UKGC identifies advertising as a motivator for a third of British gamblers

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has published the results of a recent survey, finding that 34% of British bettors admitted to being influenced by advertising.

Completed by 6,258 people in March, June, September and December 2020 – including 4,566 who claimed to have gambled in the past 12 months – the survey found that following general advertising, free bet offers were the second most common driving factor behind user’s gambling at 22%.

Of the different forms of advertising, television was the most widely viewed at 76%, followed by social media at 68%. Overall, the survey found that 85% had seen gambling adverts or sponsorships

The feedback represents a decline on 2019 figures, which showed that 87% of respondents had seen advertisements or sponsorships, with 86% seeing gambling advertisements and 82% viewing sponsorships.

Additionally, although television was the most prevalent form of advertising, only 15% of gamblers identified it as a driving factor behind their decisions to bet, the same amount of respondents who pointed to social media. 

As of August 2019, all UK licensed gambling operators  have observed a whistle-to-whistle advertising ban across all sports broadcasts.

Meanwhile, newspaper and billboard or poster advertisements were also only highlighted by just 7% of survey participants, despite being viewed by 45% and 56% of respondents respectively.

Finally, the Commission also asked bettors if and how ads had changed their habits, prompting 52.8% 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% claimed that ads caused them to increase, whilst an additional 13% said ads led them to initially take up gambling, and 14.7% said viewing ads resulted in them to take up gambling again after taking a break.

The survey comes as the UK government continues with its review of the 2005 Gambling Act, which has seen a debate on betting advertising and marketing play a central role.

A potential ban on sponsorship arrangements between betting operators and professional sports teams has been identified as a ‘likely outcome’ of the review, whilst London Mayor Sadiq Khan recently made the decision to remove all gambling advertisements from the city’s underground network.

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