It’s not surprising that mobile sports bettors are relatively well off, with more than half of that demographic earning $100,000 or more per year.
Despite having savings and a good income, however, many of these bettors are uncertain about inflation. According to a recent survey conducted by global insights and information company TransUnion, in partnership with third-party research provider Dynata, 79% of respondents were concerned about their ability to pay bills and loans in full.
“It seems on the surface to be a discrepancy,” says Declan Raines, senior manager, strategic services for TransUnion. “But when you start to think about the context, if someone is doing well, maybe their income has increased. Maybe they bought a house or made a major purchase in the last two years of having a higher income.
“Then when you look at the current rates of inflation, the economic headwinds overall, it’s fairly natural that these types of concerns are going to be represented regardless of income.”
The survey of 2,739 adult mobile sports bettors was conducted May 12-19, 2022.
Overall, online and mobile sports bettors are more likely to employed (89% of survey respondents) and 83% are optimistic about household finances over the next 12 months. The majority of respondents pay down debt faster and save more money for emergencies than the general population.
Raines says the relationship between consumer liquidity and industry performance is a positive, but with a caveat.
“People have increased their income. You see that relationship with the industry performance, then you see that downward tick as inflation starts to creep up,” he says. “The old adage of gambling does better in a recession, we’re going to see that means-tested here, right? We’re going to see if that actually does exist, a trend that’s likely to occur.”
Raines says operators can use data from the survey to track the relationship between consumer liquidity and the industry from a macroeconomic perspective. The survey also can be used as a responsible-gaming tool to reveal deeper levels of insight around patrons’ financial health and debt.
“They can incorporate this into their strategy to give them signals of when (problem gambling) behavior is kicking in,” Raines says, “and look at the gambling behavior alongside that to either get in touch with a consumer to provide them with any kind of tools that they may have at their disposal to control the behavior, or any other kind of responsible gaming strategies that they may deploy.”
With the American Gaming Association’s Responsible Gaming Education Month running through the end of September, Raines thinks it’s an opportunity for the gaming industry to increasingly mine data for trends and indications of problem gambling.
“I think that it’s important for the industry to proactively raise their own standards as a means of enhancing responsible gaming strategies,” he says, noting the industry’s growth and the influx of new operators. “There’s a big opportunity here for the industry to set common standards in terms of third-party data, incorporating more consumer insights into their third-party data strategies in a way to enhance responsible gaming by being able to identify potential distress signals in their playing behavior, but also to identify resilience. There are people who like to participate in this type of activity and do so sustainably and in a responsible manner, and it’s important for the industry to be able to identify those consumers as well.”