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Consumer experiences and attitudes to Free Bets & Bonuses

Data from an online survey around consumer experiences and attitudes towards Free Bets & Bonuses

Published: 15 February 2022

Last updated: 19 July 2023

This version was printed or saved on: 15 June 2024

Online version: https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/about-us/guide/consumer-experiences-and-attitudes-to-free-bets-and-bonuses

Overview: ## Introduction and about the Online Survey

The Commission collects in depth data from online gamblers about their online gambling behaviour via a quarterly online tracker, conducted by Yonder Consulting as part of their online omnibus. Data is collected on c.8,000 adults aged 18+ in Great Britain per year1. The online survey sample is sourced through Yonder’s panel, and the sample is subject to quotas in-line with those used for the Commission’s quarterly telephone survey. The variables used for weighting are age, gender, region, social grade, tenure and working status2.

In June 2021 we posed questions to gamblers on the survey to learn more about the prevalence and impact of free bets and bonus offers ('incentives'). The questions asked gamblers to recall the types of incentives received, as well as the frequency and volume with which they were received. In addition, those who had received incentives were asked about the impact of receiving incentives on their gambling behaviour.

Incentive types & how they are received

Gamblers in the survey were first asked whether they had received an incentive to gamble from a gambling company in the last 12 months. They were asked which type of incentive they had received, and how it was received.

Figure 1

QIncentiveHow. We are interested in finding out whether you have received incentives to gamble from a gambling company in the last 12 months. Which, if any, of the following types of gambling incentive have you been sent from a gambling company, and how was it sent to you?

Figure 1

Data from chart

Base: n=c.1500 Respondents aged 18+ who have gambled in the past 12 months.

Figure 2

QIncentiveHow. We are interested in finding out whether you have received incentives to gamble from a gambling company in the last 12 months. Which, if any, of the following types of gambling incentive have you been sent from a gambling company, and how was it sent to you?

Figure 2

Data from chart

Base: n=c.1500 Respondents aged 18+ who have gambled in the past 12 months

Incentives were mostly received via email (47%), with this being more commonly recalled than any other method. Gamblers were least likely to report receiving an incentive through a non-gambling app notification (8%).

Incentives received for different gambling activities

Respondents who had reported receiving an incentive to gamble were also asked which activity they received the incentive for.

Figure 3

QIncentiveAct. You mentioned that you have been offered incentives to play on a gambling activity. Which of the following activities have you been sent incentives for in the last 12 months?

Figure 3 A bar chart showing which of the activities consumers have received incentives for in the past 12 months

Data from chart

Respondents who reported receiving an incentive were most likely to report receiving them for online betting activities (73%), with other online activities such as slots (39%), bingo (37%) and casino (30%) being most frequently incentivized after that.

On average, across all activities, respondents reported receiving seven incentives to gamble within the last seven days. The activities which consumers received the highest quantity of incentives for were online slots, online casino and the National Lottery.

Frequency of incentives received

Following this, respondents who had received incentives in certain ways were asked how often they receive incentives through that particular medium.

Figure 4

QIncentiveFreq. How often have you received incentives or offers to play through the following methods?

Figure 4

Data from chart

EmailText messageA notification through a gambling appA targeted advertisement on social media
Daily7%8%9%8%
NET: at least once a week51%58%58%54%
NET: at least once a month84%85%88%86%
Base size696249233295

Across each platform, the frequency of receiving incentives appears to be stable. Most respondents (between 84-88%) report receiving an incentive at least once a month.

Figure 5

QIncentiveFreq. How often have you received incentives or offers to play through the following methods? Proportion reporting receiving incentives daily.

Figure 5 - A chart showing how often consumers received incentives or offers to play through the listed methods

Data from chart

Frequency of incentives or offers to play by gender
Receive incentive dailyBase size
Total10%879
Male8%464
Female12%415
Frequency of incentives or offers to play by age
Receive incentive dailyBase size
18 to 248%108
25 to 3416%184
35 to 4411%173
45 to 549%185
55 to 647%110
65 and over2%119
Frequency of incentives or offers to play by level of gambling risk
Receive incentive dailyBase size
Non-problem gambler4%467
Low risk gambler7%162
Moderate risk gambler7%121
Problem gambler35%129

Base: n=879 Past 12-month gamblers aged 18+ who report receiving incentives via email, text message, a notification through a gambling app or a targeted advertisement on social media.

