Results - Internet CasinoMotivation
  • Although, money is considered to be important in making Internet casino play enjoyable,
    • It was often considered as a secondary intrinsic motivation
    • The least common motivation for gambling was to socialise
    • Gender differences in motivation were confirmed
  • Important factors in determining the where players choose to play:
    • Bonuses (76.6%)
    • Game Variety (62.1%)
    • Deposit Method (56.8%)
results internet poker typical player profile
Results - Internet PokerTypical Player Profile

The typical Internet poker player is likely to:

  • Be male (73.8%)
  • Be aged 26-35 (26.9%)
  • Play 2-3 times per week (26.8%)
  • Have visited > 6 poker sites in the preceding three months (25%)
  • 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 $0.50 to $2.00 (61.2%)
  • Play with 6-10% of their bankroll at a table at anyone time (23%)
results internet poker other findings
Results - Internet PokerOther Findings
  • Men - more likely to
    • play more frequently,
    • have longer sessions,
    • play with a larger percentage of their bankroll,
    • play higher stakes,
    • play at more than one table simultaneously, and
    • use the chat function.
  • Around 12% of Internet poker players gender swap
    • Those who “always” perform significantly worse financially
  • Winning money was reported as most important motivator - however, when exploring this further in focus groups,
    • makes the game meaningful,
    • money was a secondary motivator and that
    • many would still continue to play if losing long term
results luck skill and superstition
ResultsLuck, Skill and Superstition
  • 41% of respondents reported to have a lucky number,
    • more likely to be female and younger players
  • Women and Internet casino players were more likely have a lucky charm
  • Internet poker players - lucky items of clothing.
results player protection and fairness
ResultsPlayer Protection and Fairness
  • Over a third had a dispute
    • Most likely older or casino
    • No differences
  • The most common problems experienced by players were being disconnected or software malfunctions.
    • Non-payment was the least common concern among players.
  • Players felt that there was a need for regulation in most areas including: transparency, uniformity and responsiveness.
  • Around half of all respondents felt that online gambling software was fair and random.
results player protection and fairness1
ResultsPlayer Protection and Fairness
  • Customer service of this industry was marginally better than other industries
    • women being more positive
  • The majority of players take action
    • to avoid being subjected to cheating (87%)
    • 88% to 91% consider 3rd party reports on payout percentage and randomness to be at least somewhat important
  • The body which was reported most frequently to have resolved disputes was eCOGRA (49.7%)
  • eCOGRA – interesting case study for importance of awareness
    • From 28% awareness to only 4.6% who would not look for seal
results responsible gambling
ResultsResponsible Gambling

The players take:

  • Hospitality E-mails
  • Information Sharing
  • Limits
  • Affordability Checks
  • Youth Protection
  • Financial Statements
  • Source of Income
  • Nothing can be done

Between 51% to 75% (across all five features) of players stated that they would consider some responsible gaming elements at least “quite useful”.

  • Regular financial statements (75%)
  • Self-set time limit (51%)

Focus Groups:

    • “players own responsibility” but
    • “improve trust and brand”
discussion
Discussion
  • Gender differences
    • Growth in acceptance as a bona fide pastime
    • Differences in motivation
    • Locus of control
  • Age differences
    • A cohort or age effect?
    • A result of:
      • Social networks;Time;Media coverage
  • Internet casino
    • Draw of the bonus
    • Financial performance (hard to predict)
      • Resistant to chasing; unbiased style of betting; motivations
discussion1
Discussion
  • Internet poker
    • Forums – outside of play but important to the game
    • Bankroll Management – less is more
    • Multi-tabling – more is more
    • Financial Performance: (in addition to the above)
      • Resistant to chasing;
      • More sites;
      • Music;
      • Boredom is costly
  • Responsible Gambling
    • Players do not favour restriction
    • Several ideas suggested for protection
      • Difficult to implement
      • Future research needed (protective but not affecting enjoyment)
discussion2
Discussion
  • Fairness and Player Protection
    • Players characterised buy uncertainty, mistrust and a lack of understanding
    • till important to players nevertheless!
    • Evidence suggest a need to develop and maintain standards
      • Few bodies
      • Identifiable
      • eCOGRA as a case study
    • Customer service performing well
  • Future Research
    • Examine motivation further
    • Strategic play
    • Problem gambling and protective features
    • Prevalence
conclusion

We now have some idea what we are talking about!

    • We know a lot more about who, what, where and when
    • We know a little more about why
    • We have a useful framework to guide:
      • Future research
      • Corporate strategy
      • Policy and regulation

Conclusion

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