What Inflation? 42% Of Casino Goers Are Playing The Same Amount As Before

Written By Kim Yuhl on December 14, 2022 - Last Updated on January 16, 2023
PlayUSA survey inflation's impact on casino gambling

Regardless of where you get your news, US inflation has been a regular hot topic. Inflation is being blamed for skyrocketing gas prices, food costs, airfares and more.

But has inflation impacted the casino industry?

PlayUSA surveyed 600 adults and asked if and how inflation has affected their gambling budget. Based on the results, inflation might contribute to altering plans or reducing their gambling budget, but not necessarily keep players from visiting the casino.

However, many of those surveyed (42%) said they are gambling with the same frequency today as they were six months ago. And 35% said they are gambling at the same rate today as they were before the COVID-19 pandemic started.

Based on the survey results and recent official casino revenue figures, it is hard to make the case that inflation has severely affected casino gambling in the US. However, players admit to some adjustments because of inflation. Let’s take a closer look.

Has inflation impacted casino gambling?

While most of the casino players surveyed are playing the same amount as they were six months ago, inflation appears to affect the gambling budget of those players.

Of those surveyed, 24% said they are budgeting less money for gambling than they were six months ago.

And while 17% said they are going to the casino less, the same amount of people are playing lower stakes or looking for casino rewards and special casino promotions to pad their gambling budget.

Marc Oppenheimer, chief marketing officer of Parx Casino in Philadelphia, spoke on LinkedIn, supporting the survey results. Oppenheimer said players are visiting at the same frequency but are spending less while on the property.

According to casino revenue figures released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, Pennsylvania online gaming in October 2022 grew by 10% when compared with May 2022. October’s figure also represented a record amount of casino play.

Furthermore, here is a snapshot of the regulated US online casino revenue for recent months:

MonthRevenueMonthly Growth
October 2022$479,026,6958.8%
September 2022$440,146,3373.0%
August 2022$427,253,1842.3%
July 2022$417,616,6141.7%
June 2022$410,704,928-4.7%

Has inflation impacted the casino rewards a player gets?

It appears that casino promotions, loyalty programs and other offers are doing their part to make up for inflation’s impact on gambling budgets.

Of those surveyed, 64% indicated they use casino offers, and 55% of respondents said those offers alter their gambling budget. Of the 36% of those that answered “no,” a quarter of them now plan to start using offers, but almost half will continue not to use casino offers.

Considering players are using offers to shape their budgets, it should be no surprise that 37% of respondents consider the offers they are receiving now to be more valuable than the offers they received six months ago.

Has inflation impacted a casino’s special event calendar?

While not really an offer, we were curious whether a casino’s special event calendar affected one’s gambling habits. Players in a casino loyalty program will often receive free or discounted tickets to special events.

When asked whether special events influence the decision to visit a casino, 45% of respondents said “yes,” and 47% said “no.” Casino patrons have noticed changes to the special events offered:

  • 31% noticed fewer events
  • 22% noticed fewer participants
  • 20% thought the events were less exciting
  • 19% thought the events appeared less elaborate

Has inflation impacted travel to casino resort destinations?

For casino players, traveling to a casino destination such as Las Vegas or Atlantic City is a highlight and often a yearly occurrence.

It would make sense that with high gas prices and rising airfares, travel plans may have gone by the wayside. Even so, 56% said inflation impacted their travel plans, and 44% said it didn’t.

In fact, for those who decided to change their travel plans, 46% cited flight or gas costs as the reasons, and another 31% said hotel costs were the main reasons.

Interestingly, only 11% of those surveyed canceled their travel plans. The rest just altered them to accommodate for the increase in costs.

To try and curtail their budget, players are choosing to stay closer to home (25%), take fewer trips (25%), work with a smaller budget (24%) and shorten their trips (13%).

Are casino players feeling the pinch?

In a separate poll about inflation from L.E.K. Consulting, 25% of respondents said inflation has had a significant impact on their gambling, with another 36% reporting some impact.

If inflation lingers, however, all bets are off. According to L.E.K, if prices continue to climb, 43% of respondents said gambling would be their first priority to cut, second only to eating out at 49%.

Budgets might be smaller, players may stay closer to home, and casino loyalty programs may be more important, but overall, casino players are still finding ways to play. At least for now.

Methodology

In December 2022, PlayUSA partnered with Pollfish to survey 600 Americans about their gambling habits. Survey respondents were age 25 and older. Forty-five percent were men, and 55% were women. Respondents indicating they never gamble in person or at an online casino were disqualified from participating in the survey.

Fair Use

When using this data and research, please attribute by linking to this study and citing PlayUSA.com.

Photo by PlayUSA
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Kim Yuhl

Kim Yuhl is a freelance writer and blogger who writes about poker culture and the online gambling industry. A part-time member of the poker media since 2013, Kim recently sold her marketing business to write full-time while traveling around the world. You can learn more about her work and travels at kimyuhl.com.

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