It can be seen in Figure 5 that problem gamblers were by far most likely to report receiving incentives to gamble daily (35%).

Attitudes to incentives

Lastly, gamblers who had received an incentive to gamble were asked to rate their agreement with a number of statements relating to attitudes and impact of gambling incentives.

Figure 6.

QIncentiveImpact. The following are a series of statements which relate to gambling incentives. Please indicate how much you agree or disagree with each one.

Figure 6 relating to QIncentiveImpact. Below are a series of statements which relate to gambling incentives. Please indicate how much you agree or disagree with each one.

Data from chart

Do you agree or disagree with the statements relating to gambling incentives?
NET AgreeNeither agree or disagreeNET Disagree
Free bets/bonus encourage me to gamble more than I want to31%17%50%
Free bets/ bonuses don't change the amount I gamble61%15%21%
I gambled for the first time as a result of receiving a bonus offer28%11%59%
I gambled with a gambling company I haven't used before as a result of receiving a bonus offer35%11%51%
I started to gamble on a new activity as a result of receiving a bonus offer28%13%57%
I restarted gambling after taking a break as a result of receiving a bonus offer21%14%63%
I use free offers, but don't spend any more on gambling37%17%44%

Base: n=958 past 12-month gamblers aged 18+ who have received an incentive to gamble

Most respondents felt that their gambling was not influenced by receiving incentives (61%). However, 31% of respondents agreed that receiving free bets or bonus offers encouraged them to gamble more than they wanted to.

Figure 7

QIncentiveImpact. The following are a series of statements which relate to gambling incentives. Please indicate how much you agree or disagree with each one.

Figure 7 A graph displaying the results from the following question:  The following are a series of statements which relate to gambling incentives. Please indicate how much you agree or disagree with each one.

Data from chart

Do you agree or disagree with the statements relating to gambling incentives?
NET AgreeNeither agree or disagreeNET Disagree
I like receiving free bets/bonus offers to gamble39%18%41%
I receive too many incentives to gamble47%22%27%
I would prefer not to receive free bets and bonus offers48%18%31%

Base: n=958 past 12 month gamblers aged 18+ who have received an incentive to gamble.

Incentives appeared to be liked and disliked by consumers in equal proportions, with 39% agreeing and 41% disagreeing with the statement ‘I like receiving free bets/bonus offers to gamble’. Almost half of consumers (47%) feel they receive too many incentives to gamble, and 48% agree that they would prefer not to receive them.

Impact Statements by Demographic

This section of analysis outlines NET Agree responses to ‘Attitudes to Incentives’ broken down by age, gender and PGSI status.

Gender

Attitudes to Incentives by gender
TotalMaleFemale
I like receiving free bets/bonus offers to gamble39%45%32%
I receive too many incentives to gamble47%46%49%
Free bets/bonus encourage me to gamble more than I want to31%31%30%
Free bets/bonuses don't change the amount I gamble61%65%56%
I gambled for the first time as a result of receiving a bonus offer28%24%33%
I gambled with a gambling company I haven't used before as a result of receiving a bonus offer35%39%31%
I started to gamble on a new activity as a result of receiving a bonus offer28%30%25%
I restarted gambling after taking a break as a result of receiving a bonus offer21%21%21%
I use free offers, but don't spend any more on gambling37%37%36%
I would prefer not to receive free bets and bonus offers48%43%55%
Base Size958504454

Age

Attitudes to Incentives by age
18 to 2425 to 3435 to 4445 to 5455 to 6465 and over
I like receiving free bets/bonus offers to gamble52%53%54%36%21%16%
I receive too many incentives to gamble53%34%50%47%55%52%
Free bets/bonus encourage me to gamble more than I want to39%46%39%27%19%8%
Free bets/bonuses don't change the amount I gamble54%50%59%61%70%76%
I gambled for the first time as a result of receiving a bonus offer41%45%35%24%11%9%
I gambled with a gambling company I haven't used before as a result of receiving a bonus offer51%49%48%30%19%11%
I started to gamble on a new activity as a result of receiving a bonus offer39%43%36%29%9%4%
I restarted gambling after taking a break as a result of receiving a bonus offer35%32%26%18%9%5%
I use free offers, but don't spend any more on gambling48%49%40%31%25%24%
I would prefer not to receive free bets and bonus offers40%37%37%47%66%70%
Base Size112191182197133143

