What distinguishes Germany’s high-staking gamblers from the rest?
June 7th, 2023, Oliver Rowe

What distinguishes Germany’s high-staking gamblers from the rest?

Gamblers who stake more than €500 each month make up a small slice, just 12%, of all monthly gamblers in Germany (excluding those who only play lotteries). In this piece, we examine who these ‘high-staking bettors’ are, their betting preferences and what motivations fuel their betting behaviour.

The demographics

Relative to German gamblers who stake lower amounts each month, the high-staking bettors have a similar gender split (around two thirds male, one third female) but are a significantly younger cohort. Around two thirds of monthly gamblers are men (65%), but when it comes to age those aged 18-34 make up 55% of the high-staking cohort, but only 30% of lower staking gamblers.

Income data also shows that high-staking bettors are six percentage points likelier to belong to the lower-income group (defined as less than 75% of the median) than lower staking gamblers (49% vs 43%).

What do they bet on?

High-staking bettors are less likely than lower staking bettors to have bet on sports online in the past month. One in five (22%) of higher stakers have bet on sports online versus 26% of lower stakers, but when we look at offline betting we find 16% of higher stakers have bet on sports with a physical bookmakers or at a track compared with only 8% of lower stakers. Higher stakers are also about half as likely to play a lottery either online or offline.

Away from sports and pools/Toto, high-staking bettors over-index on all other major betting categories. They are far more likely to have played casino table and other card games online (26% vs 14%). They are also significantly more likely to have played casino slots games online (20% vs 11%), skill games (30% vs 13%), and online poker (22% vs 12%). And even though they are less likely to have placed traditional sports bets at an online bookmaker, they show a stronger affinity towards fantasy sports games (13% vs 5%). Another area of interest for higher stakers are online live streaming casino game shows (9% vs 2%) and streaming casino table games (5% vs 2%).

Which online bookmakers do they use, and how to they select one?

Looking at the online betting sites they use, the most used site is Tipico where 17% of higher stakers say they used it in the past week but this is less than the 21% of lower stakers who used Tipico. When we look across the other major brands we find that the higher stakers over-index on them all, in particular bet365 (14% vs 5%), Betway (12% vs 4%) and Bet3000 (11% vs 3%), but this is not so much the case with bwin (14% vs 12%) or Tipp 24 (10% vs 9%).

When it comes to how high and low stakers pick an online betting provider, for higher stakers it is all about having the widest selection of sports markets (39% vs 21%) and the best selection of slots/games to play (30% vs 17%).

Which sports do they bet on?

As established, high-stakes bettors are less likely to have bet on sports overall. But that isn’t the whole story. Looking at the type of sports bet on reveals that while high-staking bettors under-index quite significantly on football (29% vs 40% of lower stakers), they are more likely to have bet on almost every other sport in the past 12 months.

This includes tennis (18% vs 10%), basketball (16% vs 9%), swimming (14% vs 5%) and esports (14% vs 7%), and motor racing (13% vs 6%) among others.

Obviously higher stakers are drawn to betting on more sports in general whereas football over-indexes with lower stakers but might actually be a gateway to other sports.

What fuels their betting choices?

Six in ten of high-staking bettors say they only use betting sites that offer loyalty schemes (60%), significantly higher than the third of lower staking bettors (33%). But the attraction towards loyalty schemes does not keep high spenders tethered to one bookmaker – more than half of them agree they “like to try new gambling/betting sites that I’ve not come across before” (57% vs 37%).

Also they are not really any more likely to be attracted by the offer of a free bet than any other player with 48% agreeing compared with 44% of lower stakers.

Methodology: data is taken from YouGov’s Global Gambling Profiles tool which interviewed a representative sample of 3,358 regular gamblers across January, February and March 2023. Fieldwork was completed online and all respondents are members of YouGov’s German panel of survey respondents.