Statistics and research release
Consumer attitudes towards gambling advertising (2019 research)
Research from 2019 about views on gambling advertising, exploring how gambling advertising influences opinions, motivations and gambling behaviours.
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This release contains findings from research undertaken in 2019 about views on gambling advertising, exploring how gambling advertising influences opinions, motivations and gambling behaviours.
The results show that:
- despite attitudes to gambling being mostly positive and permissive – attitudes towards gambling advertising overall were predominantly negative. The primary issue cited for holding negative perceptions was the sheer volume of advertising
- respondents felt that ‘more serious’ types of gambling should be bound by tighter advertising rules. Online gambling types were felt to require tighter advertising regulation, due to ease of access and a perceived lack of barriers to risky play
- the prevalence of gambling advertising in sport was a complex issue – most felt the volume was excessive, but some felt gambling had a positive impact on sport
- most felt more regulation was needed to limit the amount of gambling advertising young people are exposed to when engaging with sport
- while there has been a shift in responsible industry advertising, with respondents feeling that they have seen more about safer gambling in recent years, they still believe there is scope for improvement.
In 2019, the Gambling Commission commissioned 2CV to undertake research into attitudes towards gambling advertising.
The research consisted of a qualitative methodology (via the 2CV: Momento platform) drawing on responses from 40 participants over a period of 10 days.
Recruitment was focused on players of activities that see the greatest share of advertising spend (10 non-players, 10 National Lottery, other lottery, and bingo players, 10 sports bettors and 10 online slots players). Those classified as at-risk and problem gamblers, according to the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI), were excluded from the sample.
The qualitative nature of the research means that the sample size is relatively small compared to the Commission’s official statistic products. For this reason, the views of respondents in this research may not represent that of the wider population and this should be borne in mind throughout.
Gambling advertising perceptions
The research found that top of mind perceptions of gambling advertising portrayed excitement, humour, convenience and fun. However, attitudes towards gambling advertising in general were mostly negative (45 percent of respondents’ diary entries compared to 20 percent positive) and this tended to be due to either the sheer volume of advertising, or the advert itself.
Respondents also perceived advertising negatively due to the strategic timing and targeting of advertising to encourage play. There was a perception that gambling companies were targeting those most risk of problematic play. Sending timely and targeted nudges to encourage play at all hours was felt to be irresponsible, espcially given the lack of control over whether they are seen by vulnerable audiences.
Gambling advertising in sport
The prevalence of gambling advertisements in sport was viewed as a complex issue. Whilst most felt that the volume was excessive, some felt that it had a positive impact on sport, adding an extra layer of excitement and a valued source of revenue for clubs.
The majority of respondents felt that more regulation was needed to limit the amount of gambling advertising young people are exposed to when engaging with sport.
Gambling advertising on television (TV)
Respondents were most likely to notice gambling advertising on TV. It was perceived by respondents to be the most influential format for gambling advertising, by doing more to influence opinions and also to encourage safer gambling.
Safer gambling advertising
A key finding throughout the research was that, whilst there has been a perceived shift in responsible industry advertising, with respondents feeling that they have seen more about safer gambling in recent years, there is still scope for improvement. For some, the effect of safer gambling messages were diluted due to the sheer volume of ads that people experience.
Data and downloads
We are always keen to hear how these statistics are used and would welcome your views on this publication.