PGSI status

Attitudes to Incentives by PGSI status
Non problem gamblerLow risk gamblerModerate risk gamblerProblem gambler
I like receiving free bets/bonus offers to gamble30%37%58%62%
I receive too many incentives to gamble45%42%46%63%
Free bets/bonus encourage me to gamble more than I want to14%26%57%77%
Free bets/bonuses don't change the amount I gamble71%56%45%45%
I gambled for the first time as a result of receiving a bonus offer15%28%41%65%
I gambled with a gambling company I haven't used before as a result of receiving a bonus offer23%33%59%64%
I started to gamble on a new activity as a result of receiving a bonus offer12%26%51%67%
I restarted gambling after taking a break as a result of receiving a bonus offer9%20%39%53%
I use free offers, but don't spend any more on gambling35%38%36%42%
I would prefer not to receive free bets and bonus offers54%43%33%48%
Base Size523178124133

With regard to problem gamblers, the data suggests that they generally like receiving free bets and bonus offers, with 62% agreeing. Nevertheless, they were most likely to agree that incentives encourage them to gamble more than they want to (77%), and were least likely to agree that incentives don’t change the amount they gamble (45%).

Those in younger age groups (aged 18-44) appear to follow a somewhat similar pattern. They are more likely to agree that they like receiving free bets/bonus offers compared to those aged 45+. Those aged 25-34 are most likely (compared to other age groups) to agree that free bets/bonus offers encourage them to gamble more than they want to (46%), shortly followed by 18-24 year olds and 35-44 year olds (both 39%).

Appendix - Survey questions

(ASK ALL PAST 12 MONTH GAMBLERS)

QIncentiveHow. We are interested in finding out whether you have received incentives to gamble from a gambling company in the last 12 months. Which, if any, of the following types of gambling incentive have you ever been sent from a gambling company, and how was it sent to you?

(MULTI CODE, AT LEAST ONE RESPONSE PER COLUMN)

Survey questions
Free bets/spinsSign up offersReminders to gamble with a bonus includedOther
Yes - Through an email
Yes - Through a text message
Yes – Through a notification through a gambling app
Yes – Through a notification through a non-gambling app
Yes - Through a targeted advertisement on social media
Yes - Through a targeted advertisement on a search engine (e.g. google or bing)
No – I have never received this type of incentive (EXCLUSIVE)

(ASK ALL WHO HAVE BEEN OFFERED AN INCENTIVE TO PLAY IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS AT QIncentiveHow)

QIncentiveAct. You mentioned that you have been offered incentives to play on a gambling activity. Which of the following activities have you been sent incentives for in the last 12 months? Please select all that apply:

(ASK ALL WHO HAVE BEEN OFFERED AN INCENTIVE TO PLAY THROUGH AN EMAIL/TEXT MESSAGE/GAMBLING APP/SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS)

QIncentiveFreq. How often have you received incentives or offers to play through email/text message/gambling apps/targeted advertisements on social media (SHOW FOR EACH SELECTED AT QIncentiveHow)?

How often

(ASK ALL WHO HAVE BEEN OFFERED AN INCENTIVE TO PLAY IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS AT QIncentiveHow)

QIncentiveQty. You said you have been offered an incentive to gamble in the last 12 months. How many of these incentives have you received in the past 7 days? (ASK FOR EACH ACTIVITY SELECTED AT QIncentiveAct)

(NUMERIC, ALLOW ZERO)

(ASK ALL WHO HAVE BEEN OFFERED AN INCENTIVE TO PLAY IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS AT QIncentiveHow)

QIncentiveImpact. The following are a series of statements which relate to gambling incentives. Please indicate how much you agree or disagree with each one.

  1. strongly agree
  2. slightly agree
  3. either agree or disagree
  4. lightly disagree
  5. strongly disagree
  6. don’t Know

Footnotes

1Please see base sizes beneath respective charts for details on the exact base sizes for the different questions asked.

2 Weighting is derived from The Publishers Audience Measurement Company (PAMCO) data based on a face-to-face random probability sample.