The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) released Tuesday new data analyzing consumers’ experiences of receiving free bets and bonus offers from gambling companies, including their attitudes towards them and the impact they have on behavior.
Via a quarterly online tracker survey conducted by Yonder Consulting in June 2021 , the regulator learned that over two thirds of gamblers had received some form of incentive in the last 12 months, with the most common being free bets/spins and sign up offers, and the most common way of receiving them being through email (47%).
Among those gamblers, almost three quarters had received them for online betting (73%), with other online activities such as slots (39%), bingo (37%) and casino (30%) being most frequently incentivized after that. On average, across all activities, respondents reported receiving seven incentives to gamble within the last seven days, and most respondents (between 84-88%) report receiving an incentive at least once a month. The activities which consumers received the highest quantity of incentives for were online slots, online casino and the National Lottery.
In addition, most respondents felt that their gambling is not influenced by receiving incentives (61%), but 31% of respondents agreed that receiving free bets/bonus offers encouraged them to gamble more than they wanted to. Incentives appeared to be liked and disliked by consumers in equal proportions, with 39% agreeing and 41% disagreeing with the statement ‘I like receiving free bets/bonus offers to gamble’. Almost half of consumers (47%) feel they receive too many incentives to gamble, and 48% agree that they would prefer not to receive them.
As for problem gamblers, they were by far most likely to report receiving incentives to gamble daily (35%). The data suggests that they generally like receiving free bets and bonus offers, with 62% agreeing. Nevertheless, they were most likely to agree that incentives encourage them to gamble more than they want to (77%), and were least likely to agree that incentives don’t change the amount they gamble (45%).
Those in younger age groups (aged 18-44) appear to follow a somewhat similar pattern. They are more likely to agree that they like receiving free bets/bonus offers compared to those aged 45+. Those aged 25-34 are most likely —compared to other age groups— to agree that free bets/bonus offers encourage them to gamble more than they want to (46%), shortly followed by 18-24 year olds and 35-44 year olds (both 39%).