But gambling is still popular, and 12 percent of US survey respondents said they play online

Despite draconian restrictions and an aggressive enforcement regime, US gamblers are still playiing their favourite casino games online, according to a recent survey of American players published by the Mintel research organisation.

The survey found that 12 percent of adult respondents had visited an online casino or gambling site in the past 12 months despite laws and enforcement actions designed to disrupt financial transactions with online operators.

Mintel’s research showed men are significantly more likely to play poker or other gambling games online, visiting online gambling sites five times in the past year, compared to once for women.

The survey found that the success of movies like Ocean’s Eleven, Swingers and The Hangover have glamorised the idea of Vegas and gambling...but that fewer adults see the appeal of [land] casinos. Only 30 percent of adults visited a casino in the past year, down from 35 percent in 2001, a 14 percent loss.

A senior analyst at Mintel, Billy Hulkower, said: “This shift has been gradual, which suggests that this is not a result of the recession. [Land] Casinos may be losing audience to the increasingly compelling entertainment offerings in the home; such as HDTV, high-end video game systems and the Internet, including Internet gambling.”

Of those who did visit a casino in the last 12 months, 27 percent went to Indian reservation casinos, followed by 24 percent to Las Vegas and 12 percent favoured Atlantic City.

Adults aged 25-34 were most likely to visit a casino in the past year (56 percent). Some members of this age bracket may not yet feel the full brunt of family financial responsibilities, Mintel noted.

On average, adults who visited a casino won or lost more than $330. Men, at $501, appear to wager larger amounts than women ($140).
“Men take more risks in their gambling behaviour and will remain the key customer base for casino operators,” Hulkower observed.

Three in four adults (76 percent) set a budget for their casino visits, and most have reasonable expectations about the outcome. More than half (55 percent) expect to lose when they gamble, but are just doing it for fun. Surprisingly, 20 percent of gamblers claim that they usually win more often than lose.

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