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Key influences at each stage of the journey

Different factors will have greater or lesser influence at each stage of the journey. While most stages have numerous influencing factors, there are usually a few in particular that have greater impact.

Biggest influences encouraging (more) gambling at each stage

Passive influences

Winning experiences (either winning themselves or hearing about others winning) has the biggest influence. Operator advertising and sponsorship are factors that are very widely noticed, but not thought to have much impact on behaviour or attitudes – they’re considered ‘background noise’.

Impact Scores (calculated by Prevalence x Encouragement) of Passive Influence factors

A chart showing the Impact Scores (calculated by Prevalence x Encouragement) of Passive Influence factors. Data from the chart is provided within the following table.

Data from chart

Impact : Prevalence x Encouragement - current influences
Influencing factor Impact (percentage)
Win a significant amount of money gambling 28%
Hear about someone who’s had a big win through gambling 27%
Take part in any type of gambling activities 20%
See or hear adverts from gambling companies 19%
Receive emails, texts or app notifications from operators 19%
Gamble with friends 18%
Regret how much you’ve spent in one go whilst gambling 16%
Talk about gambling with friends or family 16%
See sponsorship or logos from gambling companies 15%
See something about gambling on social media 15%
Lose a significant amount of money gambling 14%
See bookies, casinos etc when you’re out and about 14%
Hear about someone whose gambling is having a negative impact 14%
Watch videos about, or read blogs/articles about gambling activities 11%

Question details: P11a: How often do you… P11b: And to what extent do you think each of these have influenced whether / how much you gamble?

Base: All respondents (937), all who ever experienced each influence. Base varies, minimum 526.

External triggers

Catching the eye, special offers and direct communications (emails/text/app notifications) were most commonly cited. Unusually good odds or prizes are also particularly influential when they occur, but these are less common.

Gambler quote: “I saw an ad on social media for a Valentines day draw and I couldn’t help but get involved, I feel like I’m missing out if not a part of it and it will play on my mind“

Gambler quote: “I’m a sucker for a promotion or ad, it does draw me in to play. I’m also a fan of the ‘spend a certain amount get a certain amount free’ deals- who doesn’t like free money!”

Internal impulses

The desire to win a small amount of money and having fun were the two factors that were the greatest motivators on respondents’ most recent activity.

Internal impulses: why they took part in most recent activity

A bar chart showing the percentages of reasons why people took part in recent gambling activity. Data from the chart is provided within the following table.

Data from chart

Internal impulses: why they took part in most recent activity
Impulse factor Percentage
To win some money, even a small amount 43%
To have fun 38%
It was a spontaneous decision 21%
To give myself a treat 21%
To pass the time 20%
I was feeling lucky 19%
To add excitement to a game or experience 19%
To win large amounts of money 17%
Because I enjoy the game(s) 14%
It’s just part of my routine 13%
To be social 12%
To be part of something 10%

Question details: INT1: Which of these describe why you…? Base: All respondents (937).

The respondents’ familiarity and previous experience with the operator and/or type of game or bet were the most common reasons given for why they chose to gamble in that particular way at that time.

Gambler quote: “I tried out an instant win game that reminded me of Candy Crush - I'm definitely going to play this game again as I liked the game, but also as I have positive sentiment towards it now I’ve won on it once!”

Play experience

Influences on the duration and activities involved in a play experience were most commonly reported as having fun, winning, and seeing special offers.

Play experience Impact (Prevalence x Encouragement) Factors

A chart showing play experience Impact (Prevalence x Encouragement) Factors. Data from the chart is provided within the following table.

Data from chart

Factor Percentage
Winning a game or bet 14%
I was having loads of fun 10%
I was having an ok time, but not loads of fun 8%
I received a special offer or free bet specifically for me 7%
I saw or heard about a special offer / free bet open to everyone 6%
I came really close to winning 5%
I had a winning streak 4%
Losing a game or bet 4%
I saw or heard an advert for a gambling company 3%
Someone gave me a good tip 3%
I received an email, text or app notification from a gambling company 3%
I looked at my account and to check how much time and money I had spent 2%
I saw a gambling company post something on social media (not an advert) 2%
I saw some gambling sponsorship or logos 2%
Someone suggested I play a different game or place a different bet 2%

Question details: PS3a. And still thinking about the last time you 'gambling on this activity', which of these, if any, did you see or experience at any point while you were playing/betting? PS6. And to what extent do you think each of these influenced whether you continued to play/bet? Base: all respondents (937).

Play outcome

Play outcome is more about reflection and next steps rather than influencing further behaviour. Winning or losing may inform behaviour as it will form part of their passive influences before the next journey.

Gambler quote: “I last won 2 weeks ago online playing bingo, I won £50, I felt overjoyed and happy. I used the money to get my hair done as a lovely, rare treat. It made me want to gamble more”.

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The Path to Play framework
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The impact of different types of gambling activities
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