Gambler Portrait — Who Plays in Online Casinos

Gambler Portrait — Who Plays in Online Casinos

The gambling industry is changing rapidly thanks to technological innovations, changes in legislation, and regulatory requirements. In 2020, online casino revenue amounted to $66.67 billion. World statistics say that annual income will have reached $100 billion by 2026. Due to the high profitability of the industry, online casino owners have to constantly analyze the target audience.

The following questions arise:

  • What gender plays more often?
  • In what countries and among what age category is gambling the most popular?
  • What goals do players pursue?
  • What games are the most popular?

Answering these and other questions will help gambling sites drive more traffic and earn a significant share of the global market.

How Is Online Gambling Different From Offline

During a large-scale pandemic in 2020, ground-based gambling venues around the world began to actively close. Residents of many countries had to stay at home in quarantine, so they had to somehow entertain themselves. This led to an active growth in the popularity of online casinos; their number of visitors has increased significantly.

According to the UKGC, about 64% of players switched to online gambling due to COVID-19 in 2020.

Experienced players who have been visiting offline casinos for many years were pleasantly surprised that there are many more games of chance on gambling websites. The fact is that having thousands of slots on a server is much easier than placing the same number of devices in a brick-and-mortar gambling venue. This is unprofitable, because you need huge premises that need to be maintained. There are many bonuses in online casinos; customers can receive extra money or free spins.

Despite the many differences between online sites and land-based gambling venues, they have the same business principle. To successfully attract customers, they need to know their target audience. Its criteria are the average age, income level, country and its economic level, gender, and other criteria. New companies have to evaluate the portrait of modern players.

The Popularity of Online Casinos Among Young Men

It’s impossible to make a general portrait of the average visitor to the gambling site. It varies depending on the country. However, 2 criteria that are almost identical in many states are gender and age of users who play online casinos more often than others. According to them, average casino customers are men aged 18-35 years. 78% play more often on the Internet, while 58% visit land-based gambling venues.

According to data collected by Geopoll in 2017, 77% of men aged 25 to 34 have placed bets on the gambling site at least once. 60% of these play at least once a week.

Aged players (from 60 years old and older) visit land-based casinos more often. However, the statistics will change in favor of virtual sites over the years, because the popularity of mobile and desktop devices among the older generation increases.

In 2019, the UKGC conducted a study that showed an increase in user involvement in the field of virtual gambling. 51% of men and 43.5% of women have played at least once during the last month. The persentage of women interested in gambling increased by 2.6% compared to 2018.

The UK online gambling engagement growth statistics by gender
The UKGC data for 2016-2020

The statistics of the popularity of online casinos in different countries depending on gender are also interesting:

  • In the USA, 57% of women visit online casinos; It means that women gamble more than men. Yes, many people play in social casinos without using real money, but this doesn’t negate the fact that the industry is very popular among them. In the USA, there are even special casinos created for women.
  • In China, men play more often; this was found out during a survey of users of the Journal of Industrial and Intelligent Information. A bit more than 50% of Chinese players are under 35, 37% are customers aged 35 to 50, and 9% are aged 51-65.
  • In Canada, the industry is very developed: 6 out of 10 citizens have played in an online casino at least once. The University of Lethbridge conducted a study and found that 70% are players aged 18-39, with 47% of them being young users aged 20-29. Most of the online casino customers are men (more than 82%).
  • In Australia, men play more often (54%).

In most countries, casino games are most in demand among men around 30 years old. However, the gambling industry is becoming more accessible; both women and older people are becoming more interested in it. Over time, statistics will no doubt change.

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Income & Education

This indicator is influenced by the region under study. In African countries, gambling is more popular among the insolvent, unemployed citizens or among the population with low incomes. These people more often see gambling as a source of income.

In Canada, players earn an average of about $75,000 a year. These are people mostly with higher education, for whom casino games are just entertainment.

Australians spend a lot of money on gambling (an average of $1,200 per year). Moreover, people with lower incomes play more often.

