Report Finds Most New Jersey Online Gamblers Stay Loyal

Online gamblers are a loyal lot. That's one key conclusion that can be drawn from the results of a 2017 survey conducted by Rutgers University regarding New Jersey state residents who gamble online. The school's latest annual report, The Prevalence of Online and Land-Based Gambling in New Jersey, offers a snapshot of gambler loyalty patterns in 2014 and 2015.

The statistic that stand out is that almost 72 percent of the state's online gamblers used only a single website account in 2015 and another 14 percent had just two accounts. So a full 86 percent of New Jersey Internet gamblers only used a site or two that year.

Crunching the Numbers

Now here's where the numbers get really interesting. About 8 percent of gamblers used as few as four and as many as eight online accounts in 2015, earning the nickname “mercenaries.” While that represented fewer than 6,000 of the state's gamblers that year, this statistic was meaningful for two reasons:

-The number of mercenaries rose from 6 percent to 8 percent of state online gamblers in just one year.

-Those identified in the report as Top Ten Percenters in terms of activity and total size of wagers were among this mercenary crowd, using an average of four web-based casino accounts.

Why Most Players Stay Loyal

The most pragmatic reason for loyalty is likely to be that the registration process for an online casino can be so arduous that few want to sign up multiple times. Most will stay put unless their relationship with that site turns so negative that it motivates them to leave or spread their action.

Also, they might find their chosen site to be easy and enjoyable to use — so why mess with a good thing?

Mercenary Motivations

The heavy-user minority of online gamblers might use multiple sites for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they're taking advantage of rewards programs and constantly on the lookout for sign-up deals. Furthermore, they could be such active gamblers that they need multiple sites to experience maximum tournament and table wagering action.

Lessons for Website Operators

The takeaway for online casino management is that it might take time and effort to attract new members, but the payoff is worth it. Once most gamblers join a site they tend to stay, whether it's out of a sense of satisfaction or a hesitation to go through additional sign-up hassles. All their current vendor must do is mind the user experience and maintain expected levels of customer service.

There are numbers in the Rutgers report that might tempt site operators to pay at least as much attention to the most active players. Consider:

-There were only about 2,700 Top Ten Percenters in the state in 2015, and about another 70,000 who weren't such big spenders.

-The 70,000 collectively wagered $1.6 billion in 2015, while the much tinier but mightier group gambled $1.4 billion.

It might seem worthwhile to fight for even a slice of the fat action of a Top Ten Percenter, but online casinos are finding that it takes much larger marketing and rewards budgets to draw this small, fickle crowd. Therefore, the return on investment is smaller.

That's why many casinos today are quite content to stay with the much larger base of relatively modest but loyal gamblers.

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