NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Gamblers are Risk Averse Away from the Tables

October 2, 2003

In many ways, the typical casino gambler is more responsible financially than the average person, a new study says. They are also more prosperous, with a median household income of $50,716 vs. $42,228 for the population as a whole, 20 percent higher than the general population.

According to a survey of 2,000 Americans by Roper ASW for Harrah's, a casino operator, wagerers are relatively conservative with money at home, despite a penchant for taking risks:

  • Some 61 percent say they always or almost always pay off their credit cards every month, compared with 52 percent of the general population.
  • Some 50 percent are saving money in a retirement plan, compared to 40 percent of the general public.

Financial conservatism also marks gamblers' shopping habits: The typical player is a coupon clipper (56 percent, compared with 51 percent of the general population) and buys in bulk to save (47 percent vs. 35 percent).

Source: Gene Sloan, "When they leave casino, gamblers are prudent," USA Today, September 26, 2003; based on "Harrah's Survey of the American Casino Gambler 2002."

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