Exploring Consumer Journeys Using Gambling Promotional Offers and Incentives
The Gambling Commission’s research into consumer interactions with online promotional offers and incentives.
BIRMINGHAM, U.K. (November 24, 2023) — This release contains finding from new research exploring consumers’ use of promotional offers and incentives, and the impact that they have on consumer journeys. The work has been conducted by Yonder as part of our Consumer Voice research programme, and supports evidence theme 4 – the impact of operator practices.
The research was designed to explore three core areas:
- how often and in what way marketing and bonus offers are presented by operators to consumers
- how well consumers understand the offers that they engage with, and how this impacts their use of offers
- whether offers are facilitating the movement of consumers across different products and brands, or driving consumer engagement with ‘riskier’ products.
Both quantitative and qualitative approaches were used, starting with a quantitative survey between 27 June and 3 July 2023, followed by a qualitative phase comprised of a three-day online community running between 31 August to 1 September 2023, and accompanying triads (interview groups of three respondents) between 11 to 15 September 2023.
Consumers are likely to be exposed to promotional offers on a frequent and recurring basis, with nine in ten of our quantitative respondents having received an offer in the last four weeks. 76 percent of respondents who received an offer went on to use the offer, with variation by offer type.
Free spins and bets are most frequently received and used, with free spins 10 times more likely to be used than any other type of offer.
Promotional offers are highly valued features within gambling, felt to be “on the gambler’s side”. Consumers liken using offers to “finding the best deal” as they would in other commercial sectors, and recognised that operators are attempting to win their custom within a highly competitive market. Consumers feel valued through receiving promotional offers and can feel as though the offers facilitate safer gambling practices by allowing prolonged gambling periods whilst staking less of their own money.
Our qualitative respondents contested the view that their use of offers could expose them to greater risk of gambling related harm. However, the effects of using promotional offers on their subsequent gambling did suggest there is some potential for heightened risk, which consumers may fail to recognise.
The research identifies a number of behaviours associated with using promotional offers that may demonstrate risk of harm, including:
- the urgency to meet wagering requirements within an allotted time leading to longer gambling sessions
- reinvesting wins from promotional offers into placing more bets, rather than cashing out
- using offers to continue gambling beyond consumers’ usual stopping point
- placing riskier bets that consumers may not have otherwise considered
- gambling in a way that is outside of a consumers’ usual pattern or routine (for example, at different times of day where the perceived likelihood of winning is greater).
The quantitative findings show that respondents tended to take part in multiple types of gambling, and that promoting offers across different gambling activities may be exposing consumers to new gambling products they would otherwise not have considered using (referred to as secondary gambling type). Consumers appeared emotionally disconnected from their secondary gambling types: often lacking enjoyment, understanding and control in the gambling they were participating in through cross-sold offers.