'Online Enthusiasts' Could Represent Most Lucrative Customer Segment for Brick-and-Mortar Casino Brands, According to AlixPartners Study

NEW YORK, May 20, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- With legalized online gaming recently becoming a reality in Nevada, casino operators are under intense pressure to make sure that Internet gambling helps rather than hurts their business. New research from AlixPartners, the global business advisory firm, finds that rather than cannibalizing trips to physical casinos, online gamblers could be the most lucrative segment for brick-and-mortar brands. The research – the result of state-of-the-art data-mining of responses from a recent AlixPartners consumer gaming survey – finds that what the firm dubs "Online Enthusiasts," defined as gamblers who play online as well as in casinos, visit brick-and-mortar casinos almost as frequently as "Consistent Members," gamblers with the highest casino-visitation rates among all customer segments studied.

Further, the analysis finds that the average theoretical (or "theo"), the estimated dollar amount a player is worth to a casino, could be as much as 10% higher for Online Enthusiasts than for those who only frequent brick-and-mortar casinos. The research finds that the online gaming customer typically has an average daily gaming budget 30% higher than "Destination Tourists," the customer segment with the next-highest average daily gaming budget.

"This in-depth analysis suggests that the Online Enthusiast segment has the attributes that all brick-and-mortar casinos should cherish: higher consumer gaming budgets, higher theos and more frequent casino visits," said John Bonno, a director at AlixPartners and a member of the firm's Gaming Practice. "The research also suggests that casinos that can tie online gaming activities to casino visitation through loyalty points or other means can create competitive advantage. The key, though, will be knowing which kind of customers to target, and when."

"AlixPartners combines Big Data expertise with business experience to help clients make the best business decisions with their data, as is shown in this study," said Mike Sinoway, managing director at AlixPartners and leader of the firm's Gaming Practice. "We analyzed several dozen variables and attributes that define unique customer segments and found, among other things, that gaming companies should be viewing online gaming as an opportunity and not threat."

About the Research

The research analytically mined, using k-means clustering methodology and other techniques, the input from a January AlixPartners survey of 1,031 adult Americans. The respondent group was taken from a generally representative sample of the U.S. population and selected from those expressing a general interest in gaming. The study examined multiple forms of gaming, including lotteries, race-track betting, sports books, local casinos, destination casinos and online gambling.

About AlixPartners

AlixPartners, LLP is a global business-advisory firm offering comprehensive services in four major areas: enterprise improvement, turnaround and restructuring, financial advisory services and information management services. Founded in 1981, the firm has offices around the world, and can be found on the Web at www.alixpartners.com.

CONTACT: Tim Yost + tyost@alixpartners.com

Source: AlixPartners