The Stats Behind Habits of Online and Land-Based Casino Visitors

Ilija Jaksic 6 months ago
The Stats Behind Habits of Online and Land-Based Casino Visitors

Which sites are frequented more, land-based or online casinos? Which games do players tend to prefer? We crunch the numbers, comparing the metrics of traditional casino visitors with their online counterparts.

The Most Important Indicators Through Numbers

The casino audience is evolving alongside the industry—as gambling expands, the demographic changes. Here’s an overview of the latest trends in gambling, who are spinning the reels online against those doing the same in the bustling halls of traditional casinos, and which sector of online gambling takes the biggest piece of the pie.

The global online gambling industry is expected to grow by 8.54% YOY by 2027


The industry is expected to generate $95.05 billion in revenue by 2023. The profit is estimated to grow at an annual rate of 8.54%, resulting in a market volume of $131.90 billion by 2027.

The total casino industry is set to increase at a CAGR of 46.1% from $99.87 billion in 2022 to $145.92 billion by the end of 2023. It will continue to be on an upward trajectory, and it’s anticipated to reach $163.71 billion by 2027, with a CAGR of 2.0%.

We can see that the online industry has surpassed land-based establishments in revenue, with a projection to account for an even bigger market share by 2027.

26% of the world’s population has gambled at least once in their lives

(Gambling Industry News)

Note: Every year, approximately 4.2 billion individuals place some sort of bet. A recent study conducted in 44 nations found that 56% of polled individuals gambled at least once in 2023.

The global casino and online gambling industry has experienced a turbulent period from its peak in 2013, with revenues of $334 billion, to a pandemic-induced low of $193.3 billion in 2020. The estimated value of the industry stood at $249 billion in 2022, with an anticipated increase to $263.3 billion in 2023. Despite this recovery, these figures still fall short of pre-pandemic levels, highlighting the lasting impact COVID-19 has had.

Looking at individual countries, the United States leads with a staggering $600 billion in gambling revenue, a figure that eclipses the combined revenues of several other leading gambling markets. The United Kingdom comes second with a notable $18.6 billion, followed by France at $14.9 billion, Canada at $14 billion, Australia at $10.9 billion, Germany at $10.3 billion, and Macau at $5.24 billion.

Slot sessions from July 2022 to September 2023 dropped from 8 to 7.6 million

(UK Gambling Commission)

When we compare the revenues and other aspects of online slots and machine sessions in physical locations, we can see contrasting trends.

For online slot gaming, the average session length decreased slightly from 19 minutes in July 2022 to 17 minutes in September 2023. The number of sessions lasting over an hour remained in the same range of about 3 million monthly, but the total number grew from 43.4 to 45.8 million.

In contrast, for slot machine sessions in popular gambling cities and other locations, there was a general downward trend. Additionally, sessions lasting over an hour decreased from 215,262 in July 2022 to just 182,193 in September 2023.

Gross gambling yield (GGY) for online slots in the UK increased by 8% YOY between 2022 and 2023

(UK Gambling Commission)

This increase amounts to £589 million, which indicates substantial growth in this sector. The number of spins and the average monthly active accounts both saw an 11% increase, signifying heightened player engagement. Despite the overall increase in GGY, the GGY per active player decreased by 3%, suggesting that while more people played, individual spending dropped slightly.

Physical slot machines saw a marginal decrease in GGY of 0.4% year-on-year, holding steady at £280 million. The average spend per session remained consistent at £12.09, indicating that player spending habits didn’t change significantly despite bigger market fluctuations. There was a slight decrease in the average number of spins per session by a single spin, which may reflect a minor decline in engagement or a change in player behavior toward more cautious spending.

Sports betting apps and websites have over 127 million users 

(Gambling Industry News)

This is a massive increase from 60.3 million in 2019 and is predicted to reach 156.9 million by 2025.

Online casinos have the second-highest number of players, with 94.1 million, a 62% rise from 2019. By 2025, this amount is predicted to rise to 112 million.

In 2022, desktop devices had a 45% market share in online gambling.

The Factors Influencing Player Preferences for Casino Types

Navigating the choice between online and traditional casinos involves weighing various aspects. The following table presents a side-by-side comparison to illustrate the core differences that influence player preferences.

AspectOnline CasinosTraditional Casinos
AtmosphereVirtual environment with graphical representations.The real, tangible atmosphere with sensory experiences.
Accessibility & Convenience24/7 availability via the internet. Physical presence required; constrained by location and hours.
Technological AdvancementsAdoption of VR and AR for immersive experiences; innovation in casino games and featuresIt may incorporate modern tech for specific games but is generally limited to traditional methods.
RegulationsSubject to varying online gambling laws, which can be more flexible.Often more heavily regulated with stricter access control.
RTPHigher RTPs due to lower operational costs. Transparency in RTP stats.Lower RTPs on average due to higher overhead costs.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, traditional casinos saw an immediate and sharp decline in visitations due to lockdowns enforced to prevent virus spread. The reduced foot traffic and operational limitations had a dire financial impact on many establishments, some of which could not recover and were forced to close permanently.

Online casinos experienced a surge in activity as they became a convenient and safe alternative for gamblers. The pandemic period saw a substantial increase in the user base as individuals who had never considered online gambling before turned to it out of necessity or curiosity. 

Changing Preferences Indicate Continuous Growth For Online Gambling

The surge in online activity is not just a rebound from the pandemic lows but also an indication of changing player preferences. Convenience, tech innovation, and the comfort of remote access drive an increasing number of gamblers to online platforms. Comparative data on slots and betting patterns underscore this transition, with online slots experiencing increased engagement and GGY.

Traditional casinos, while still valued for their unique atmosphere and tangible experiences, must adapt to these changes to maintain their position in the evolving gambling landscape.

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