The Popularity of Online Gambling by Country & Continent

Attitudes towards gambling are different in various countries. There are countries where gambling contradicts the national culture, therefore it’s prohibited. However, players find ways to bypass blocking and place bets by visiting offshore sites.


This is the largest gambling market. According to a report by the European Gambling and Betting Association published in 2019, 16.5 million people in Europe have deposited money in any game of chance at least once.

Sweden is the leader; almost 60% of all online bets are made by players from this country.

The gambling niche is very developed in the UK; it accounts for 34% of the European market. In 2020, the UKGC conducted a study where 47% of those surveyed admitted to gambling in the last month. 21% of them are online casino visitors.


In most countries, any form of gambling is prohibited, but residents bypass the blocking with the help of offshore companies. In China, gambling is legal in Macau; a 2018 study showed that just over 51% of locals place bets. Gambling is also in demand among 61.5% of Hong Kongers and 52% of Singaporeans. In Thailand, only state lotteries are legal, but this doesn’t prevent 60% of the population from registering and making deposits on casino sites.


About 60 million Nigerians aged 18-40 play on a regular basis. According to a Geopoll survey in 2019, 57% of Kenyans have bet on slots and other games at some point in their lives. Among them, 76% are young players aged 17-35.

In Africa, gambling is most popular among young people (42% in Ghana and 57% in Uganda). The largest share of players on the continent falls on South Africa; it’s almost 50%. The development of online gambling is hampered by local laws. According to them, only those companies that already have land-based gambling venues can open online casinos.


In the US, land-based gambling is legal in 48 states, although the situation with online casinos is more complicated because they’re legal only in 6 states: Delaware, Michigan, West Virginia, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. However, the authorities of other regions are actively engaged in the legalization of online gambling, since this niche brings huge profits and players still bypass the bans and successfully place bets on offshore gambling sites.

USA casino revenue comparison 2020 vs 2021
Statista portal data

U.S. gambling revenue reached $53 billion in 2021, up $23.01 billion from the pandemic-affected 2020, according to Statista. A huge share of earnings came from online casinos, when people began to move to gambling sites.

When Internet gambling was legalized in New Jersey, in the first year, 75% of all bets were made on the sites.

As for Latin America, about 60% of the inhabitants of Colombia played slots or other gambling forms. According to surveys by Sherlock Communications, 18% of players from Peru and Brazil place bets on a weekly basis, at least once. According to the same survey, 16% of citizens from Colombia and Peru consistently play at least once a month. 38% of all users surveyed in Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Peru, and Argentina reported that they had gambled in the past.


More than 47% of the Australian inhabitants make bets. At the same time, players spend quite large amounts on gambling: more than $1,000 per year. The 2nd place belongs to Singapore, where online casino customers spend over $600 per year.

Players Behavior

When studying the portrait of gamblers, their motivation, goals, how much they’re willing to spend, what devices they use, and other criteria are also assessed. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.

Regularity & Bet Amounts

The online casinos set the minimum and maximum limits only after assessing the financial capabilities of the target audience. This information enables them to calculate possible returns and make other predictions.

Europeans play regularly. According to EBGA research for 2018, they place bets every 2.5 days on average. During that period, 16.5 million customers placed 31.6 million bets. According to surveys by the regulator UKGC, in the UK, 33% bet no more than once a week, and only 20% bet twice.

UK betting frequency
UKGC survey data

Online casino customers spend more than visitors to land-based gambling venues. Almost 39% of online players invest between $14 and 138, which is 10% more than gamblers spend in offline casinos.

In Africa, players bet more often, but in smaller amounts. In Nigeria, 30% of residents play daily but spend only up to $0.8. According to Geopoll, 58% of Kenyan men bid once a week in 2019. The average bet size, according to the report of the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, was $1.8.

Goals of the Game

In different countries people play slots and other games of chance for different reasons. They depend on the mentality of the citizens of a certain state, wealth, and social status. The main reasons are:

  • The desire to relax, have fun, and escape from everyday problems due to excitement and adrenaline. This is how rich people who have extra money and aren’t afraid to lose a certain amount treat gambling.
  • Hit the jackpot. People with a small income want to solve their financial problems. They consider gambling as a source of income, which is the fundamentally wrong approach. Wealthier people assert themselves through large winnings.
  • Get to know the gaming industry. This is what newbies do.

