Millennials, Gen Z Comprise Majority of Sports Bettors, According to Study

The proliferation of online and mobile sports wagering is assisting gaming companies in capturing more business from younger demographics — namely millennials and Gen Z — and many of those bettors want to visit brick-and-mortar casinos after wagering online.

Millennial bettors play a skill-based game in a casino. They’re also avid sports bettors, according to a study. (Image: Gamblit)

That according to a new study by LaneTerralever performed in conjunction with investment bank Jefferies. The survey indicates 48% of millennials and 36% of their Gen Z counterparts have only wagered online, but after placing sports bets in that fashion, 70% of those demographics combined want to visit land-based casinos.

Undoubtedly, that’s a welcomed data for gaming operators because, just a few years ago, concerns permeated the industry regarding inability to connect with younger prospective clients. However, the 2018 Supreme Court ruling on the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which left sports betting policy to the states, opened doors for casino operators to better connect with Gen Z and millennials.

What’s resulted is a younger demographic taking part in sports betting and becoming an increasingly important audience for operators to bring into the fold,” said LaneTerralever in reference to PAPSA.  “With Gen Z, casino operators have the opportunity to take part in a new endeavor as this movement of online sports betting continues to take shape. Casino operators and sports betting entities must focus on this new audience of players’ needs and wants.”

While online casinos are thriving and iGaming is seen as the next growth frontier for the industry, it’s unlikely to cannibalize land-based casinos. Sixty-four percent of those polled said they find more entertainment via in-person wagering and 59% say they take their bets more seriously when playing live at a gaming venue.

Loyalty Programs Matter

Growing mainstream acceptance of sports wagering and increased availability of that offering is allowing sportsbook operators to leverage customer loyalty programs in new ways and that’s important to a variety of customers, including younger clientele.

“A well-designed player rewards program with targeted communications and a strong rewards mix will encourage repeat visitation, foster loyalty, stimulate play, and give an operator a competitive advantage aimed to get a larger share of wallet from existing players,” added LaneTerralever. “A player rewards program is not only part of tried-and-true marketing strategy; it is also part of the casino’s overall player experience.”

About two-thirds of millennials and 63% of Gen Z engage with their preferred casino rewards program on a weekly basis compared with just a third of boomers, according to the study. Data also confirm the benefits of sportsbook operators linking those operations to casino rewards platforms. For example, sports bettors are more engaged with loyalty offerings than those that don’t wager on sports and sports bettors have a stronger preference for signing up those programs than clients that don’t wager on sports, noted the survey.

Some gaming executives previously highlighted their companies’ ability to leverage loyalty programs to entice dedicated players to spend accrued points at land-based casinos, which often results in those bettors spending more money at those venues.

With Gen Z, Millennials, Experiences, Tech Matter

For operators, connecting with Gen Z and millennials isn’t a uniform effort across those groups because they seek different things. As the LaneTerralever survey notes, millennials love technology while Gen Z seek social connection and experiences when wagering.

“This generation(millennials) has shifted how traditional casino gaming has been perceived in the past. Millennials are a diverse generation that holds some remnants of traditional player values but are now driven to explore new experiences,” noted the study. “As a result, Millennials have taken to sports betting with more fervor than any other generation and seem to be even more digitally inclined than their younger counterparts.”

On the other hand, when Gen Z clients visit a casino, they’re not so much focused on winning as they are experiences and connecting with other people.

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