GAME ON! The New Face of Gaming is Revealed as Dads Control the Console 

  • New research reveals two-thirds of dads (aged 25-44) are regular gamers. Over half play mobile games, and 84% use social media
  • Video gamers are up to 4.3x more likely to participate in betting, and up to 4.5x more likely to participate in gaming

Gaming and technology isn’t just for Generation Z. Midlifers, and especially dads, are among the most enthusiastic gamers. They are also big social media users, watch esports and experiment with Virtual Reality (VR), new research from Entain, the global sports betting, gaming, and interactive entertainment group, reveals today.

The findings of a study of 16,000 people in the UK[1], which looked at changing behaviours of consumers, challenge popular beliefs that gaming is predominantly for Zoomers (*see notes). A generation of console-hoggers, once dubbed digital natives, have retained early enthusiasms for products like the PlayStation, Blackberry and Xbox to become “Digital Dads”. Indeed, it found that men with children are more likely to spend time gaming and watching esports than those without and, in the 25-44-year range, men are twice as likely as women to spend time gaming and watching esports.

“Enthusiasm for gaming, mobile, and more social forms of interactive entertainment is far from confined to younger generations. People of all ages – particularly middle-aged dads – enjoy gaming and seem to love experimenting with new and exciting content,” said Dom Grounsell, Deputy Director of Digital at Entain. “We’re developing new interactive entertainment experiences, with more gaming and social features, because it’s increasingly clear this is what people want.”

There is also a clear link between betting and gaming. Entain’s research shows that video gamers are more than four times more likely to bet or participate in online gaming that non-gamers, and more open to using social features[2]. Other findings include:

  • Two-thirds (59%) of British dads aged between 25-44-years-old play computer or video games, like FIFA or Fortnite, every week, twice the level of women in the same age group (29%). Over half of British dads in this age range (56%) also say they play mobile games like Candy Crush, and 84% use social media.
  • Overall, when looking at all Brits, adults under the age of 24 are the biggest video gamers (53% play computer or video games every week), but 25-34-year-olds and 35-44-year-olds are close behind (at 46% and 36% respectively).
  • The same can be said for esports. Whilst 10% of adults under the age of 24 say they watch esports on platforms like Twitch on a weekly basis, this is very closely followed by 9% of 25-34-year-olds and 6% of 35-44-year-olds.
  • A huge majority (85% of 35-44-year-olds, and 89% of 25-34-year-olds) also use platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok in a typical week. This is just slightly behind younger cohorts, with 92% of adults under the age of 24 engaging on social media.

Other research studies commissioned by Entain show how interest in new technologies amongst the global adult population will continue to grow. These find, for instance, that:

  • 37% of adults in the UK expect to watch esports in the future, more than twice as many who currently do so (15%), according to a global study of 20,000 adults across 16 markets. In the US, the same study found 40% of adults expect to watch esports in the future (vs. 17% currently), and this increases to 52% in Italy (vs. 22% currently) and 55% in Spain (vs. 21% currently)[3].
  • Further Entain research found interest in immersive gaming experiences is highest amongst 35-44-year-olds, with 60% of Entain’s digital customers claiming to be “very interested” in VR, compared to 57% of adults under the age of 35.

Entain will be launching innovative new experiences for customers in the UK through some of its leading brands, like Ladbrokes. Based around Virtual Reality and mobile entertainment experiences in sport, gaming, and music, these ground-breaking products will show how Entain is meeting changing customer needs. For instance, through partnerships with bands, Ladbrokes’s customers will be able to stream music content and gain exclusive access to gigs and events through its recently launched Amplify brand.

[1] Lippincott Research

[2] Activate Betting & Gaming Research Study

[3] Activate Betting & Gaming Research Study

Notes to Editors

*Generations (Source: Pew Research Center)

  • Generation Z (Zoomers): up to age 22
  • Millennials: ages 23-38
  • Generation X: ages 39-54
  • Boomers: ages 55-73

Media Contacts

Media - Entain plc

Tessa Curtis, Head of Group PR & Media Relations

Jay Dossetter, Head of ESG and Press Office

Jodie Hitch, PR Manager

[email protected]

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About Entain plc 
Entain plc (LSE: ENT) is a FTSE100 company and is one of the world’s largest sports-betting and gaming groups, operating both online and in the retail sector. The Group owns a comprehensive portfolio of established brands; Sports Brands include bwin,, Coral, Crystalbet, Eurobet, Ladbrokes, Neds and Sportingbet; Gaming Brands include CasinoClub, Foxy Bingo, Gala, Gioco Digitale, Ninja Casino, Optibet, partypoker and PartyCasino. The Group owns proprietary technology across all its core product verticals and in addition to its B2C operations provides services to a number of third-party customers on a B2B basis.

The Group has a joint venture with MGM Resorts International creating a leader, BetMGM, in sports betting and iGaming in the US. Entain provides the technology which powers BetMGM and exclusive games and products, specially developed at its in-house gaming studios. The Group is tax resident in the UK with licenses in a total of 27 regulated markets. Entain is a leader in ESG, a member of FTSE4Good, the DJSI and is AA rated by MSCI. The Group has set a science-based target, committing to be carbon net zero by 2035 and through the Entain Foundation supports a variety of initiatives, focusing on safer gambling, grassroots sport, diversity in technology and community projects. For more information see the Group’s website: