Problem Gambling Metrics Decrease 7% In Latest PA Online Gambling Report

Written By Corey Sharp on March 27, 2023
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The Research Center at Pennsylvania State University reported findings from the 2022 Pennsylvania Online Gambling Report.

The second year of the report, supported by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) and Department of Drug & Alcohol Programs (DDAP), stated that online gambling remained stable as problem gambling decreased.

Penn State conducted the study through random phone screenings of Pennsylvanians.

Here are some of the most important findings from the study.

Problem gambling numbers decrease in Pennsylvania

The first year of the study was performed in FY 2020/2021. Year two, FY 2021/2022, says the rate of Pennsylvanians gambling online has remained the same at 11%.

As online gamblers have seemed to plateau, the numbers of gamblers who reported at least one gambling problem has decreased. In FY 2020/2021, 43.9% of online gamblers reported at least once gambling problem. In FY 2021/2022, that number dropped to 36.5%.

The most commonly reported responsible gambling problem was making attempts to cut down, control or stop gambling at 26.5%. About 9.9% of people have gambled longer than they intended and 9.7% have wagered larger amounts of money to feel excitement.

Here are some of the top reported motivators for online gambling (participants could include more than one):

  • Enjoyment: 95%
  • Convenience: 81.5%
  • Availability: 77.9%
  • Ability to bet at own pace: 69.5%
  • To win money: 67.8%

“The PGCB applauds the legislature for including the requirement of creating an annual impact report when they expanded gambling in Pennsylvania,” PGCB Director of the Office of Compulsive and Problem Gambling, Elizabeth Lanza, said in a statement. “It is vital that we explore and analyze the trends and risks that are captured annually within these reports. Organizations, including the PGCB, can create new tools and modify existing programs to align with report findings to better serve those who are experiencing problems with their gambling behavior. We are incredibly grateful to DDAP and PSU for their ongoing effort in conducting research and creating this report. Additionally, we would like to thank the gaming industry for their support of this project.”

Demographic of typical online gambler in PA

Of the participants in the survey, here is the demographic of a typical online gambler in PA:

  • Gender: Male (66.1%)
  • Average age: 38
  • Race/Ethnicity: White (72.9%)
  • Employment: Employed (62.6%)
  • Marital status: Married or living with partner (43.5%)
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree (36.3%)
  • Income: $75,000 to $99,999 (14.6%) – 19% preferred not answer

Online sports betting is the most popular format Pennsylvanians use to gamble at 54%. Other popular online formats include:

  • Slots: 33.3%
  • Fantasy sports: 31.9%
  • Table games: 20.8%
  • iLottery: 20.4%

How PSU conducted the PA online gambling study

Penn State conducted the study using random numbers from a directory list. A total of 39,179, both cellular and landline, numbers were dialed with a 10.9% response rate. The total number of participants turned out to be 1,953.

The study called most landline numbers on weekday evenings from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Phone calls made to cellular devices ranged from all different times throughout the day.

Next year’s study will include improvements to questions to cover an even further range of gambling behaviors. Some of those questions will include involvement in video games and crypto. The study is also going to include an online portion to the survey.

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Corey Sharp

Corey Sharp is the Lead Writer at PlayPennsylvania bringing you comprehensive coverage of sports betting and gambling in Pennsylvania. Corey is a 4-for-4 Philly sports fan and previously worked as a writer and editor for the Philadelphia Inquirer and NBC Sports Philadelphia.

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