According to new research by TransUnion, fewer Americans engaged in online US sports betting as worries of a recession grew during 2022. The Consumer Pulse Online Sports Betting Study showed that almost half of US sports bettors (49%) reduced discretionary spending in Q4 2022.
The study also revealed that the number of consumers engaged in betting has dropped from 19% in Q2 2022 to 11% in Q4 2022.
Conducted Nov. 1–9, 2022, by TransUnion in partnership with third-party research provider, Dynata, the survey comprised 2,835 adults.
The findings don’t reveal to what extent, if any, the consumers were using illegal sports betting websites versus regulated operators.
Biggest drop off in online US sports betting was among Millennials
The research included Millennials and high-value bettors as key segments of the online gaming industry. Both groups generally represent high-income earners.
Millennials, representing the largest portion of bettors, saw involvement drop from 38% in Q2 to 22% in Q4.
Declan Raines, head of US Gaming at TransUnion, said via release :
“While Millennials and high-value bettors have held back from gaming, operators should focus their efforts to stay engaged with them. These groups are a key market segment and, given their optimism for personal finances over the next 12 months, are much more likely to become return players when the economy bounces back.”
High-value bettors optimistic about their finances
There are both positive and negative indicators regarding financial health in Q4 2022.
Despite low numbers, there may be a silver lining for the industry. For example, the study found that sports bettors were more likely to express optimism about their income over the next 12 months.
The findings show that 75% of sports bettors think their household income will improve, compared to just 50% for non-bettors. As for high-value bettors, who are considered for betting $500 or more monthly, 82% were optimistic about the year ahead.
At the same time, high-value bettors show much greater resilience than sports bettors in general and non-sports bettors. That includes:
- Levels of income
- Optimism over future income
- Increased discretionary spending
However, this group also shows greater signs of distress, with increased usage of retirement savings and intent to cut back on nonessential spending. High-value bettors also increased their use of available credit.
Sports betting operators will need access to rich data sources
According to the study, Millennials have higher incomes and bigger discretionary spending budgets than other generations. Therefore, online US sports betting operators need to consider ways to keep this group interested in the industry.
As Raines concluded: “Mobile sports bettors are not monolithic, especially in the high-value segment. As operators are focused on acquiring and retaining a sustainable pool of players, they’ll need access to rich data sources to help them identify sustainable players.”