Exploring consumer journeys using gambling promotional offers and incentives

Responsible Gambling

The UK Gambling Commission, in partnership with Yonder, commissioned a mixed-methodology research project to expand their understanding of the promotional offer universe within online gambling. The research was designed to explore three core areas:

  • how often and in what way marketing and bonus offers are presented by operators to consumers
  • how well consumers understand the offers that they engage with, and how this impacts their use of offers
  • whether offers are facilitating the movement of consumers across different products and brands, or driving consumer engagement with ‘riskier’ products and exposing them to greater potential of gambling-related harm. 

The research focused exclusively on promotional offers received and engaged with online, through any brand of gambling operator consumers would naturally interact with. 

This report outlines findings from both the quantitative and qualitative phases of the research.

There are some key overarching considerations surrounding regulatory changes to gambling-related marketing and bonus incentives.

UK consumers were strong advocates of promotional offers, believing them to be ‘on their side’, enhancing their enjoyment of gambling and perceiving them to enable safer gambling practices. These consumers reacted negatively to the concept of these offers being altered or taken away from them in any way and may push back on regulatory interference.

Consumers may not engage with content aimed at raising awareness of the risks involved with secondary types of gambling if they do not self-identify with these activities. This creates challenges in reaching this audience. Our qualitative consumers were regularly engaging with multiple forms of gambling (such as sports betting and online casinos), but only identified themselves with one type of gambling that they have engaged with for the longest amount of time.

Ultimately, consumers feel bonuses mitigate gambling risk. Offers are not spontaneously seen as nefarious tactics to get consumers to part with more of their money, but ways to facilitate safer gambling practices and to prolong a consumer’s ability to gamble for less. There is potential to trigger greater consideration of the impacts of promotional offers by encouraging gamblers to question whether they are actually spending more than they would if offers were not available.