UKGC Study: 76% of Brits Watched TV Betting Ads in 2020

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According to the data published by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), three-quarters of Britons watched betting advertisements on TV. At the same time, 34% of the population admitted to being influenced by advertising in 2020.

Based on a survey that included over 6,000 people, the UKGC concluded that free-bet opportunities were the third most commonly cited driving factor behind users taking up gambling, following traditional advertising and social media ads.

The participants were interviewed in March, June, September, and December 2020, during national or local lockdowns to investigate the prevalence of advertising influence during the COVID-19 health crisis.

To help the UKGC gain insight into the population’s awareness of gambling-related media and the cumulative impact of all types of advertising campaigns on consumers, survey respondents were asked about sponsorships and advertisements. Overall, 85% of participants said they had seen either gambling ads or sponsorships – a slight decline from 87% in 2019.

According to the report, gambling adverts were most commonly seen on television (76%) – an unsurprising result, as about two-thirds of respondents were watching more TV during the pandemic in comparison with previous years. The second most common type of advertising was gambling sponsorships on television, radio, or podcasts, accounting for 67%.

The research also revealed that the third most frequently seen form of exposure was through gambling-sponsored sporting goods, including football jerseys, as mentioned by 60% of participants.

Within the report titled “Understanding How Consumers Engaged With Gambling Advertising in 2020,” the UKGC combined all advertising types into three categories – online, traditional, and sponsorship. Traditional advertising turned out to be the most prominent, followed by sponsorships, with online advertising in the last place.

The survey results came as the UK government continues its revision of the 2005 Gambling Act, with betting advertising and marketing playing a central role in the debate. Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, has already made the decision to ban all gambling ads from the city’s underground network. Furthermore, a ban on sponsorship arrangements between professional sports teams and sports betting operators has already been identified as another highly likely outcome.

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