A marketing lesson for GC: One third of bettors influenced by advertising … but exposure is decreasing

sports shirt sponsorship advertising Gambling Commission study
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The Gambling Commission has discovered the power – and objectives – of marketing in its latest study into the industry, whilst perhaps inadvertently uncovering that exposure to gambling advertising is decreasing in the UK.


The Gambling Commission has revealed that 34 percent of British bettors admitted to being influenced by gambling advertising, but that exposure to it has decreased since 2019.

Completed by 6,258 people in March, June, September and December 2020, the survey found that following general advertising, free bet offers were the second most common driving factor behind user’s gambling at 22 percent. Of the different forms of advertising, television was the most widely viewed at 76 percent, followed by social media at 68 percent. Overall, the survey found that 85 percent had seen gambling adverts or sponsorships.

The feedback represents a decline on 2019 figures, which showed that 87 percent of respondents had seen advertisements or sponsorships.

The Commission also asked bettors if and how ads had changed their habits, prompting 52.8 percent of those who had wagered in the previous 12 months to say that advertising had not changed the amount of money they spent. In comparison, 16.3 percent claimed that ads caused them to increase spend, whilst an additional 13 percent said ads led them to initially take up gambling, and 14.7 percent said viewing ads resulted in them to take up gambling again after taking a break.

A potential ban on sponsorship arrangements between betting operators and professional sports teams has been identified as a ‘likely outcome’ of the upcoming gambling review, with campaigners pressuring the government to further reduce the public’s exposure to gambling advertising.

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