UKGC Gambling Ads Research

UKGC survey attempts to determine the effects of gambling advertisements! Did this help the UKGC or is it free research for gambling firms! (Photo by Lukas Blazek on Unsplash)

It is almost unbelievable that anyone would suggest that advertising would result in sales – especially in the case of online gambling!

OK, forgive the sarcasm but the latest UKGC research on the effects of online gambling advertising which included 6,000+ people did not really tell us too much that surprises us! Results of the study concluded that 34% of local gamblers signed up or were in some way affected by gambling advertising. Well, the only surprise here is that the figure was as low as this!

If you consider the sheer amount of investment gambling companies spill into advertising, the competition out there (i.e., multiple brands advertising in the same space), and the number of gambling advertisements ‘local people are exposed to per day 34% is not encouraging for the casino advertising department. Someone in the NetEnt casinos, 888 Holding or Playtech needs to have a word with the marketing teams because their advertising could harness a much better ROI – although the results from the UKGC survey were unlikely supposed to instigate such a reaction!

The casino companies are probably thinking ‘Thank you ‘UKGC’ for pointing this out and performing the free market research on our behalf’ please kindly send us a copy of your research! In the background, the marketing firm or department is getting an earful from company big wigs wondering what on earth all that cash is buying them!

Another point to make here is why on earth carry out the research? Is this the result of the fact that UKGC has now increased yearly fees and application fees for casino licenses? The extra cash is now being diverted to pointless research!

OK, let’s try to take this survey a little more seriously if we can! Maybe the research is not so pointless after all. Let’s take a U-turn here because maybe we are (I am) looking at this from the wrong angle. Maybe the UKGC’s research is to ‘help’ gambling companies – seems unlikely, but on the other hand that was one of the promises made when the authority announced price hikes. And in all honesty, from an online gambling company’s point of view, the information from the research is helpful!

Research stats: According to the study, TV ads have the widest reach while social media ads come second with 76% saying these were the primary sources of access to gambling ads! For online casinos and sports books, the solution here is to ramp up TV and social media advertising!

Billboards & Newspaper Gambling Ads Less Effective?

The least effective or least noticeable form of advertising according to the survey pointed towards newspapers and billboards. Participants felt these forms of advertising have little effect on driving people towards gambling websites, even though these advertising methods are viewed roughly by half the respondents.

The key point here is for gambling companies to stop wasting their money! Take down those pointless billboards and cut down on newspaper ads so the ad budget can be better spent by investing money in TV Ads and social media!

Advertising Has No Effect on the Amount Gamblers Spend for 53% Of Respondents!

Over half of the respondents that bet or had placed a bet over the last 12 months said that gambling advertising has no effect on their budget. Only 16.3% said that it has had a negative effect by encouraging them to spend more on gambling. But here’s a surprising stat – ads only pushed 13% of those that gamble towards gambling while 15% who had quit gambling said ads encouraged them to gamble again!

All-in-all, the UKGC was looking into the effects of gambling advertisements by using a small sample group that makes up for less than 0.01% of the UK population!

Summary of Key Survey Results:

  • 6,000+ participants (Under 0.01% of UK population)
  • 34% of gambler signed up via advertisements
  • 76% said TV & Social Media Ads has the most effect
  • 7% said billboards & newspaper ads have little effect
  • 53% said ads do not encourage them to bet more money
  • 16.3% said ads negatively affected their gambling habits
  • 13% were non-gamblers until an ad encouraged them to bet
  • 15% who quit gambling started again because of ads