Gambling Companies Invest GBP 1.2 Billion Annually In Online Advertising

That’s five times more than they spend on television adverts

New financial analysis from gambling industry specialists Regulus Partners has estimated that the total spend by gambling companies on marketing has increased by 56 percent since 2014 and is now around GBP 1.5 billion… and the company says that most of the marketing activity is now focused online, with companies spending five times more online than on television advertising.

Regulus bases its findings on figures derived from audited accounts of the top publicly listed operators and other available financial data for private and offshore companies indicating where gambling companies spent the most money on marketing in 2017, showing:

  • Direct online internet marketing costs at GBP 747 million, 48 percent of total marketing spend;
  • Advertising through marketing affiliates for generating new business – GBP 301 million – 19 percent of total marketing spend but since 2014 exhibiting a growth rate of only 2 percent;
  • TV gambling advertising – GBP 234 million or 13 percent of total marketing spend;
  • Social media – GBP 149 million which has tripled over the past three years and now constitutes 10 percent of total marketing spend;
  • Sponsorships GBP 60 million and double that recorded in 2014;
  • Marketing spend on lotteries reached GBP 88 million in 2017, down GBP 3 million from 2014, with most of marketing spend in this vertical devoted to television (around 50 percent).

Regulus concluded that as much as 80 percent of all gambling marketing in the UK is devoted to the online environment, and notes that despite significant media coverage and debate on the volume of television advertising, its figures illustrate the substantial proportion of marketing budgets that are being spent online.

The company cautions that details of marketing spend are frequently considered to be commercially sensitive and confidential information, and obtaining accurate numbers is difficult.

Commenting on the Regulus study, GambleAware CEO Mark Etches rehashed recent Gambling Commission figures on gambling and youth, noting that children are growing up in a very different world than their parents and are more exposed to gambling and the potential risks of addiction.

He suggested that this underlines the need to treat gambling as a public health issue.

“The Regulus analysis shows that much more attention needs to be paid to the extent of gambling-related marketing online, and I believe 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, the associated risks of harm, and where to go for help,” he said.

See the Regulus Infographic on the study here: https://about.gambleaware.org/media/1853/2018-11-24-rp-ga-gb-marketing-spend-infographic-final.pdf