Online gambling firms spend over £1.5bn on marketing since 2015

Problem-gambling charity GambleAware has published new data showing that gambling companies have increased their marketing spend by 56% since 2014.

Laptop with marketing image

Gambling companies are spending over 80% of their marketing budgets on online ads. © Pexels.

The report, undertaken by Regulus Partners using data from accounts of publicly listed operators and other offshore data from private companies, found that operators have spent £1.5bn on marketing efforts in the three years since 2014.

Most of that is being spent on online advertising, with direct and indirect online ads accounting for 80% of all marketing costs. Almost half of the total spend (£747m) was attributed to direct online marketing efforts.

That shift to online advertising has resulted in traditional TV marketing shrinking, with operators shelling out just £234m, a 15% share of the total spend.

Affiliate advertisers – websites that generate traffic for bookmakers – accounted for one fifth of the total spend (£301m).

Rounding off the figure was social media advertising, with spending tripling to £149m in the last three years, and sponsorship, with the figure doubling since 2014.

Speaking about the findings of the report, Marc Etches, CEO of GambleAware, said:

The Regulus analysis shows that much more attention needs to be payed to the extent of gambling-related marketing online, and that internet companies and social media platforms must share in the responsibility to protect children, and to generally raise awareness of the nature of gambling, associated risks of harm, and where to go for help and advice if it is needed. Marc Etches, GambleAware CEO

Advertising spend climbs despite political pressure

GambleAware hopes to shine a light on the astronomical figures being spent by operators on advertising and other marketing efforts.

While gambing adverts have been the souce of significant debate over the last year, with policy suggestions leaning towards restricting or even banning some ads, that debate has mostly revolved around TV advertising.

However, as this report shows, bookmakers are advertising significantly more online than on TV and policy makers may need to adjust their thinking.

You can read the report in full at GambleAware’s website.

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