Consumers Anticipate Significant Decreases in Gambling, Reports Conference Board

Consumers are projected to make significant cutbacks in their spending on lottery tickets and other forms of gambling over the upcoming six months, according to The Conference Board’s latest Consumer Confidence Survey.

The Las Vegas Strip. The Conference Board has found that consumers are prepared to reduce their spending on wagering. (Image: Bloomberg )

The report, issued earlier this week, suggests that the consumer sentiment increased modestly this month, with 36.6% of those surveyed indicating that they plan to decrease their spending on wagering and lotteries in the next half year, the greatest decrease out of the 15 categories featured in the query.

The results demonstrate that individuals are likely to reduce their spending on highly discretionary categories such as playing the lottery, visiting amusement parks, going to the movies, personal lodging, and dining,” explained The Conference Board.

The commentary on dining and lodging expenditures aligns with other recently gathered data that suggests leisure travelers are actively bargain-hunting for lodging and curtailing their visits to pricey restaurants.

Other Betting Insights from the Conference Board Survey

The March reading of consumer confidence also revealed that 53.3% of those questioned intend to maintain their current levels of gambling spending in the coming six months, while 10.1% will increase such expenditures, the smallest increase across the 15 categories.

Part of the reason for the expected decrease in spending on gambling could be attributed to seasonal inactivity. The NFL season is over and March Madness will finish next Monday, eliminating one of the most wagered-on sporting events from the calendar. This situation is amplified when the NBA season comes to an end in the late second quarter.

With a third of people surveyed expecting a decrease in spending on amusement parks and outdoor recreation, almost the same amount preparing to do the same for live entertainment, movies, sporting events, and theater, and another 31.9% planning to reduce their spending on personal hotel or motel accommodations, there is a case to be made that macroeconomic challenges such as high inflation and elevated interest rates are finally impacting consumer discretionary spending.

The exact effects of this on gaming is yet to be seen, and it could take a while for these negative impacts to be noticed since management teams have sounded positive tones about the beginnings of their venues in 2023.

Different Spending Habits

Due in large part to the sudden redefinition of recession, it appears that such a situation has been avoided. However, recent difficulties in the global banking system have prompted economists to call for a hard landing. While the consumer confidence survey suggests that those surveyed are not concerned about recent banking collapses, the data indicates that they are rearranging their spending.

Consumers “say they will spend more on less discretionary categories such as health care, home or auto maintenance and repair, and cost-effective entertainment options such as streaming. Spending on personal care, pet care, and financial services such as tax preparation is also expected to remain unchanged,” The Conference Board added.

Out of those surveyed, 19.3% state that current business conditions are bad, an increase from 17.4% in February. The short-term business conditions outlook is slightly better as 18.5% of those questioned see conditions worsening in six months, compared to 21.6% last month.