Public Gaming International September/October 2022

52 PUBLIC GAMING INTERNATIONAL • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022 UNDER 30? UNDERWHELMED! Lotteries, through the decades, have always managed to capture the younger player at an earlier life stage. In 2022, is the player funnel narrowing? According to Statista, by the year 2025 (so in 28 short months), the eSports marketplace will be worth $1.86bn, and have 322.7 million ‘enthusiasts. Right now, the global estimate for ‘Gamers’ is close to 2 billion people. If this is news to you, consult your kids, nieces, nephews and anyone in their teens or twenties how the world of entertainment looks through their eyes, or rather their screens, right now. In June of this year (2022), Leger asked a representative audience of 1,000 Americans about their gaming habits. It may surprise some, but the #1 gaming activity among Americans is playing a ‘Scratch-off ticket’ at 38%, closely edging out playing ‘video games on a mobile device’ at 36%. Playing ‘video games on a computer’ is third at 26%, followed by ‘Lottery draw games’ (25%, 4th) and ‘console video games’ (24%, 5th). (See Fig 1.) Data was collected in the NFL season off season, and those claiming to have bet on sports (10%) is lower than we will probably see come this Fall (probably double that %), while Casino slots were also lower at 14%. The Old and the Beautiful? Based on these playership numbers, everything seems hunky dory in the Lottery world, with two of the top five popular games. However, when we start to examine gameplay by age group, the story starts to resemble more of an Emmy winning daytime soap opera. Yes, among older age groups, 46% of 50-64 year-olds have purchased a Scratch-off in the past year, a little higher than 40-49 yearolds, which retains the status quo. However, among older Gen Z’s and younger Millennials (18-29 year-olds), ‘mobile games’ (38%) and ‘console games’ (36%) are the two dominant gaming modes, despite the fact an impressive 30% have played a ‘Scratch-off game’. These gaming numbers are even higher for 30-39 year-olds (‘mobile’ at 44%, ‘console’ at 39%). Competition for ‘gaming entertainment’ is at a premium right now, but not necessarily from the sources the Lottery usually consider the competitive set, i.e. Casinos and Sports Betting. Instead, the key distractions appear close to hand. Literally. Games of our Lives. Leger’s research asked one more question on gaming; which is the most fun gaming activity you do? Console Games (22%) and Mobile Games (22%) were the joint winners, with PC Games third with (14%) first place votes. Scratch-offs made it into 4th place with 13%, but it is the underlying disparity by age that should be of greatest concern to the state jurisdictions. For the highest playing age group (50-64 year olds), Scratch-offs are the most fun game they play! More than a quarter of this age group chose Scratch narrowly over Mobile Games (23%) in terms of fun. The oldest age group (65+) chose ‘slot Simon Jaworski, Executive Vice President Lottery & Gaming, Leger USA