Pennsylvania’s gambling study and how to gamble responsibly

The state of Pennsylvania (PA) is hot when it comes to responsible gambling. For the last 2 years, research has been carried out into the gambling habits of those in PA, with attention paid to those who have experienced some form of problem. The good news is that the results of PA online gambling research published in March 2023, show that problem gambling is something that’s on the decline.

In the years 2020 -2021, 43.9% of online gamblers stated that they’d experienced at least one gambling problem. The latest figures, covering 2021 to 2022, show that 36.5% of respondents reported the same. 

The good news for online operators is that online gambling has remained as popular as ever. While people seem to be gambling more responsibly, the sector has continued to flourish. This goes to show that a responsible approach benefits all parties, and the hope would be that the next set of figures shows similar results in terms of a drop in problem gambling.

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PA online gambling research

A closer look at the PA online gambling research findings 

Researchers started by contacting 39,179 random numbers from a directory. From these numbers, they achieved a 10.9% response rate which led to a total of 1, 953 respondents.

One thing to be aware of with this study is that researchers are relying on participants to be honest with their responses. There are no attempts made to verify what’s said and people can claim anything that they want to during a phone call. The hope would be that the responses offer a true reflection. 

What really stands out in the findings is the fact that 26.5% of people admitted that they had experienced issues with trying to stop or reduce their gambling. Other findings revealed:

  • 9.9% stated that they had carried on gambling longer than they’d planned to
  • 9.75 have upped their wagers as they try and find new levels of excitement

In terms of the popularity of gambling activities, here’s a look at what PA residents had to say:

  • 54% favored sports betting over other gambling activities 
  • 33.3% had slots as their number 1 choice
  • 31.9% would turn to fantasy sports
  • 20.8% had table games (blackjack, roulette, baccarat) as their preferred method of gambling
  • 20.4% of people headed online mainly for the iLottery 

When it comes to what motivates people to gamble online, here’s what the PA study has to show us:

  • 95% were seeking enjoyment
  • 81.5% turned to online casinos for convenience 
  • 77.9% stated availability was key
  • 69.5% said that online casinos were their choice as they could bet at their own pace
  • 67.8% of people said the main driving factor was the chance to win money

The research also took a look at the demographic of those gambling online. The findings give us an insight into the typical PA gambler:

  • 66.1% are male
  • Average age comes in at 38
  • The majority of white origin
  • Most are employed
  • 36.3% are educated to degree level
  • 14.6% had incomes between $75,000 and $99,999

PA online gambling research – Tips for responsible gambling

Some of what holds back the growth of online gambling in the US is the fear that gambling problems would explode. The research in PA has shown that this simply isn’t the case. The fact that problem gambling is in the fall is a great sign and should signal something positive to states that are on the fence.

To broaden the appeal of online gambling across the US, and to ensure that all players are protected, there’s the need for everyone to implement basic steps to keep their gambling under control. Here’s a look at some of those steps now:

Set a gambling budget 

When you head online for gambling, make sure that you set yourself a budget. It could be worth allocating yourself a monthly amount to play with. Discipline is needed here so that once that money is gone, it’s gone. You can’t dip into other funds to gamble with and you simply have to wait for your budget to start again the next month.

Doing this is a great way of keeping your spending under control. It means that your financial priorities aren’t ever jeopardized and that your living expenses are never placed at risk because of your gambling.

Set online limits

You could take the budgeting idea to the next level to ensure that you have stick to it. Most online casinos will allow you to set deposit limits. Once these have been reached, you simply can’t add any more money. As soon as you try to, you’ll see a message telling you when you can add to your account.

If the discipline of budgeting is a challenge, setting deposit limits can be a great help. Just be sure that you don’t head elsewhere to wager instead!

Expect to lose

The truth is that when you visit an online casino, ultimately you’re going to lose money. You need to remember that every casino game has a house edge built in. This ensures that, over the long term, casinos win. If this wasn’t the case they wouldn’t be profitable and would have to close down.

Yes, you can win at casino games, but make sure that you look at the bigger picture and know what’s coming.

Never chase losses

When you expect to lose, you should know never to chase your losses. Break down your monthly budget so that you have a set amount to play with each session. When your bankroll ends for the night, it’s time to walk away. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you’re due a win and that just one more game will recoup your losses  – it rarely happens so come back and play another day.

The main finding from PA online gambling research – entertainment and fun

It’s vital that you never lose sight of what online casinos are all about. They exist to provide a source of entertainment and fun. Once playing doesn’t feel like this, it’s time to take a break. If frustrations build and you’re not enjoying your experience then gambling is no longer being what it’s supposed to be.  

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