Radio – A Safe Bet for Gaming

Author: Annette Malave, SVP/Insights, RAB

With lockdowns in place during 2020, Americans hungered for the thrill of the game and the luck of the draw as sporting events and casinos shuttered. People turned to gaming and event alternatives, all online – prompting a surge in participation well into 2021.

Casinos felt the hardest blow of the pandemic in 2020 – among the communities it helped support, the staff they employed and the overall economy. In 2020, 989 casinos closed.

With relaxed rules now in place, gaming has surged. Much of the growth has come from the increased penetration of mobile devices which allowed people to not only play but engage with others – virtually.

Despite the challenges of 2020 and limitations in 2021, gaming is on an accelerated growth trajectory. It is important to note that the Supreme Court ruling allowing states the ability to legalize sports betting was a game-changer. It allowed for growth in online sports-betting platforms. Seventy-seven percent of Americans see gaming as a growth industry.

Comprised of casinos, sports betting, eSports and iGaming, the combined revenue reached well over $4B based on the American Gaming Association’s (AGA) Commercial Gaming Tracker.

As it pertains to gambling, the minimum legal age varies by state and by the type of gambling. For example, 21 is the legal age for casinos, poker rooms and lotteries in Arizona, but 18 is the legal age for bingo in the same state. In Iowa, the age for any form of gambling is 21. (See for a state-by-state listing.) It is important to note, that age does matter when it comes to advertising sports wagering. The AGA suggests that ads be placed where “at least 71.6%of the audience is reasonably expected to be of legal gambling age.” (You can find AGA’s responsible marketing code for sports wagering here.)

Regardless of the type of gambling, adults that participate in any form of betting are radio listeners. Radio reaches adults 21 years and older who:

  • Participated in sports betting in the past year (88%)
  • Purchased a lottery ticket in the past month (87%)
  • Played slot machines or table games (craps, poker, etc.) in the past year (87%)
  • Visited a casino in the past year (86%)
  • Attended one to two pro video gaming events (eSports) in the past year (86%)
  • Plan to take a gambling/casino trip in the next 12 months (86%)

Gaming of any kind is certain to take on a new role in the lives of American adults. Engagement, whether as a spectator or participant, will also experience growth as people are allowed to experience events live and in-person.

Whether it is using a platform to bet on a favorite team, or visiting a casino to play the slots or just advertising the latest available lottery jackpot, broadcast radio has got it covered. Radio is always a safe bet.

Source: Scarborough USA+ 2021 Release 1 Total (Jan 2020-May 2021)


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