UK Gambling Industry Dives into the Online Arena
The UK Gambling industry is thriving. 2017 saw close to £1.5 billion in marketing expenditure, advertising a whole host of gambling services from poker to virtual games. But a large part of this spending didn’t happen in traditional avenues. In fact, research by Regulus Partners, an international strategic consulting firm specialized in international gambling and related industries, showed that more than 80% of this spending happened on the internet.
Online gambling has taken a stronghold in the UK. Total marketing expenditure in the online sector has increased by 56% from 2014 and companies have been found spending 5X more online than on television. This data is inclusive of statistics derived from both onshore and offshore private gambling services providers like bingo websites, online sportsbooks, and virtual casinos who are actively serving the UK market.
Of the £1.5 billion spending, direct online marketing accounts for £747 million, almost half the total marketing expenditure. Advertising by affiliates took second place at £301, with spending on social media marketing a distant third at £149 million. Still, combined, this figure overshadows the £234 million spending on television advertising, which is a meagre 15% of the overall marketing expenditure. The only segment of the UK gambling industry that still finds predominant representation on television is the UK lottery, with there being little advertising for it on the internet.
Advertising online has some obvious benefits. Just like any other industry, the UK gambling industry too receives greater attention from its consumers on the more dynamic online platform. Consumer studies in the UK indicate that 59% of the under 16 population in the UK have seen a gambling advertisement online at least once either on their social media timelines or other websites. One in eight 11-16-year-old’s also claim to follow gambling companies on social media, and experts believe this early exposure to the industry may make them 3X more likely to purchase gambling services as adults.
In terms of what players and service providers can expect from the future, experts believe that online marketing will continue to rule the roost. While expenditure on direct marketing and social media marketing will continue to rise, there is fear that spending on affiliate marketing may reduce, given the stringent enforcement of the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority rule of penalizing organizations for their affiliate’s socially irresponsible behavior.
For now, with the industry growing steadily, expenditures on online marketing are set to proportionately increase.