Gambling, anonymously: 40% of bettors have never been in an actual casino

LONDON — Is a trip to Las Vegas becoming a thing of the past? A recent survey finds four in 10 gamblers have never actually set foot in a casino.

In fact, nearly a quarter of respondents (23%) who place bets online worry about getting it wrong in person. Another 22 percent fear they’ll look out of place in an actual betting parlor.

One in five worry about having to travel to a physical casino or not having anyone to go with. Of those who have been to a casino, 15 percent have only done this once or twice.

“Habits are changing all the time. Online gaming sites are becoming more and more popular, and in-person equivalents are evolving to meet the new needs,” says a spokesperson for Online Betting Guide, which commissioned the research of 1,000 adults as part of its gambling report. “If they don’t, they run the risk of being left behind as ever more of the world moves to an online-first experience.”

The results also show that 43 percent of gamblers feel an in-person casino has too many barriers to entry. Meanwhile, 32 percent just feel more confident behind their screen, with just 16 percent having more courage in the flesh.

person playing cards in casino
Photo by Michał Parzuchowski from Unsplash

London (49%), Las Vegas (31%), and Paris (12%) are among the locations where respondents would most like to gamble in person. It also emerged that 83 percent feel the Internet has fundamentally changed the way people play.

A quarter currently gambles less than they did five years ago, with 42 percent typically playing between one to five times a week. Six in 10 wouldn’t be surprised if the future of gambling involved virtual casinos, such as an online simulation of a real-life casino, where they can play at home.

Playing the lottery (53%), betting on sports (52%), and buying scratchers (41%) are the most common ways people indulge in a bit of gambling.

However, four in 10 prefer games that require an element of skill, such as predicting sports scores or playing poker. Another 16 percent like to leave it to pure chance, playing games such as roulette.

“We gamble in all sorts of different ways every day – not taking out a coat when the weather’s uncertain could even be seen as a form of gambling. This research really shows how much the world is changing to meet the growing demand for online content,” OLBG’s spokesperson adds.

“But lots of people who feel put off from visiting casinos in real life would probably find they don’t really have anything to worry about.”

South West News Service writer Charlie Bayliss contributed to this report.

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