Not About the Money

12 February 2007

European poker players, as it turns out, really do like to gamble for the fun of it, and they are not much different than American poker players, according to a survey by Canada-based online poker room Everest Poker and Jupiter Research.

Hoping to better understand the behaviors of its European poker players, Everest Poker commissioned Jupiter Research to conduct a survey of consumers in France, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Spain and Italy to identify the trends among poker players from Western Europe.

Throughout December 2006, 1,888 respondents completed the online survey, answering approximately 17 closed- and open-ended questions relating to their behaviors and attitudes toward both online and offline poker.

According to the results, released Feb. 1, the average European poker player plays primarily for fun, which corroborates the findings of a recent survey by online gambling industry watchdog eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance (eCOGRA). The eCOGRA research, a study of nearly 11,000 people from 96 countries, found that the majority of respondents gambled online for entertainment rather than for profit. (See "eCOGRA Study Finds Average Player Not In It to Win It.")

Around 75 percent of respondents to the Everest/Jupiter survey said they play poker simply because it is a fun game. Players in markets such as Germany, Italy and Sweden leaned toward the accessibility of poker rooms as one of the main reasons to play. Only approximately 28 percent stated that they play poker online to make money.

European online poker players play an average of four times per month, the results also revealed, while nearly 40 percent of respondents said they play poker on a weekly basis, with evenings and weekends being the most popular times to play.

Demographically speaking, the average European poker player is a male between the ages of 25 and 34 who earns less than 35,000 euros (approx. $45,300) per year.

The average age increased slightly in Germany, with 32 percent of poker players being between the ages of 35 and 44. And in Italy the top of the scale increased to 55.

On average, more than 70 percent of all online and offline European poker players surveyed were male. In Spain and Italy, over 80 percent of poker players were male. Other countries, such as France and Germany, had a greater saturation of female poker players (34 percent and 31 percent respectively).

The results echo some of the findings of the American Gaming Association's (AGA) 2006 "State of the States: Survey of Casino Entertainment" survey. (See "New AGA Research Covers Online Gambling.")

According to the AGA survey, which covered all forms of gambling (not just poker), 68 percent of online gamblers are male, under 40 and college-educated with a yearly salary of over $60,000. Furthermore, 80 percent AGA survey respondents last year said poker, not surprisingly, is most often their game of choice.

Emily Swoboda is the senior staff writer at IGamingNews. She lives in St. Louis, Mo.