UK Gambling Brands Move Advertising Online

By Ben Hamill - November 28 2018
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UK Gambling Brands Move Advertising Online

Gambling companies over in the United Kingdom are spending notably more on online and mobile marketing channels than on traditional TV ads. This news comes despite the current doctrine that public channels are already saturated to capacity with betting and gaming marketing campaigns.

Recently, local charity GambleAware published a financial analysis by Regulus Partners, which showed operators’ total marketing expenditure – and where it was being spent. According to the report, these companies spent a record £1.5b in 2017, coming as a 56% increase over what they had spent on advertising a few years prior in 2014.

A massive 80% of this spending was dedicated to online channels, including a hefty £747 million in what was dubbed ‘direct online marketing costs’. Affiliate spending for the period in review came to £301 million, while social media advertising has apparently trebled over the past three years to reach £149 million. Sports team sponsorship spend also doubled during the time span to £60 million.

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80% of Marketing Done Digitally

Television advertising between 2014 and 2017 managed to hit £234 million in spending, coming as a mere 15% of the aforementioned total. This is a significantly smaller number than many would expect, considering the UK media’s constant supply of anti-gambling campaigns and programs.

In the meantime, Remote Gambling Association (RGA) members recently held a meeting to discuss newly proposed, self-imposed limits on TV marketing, but it seems that no matter what they settle on, they may well still end up fighting the war on another channel entirely over the coming years.

The British lottery industry attributed £33 million of total marketing spend in 2017, a decrease of £3 million from three years prior. However, TV channels accounted for half of all lotto-related marketing on the island – a much higher percentage than exhibited by either online casino websites or digital sportsbooks on local ground.

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British Youth Gambling Rates Rise

Looking at all individual advertising channels, iGaming operators’ use of affiliates had by far the slowest growth rate of just 2% since 2014. In 2017, many large UK gambling operators chose to drop their affiliate exposure, partly due to a slew of strict new regulations with a focus on third-party marketing partners.

Regulus compiled its report using the financial reports of publicly traded operators, along with data from private and internationally regulated online companies. Therefore, the numbers might not be definitive, which the company has acknowledged. Still, CEO of GambleAware Marc Etches has said that the report shows that much more attention should be paid to online gambling marketing, and that internet firms and social media sites should both carry the responsibility of protecting minors from the ads.

The report was released shortly after the UKGC’s latest prove into youth gambling, which showed a small increase in the number of underage players spending their money on wagering products in 2017.

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