The goals and motivation affect how players behave on the gambling site. Those who want to have fun and chat with other users or dealers in Live Casino, play less often: about once a week or several weeks, often on weekends or holidays.

Newbies spend small amounts or look for no deposit bonuses which allow them to play for free. They also launch demo versions of slots and play for virtual chips.

If a customer wants to make money in gambling, they visit the site almost daily. However, responsible players set limits on maximum bets, losses, and wins, as well as time limits. This allows them to stop in time and not to spend more than they allocated for the game. If the user has enabled only the time limit, then they will disable the block if they feel the win is approaching.

Devices That Players Use

Smartphone manufacturers have begun to develop devices with powerful technical characteristics which can launch casino sites. They give the user freedom and independence from a certain place and the ability to play at any suitable time; therefore, mobile traffic is growing. In 2022, the quantity of visitors to casino sites from smartphones exceeded the number of desktop users.

A 2019 UKGC report states that 50% of traffic in the UK is mobile. Most often they’re used by young players (76% among users aged 18-24).

With the development of mobile technologies, gambling has become widely known in African countries. Geopoll conducted a study and found out that 88% of bets in Kenya are made from phones; 55% of them are made at least once a week.

Most of the players are Android users (almost 3/4 of all website visitors). This explains the fact why many casinos develop mobile apps for this operating system more often than for iOS. The most commonly used browser is Google Chrome, followed by Safari.

Mobile gambling will develop even more actively over the years. Responsive websites and apps are as functional as desktop versions, and providers develop modern games using HTML5 technology, so there is no need to release separate versions for PC and mobile phones.

Game Experience

Both newbies and players with many years of experience register in online casinos. Even those who used to play only on social casinos or in demo versions eventually switch to real money bets to enjoy the excitement and try to hit the jackpot. A particularly active influx of users making deposits is observed on gambling sites with a well-thought-through bonus system and special offers for new customers.

Experienced players clearly understand what RTP and volatility are, how bonuses work and what their wagering requirements are. They don’t use them so often. Beginners are more impressed by promotional offers, they try different slot machines, and often make rash bets.

Game Categories

The interests and preferences of players aren’t affected by the place where they bet (land-based casinos or online casinos). They vary by country and region.

TerritoryPopular Games of Chance
EuropeSlots, French and European roulette, blackjack, baccarat, soccer betting, horse racing
the USA, CanadaSlots, blackjack, poker, American roulette, craps, bingo, hockey and football betting
AsiaSic Bo, Mahjong, Dragon Tiger
IndiaNational games: Andar Bahar, Indian Rummy, Indian Flush, Teen Patti, cricket betting

Men are more likely to play card games that require memorizing combinations and making decisions that may affect the outcome. Women prefer slot machines where everything depends on luck.

Portrait of the Modern Online Casino Player

Based on all the information above, we can note that young men are more likely to play on gambling sites. In countries with developed economies, players have a higher income, so they invest more money in games of chance, although they visit gambling sites less often. There are many more people with higher education that contact modern technologies and can afford expensive smartphones, from which they place bets. In Europe and North America, online casinos are often visited by women.

In countries with a weak economy, gamblers play often, but their bets are small. Adult men under 35 play slots daily. They place bets for the sake of entertainment and for profit with minimal investment.

Although men are the majority of online casino customers today, women are becoming more and more interested in the gambling industry every year. With the availability and prevalence of technology, gambling sites have become more likely to attract the attention of older players who used to visit land-based gambling venues.

Publication Author
Donald Peterson
Author of articles
Donald Peterson is an avid gambler from Edmonton, Alberta, who also writes about his experience with casinos. He’s been in the business for over 10 years, following the ever-changing industry landscape. His articles are aimed at helping beginners with choosing casinos, suitable games, and strategies.
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