Decreased Consumer Liquidity Helped Dampen Overall Betting Activity in Q4 2023; Millennials Buck the Trend

TransUnion report finds high-income Millennials proved to be dominant force across gaming channels

CHICAGO, Jan. 25, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Decreased consumer liquidity, primarily caused by rising debt and delinquencies, drove betting activity down 10% in the second half of 2023, after a brief jump in Q2. TransUnion’s (NYSE: TRU) latest research found consumer-reported participation was down in Q4, especially among Gen Z.

All generations reported decreased betting activity, except Millennial bettors—77% of whom said their household finances were better than planned. This stood in stark contrast to all other generations and helps explain that cohort’s elevated activity.

Bettors’ Reported Household Finances, by Generation

GenerationBetter Than PlannedAs PlannedWorse Than Planned
Gen Z51%23%26%
Gen X41%24%35%
Baby Boomers15%33%53%

“TransUnion’s continued research has found that betting activity is inextricably tied to increased liquidity,” said Declan Raines, head of TransUnion’s gaming business. “When consumers find extra cash, they are far more likely to wager it.”

The research comprised an online survey of 3,000 adults in late September to early October 2023, as well as an analysis of gaming industry performance and consumer liquidity, leveraging TransUnion’s proprietary CreditVision® attributes. The latest iteration of TransUnion’s report also examined betting activity across online and land-based channels, including casinos, sportsbooks and lotteries. A full report of the findings is available in the new “TransUnion U.S. Gaming Report.”

From multi- to all-channel betting
While overall participation was slightly higher across land-based channels, online channels tended to have a higher percentage of top spending bettors. Land-based lottery (77%) and land-based casinos (74%) had the highest participation rates among bettors, however, online sportsbooks and online lottery (15% each) had the highest share of high value bettors, those who deposit $500+ per month.

Most bettors are engaged in betting activity across multiple channels, and nearly half (45%) of bettors placed a bet in every channel. This jumps to 75% for high value bettors, giving greater emphasis to their name, as these players not only spend large amounts of money every month but are also much more likely to bet across all channels.

In fact, the share who bet across all channels surged from 71% in Q3 to 83% in Q4—a jump almost entirely due to $500+/month bettors upgrading from multichannel to all-channel bettors. For operators, strategies aimed at horizontal expansion were clearly working, suggesting despite overall participation being down, betting activity was more expansive among existing player bases.

Distinguishing between high value and high risk bettors
High value bettors are clearly a key target for operators; however, a broader view of this group’s finances is important to monitor. For example, repayment on deferred Federal student loans began in October 2023. Among online high-value bettors, 71% had student loans that were previously in forbearance. What’s more, 72% of that group had monthly payments over $800.

While most of this group also earns high incomes, an additional $800 or $1,000 monthly payment can still reduce an individual’s liquidity—which could mean a limited capacity to engage in betting or the potential to veer into problem gambling. In addition, the research found that high-value bettors’ finances are much more volatile than those of other bettors and non-bettors, and this group is more likely to have trouble paying debts.

“Acquiring high-value bettors is critical for an operator’s success. However, knowing exactly how to engage this group requires robust third-party data,” said Raines. “There is a complex set of financial signals that require deep analysis to differentiate between resilient and distressed players.”

For more information about the research, read the “TransUnion U.S. Gaming Report.”

Research methodology
This online survey of 3,000 adults was conducted Sept. 27–Oct. 9, 2023 by TransUnion in partnership with third-party research provider, Dynata. Adults 18 years of age and older residing in the United States were surveyed using an online research panel method across a combination of desktop, mobile and tablet devices. Survey questions were administered in English. All states are represented in the survey responses. To ensure general population sample representativeness across United States resident demographics, the survey included quotas to balance responses to the census statistics on the dimensions of age, gender, household income, race and region. Generations are defined as follows: Gen Z, born 1995–2005; Millennials, born 1980–1994; Gen X, born 1965–1979; and Baby Boomers, born 1944–1964. These research results are unweighted and statistically significant at a 95% confidence level within ± 1.79 percentage points based on calculated error margin. Please note some chart percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding or multiple answers being accepted.

About TransUnion (NYSE: TRU) 
TransUnion is a global information and insights company with over 13,000 associates operating in more than 30 countries. We make trust possible by ensuring each person is reliably represented in the marketplace. We do this with a Tru™ picture of each person: an actionable view of consumers, stewarded with care. Through our acquisitions and technology investments we have developed innovative solutions that extend beyond our strong foundation in core credit into areas such as marketing, fraud, risk and advanced analytics. As a result, consumers and businesses can transact with confidence and achieve great things. We call this Information for Good® — and it leads to economic opportunity, great experiences and personal empowerment for millions of people around the world.

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