Nearly half of British adults who gamble online (45%) say they’d be likely to place a bet with an online gambling website if they knew that the brand was contributing financially to the research, education and treatment of problem gambling. 61% of the British public think this would be likely to increase public awareness of problem gambling.
The commitment of online gambling brands to supporting initiatives aimed at problem gambling also resonates positively with the British public at large, including those who do not gamble. Three fifths of British adults say that financial contributions from the industry towards research, education and treatment of addicted gamblers would be likely to improve its reputation because of its association with ‘responsible gambling’.
Those are some of the key findings from the new ‘Betting on Digital’ report, released today by digital marketing firm IgnitionOne and polling organisation ComRes. The report looks at the British public’s perception of online gambling, and if their efforts to behave ethically affect the reputation of the industry. ComRes polled over 2,000 members of the British public and interviewed marketers across the sector.
More generally, one in five British adults say they would be likely to place a bet with an online gambling company that they could see demonstrated corporate responsibility. This proportion increases to almost half (45%) specifically among those who currently gamble online.
Alongside charitable investments towards problem gambling, 50% of those who have ever gambled online also say that imposing limitations on spending is an important factor in driving them to use an online gambling website. This is almost as much of a factor as the name of the brand itself, which is important for 46% of those who have ever gambled online.
Simon Haynes, managing director of IgnitionOne, comments that online gambling brands could place a stronger focus on communicating their responsibility efforts in their marketing messages: “Our research shows that consumers do in fact make a connection between the choices they make and the track record of the brands they spend money with. Our report shows that effectively communicating a responsible approach has more sway with the public than we think – and can have a direct impact on not just perception but consumer activity.”
When it comes to advertising as a driver for people to visit online gambling sites, respondents who are current or previous online gamblers equally cited online as much as TV as being an influencing factor in driving them to use a particular site (24% for each of online and TV advertising).
However only one in five of the British public (21%) think advertising for online betting companies in the UK targets the right audience and two thirds (67%) are concerned about the amount of advertising for online betting companies. This highlights that the public perception of online gambling may benefit from more effective and better targeted online marketing strategies.