Marketing Tactics

How Marketing Tactics May Change at UK Casinos

The UK gambling industry is growing, and marketing strategies play no small part in its development. The tactics employed by UK casinos to promote their business evolve with the current social, political, economic, and technological influences.

Read on to discover what these are under our present circumstances, the most influential factors, and how the future of marketing tactics in the gambling industry is likely to evolve.

Current marketing strategies in online casinos

With the digitalisation of gambling, publicity and advertising has also spread on the Internet landscape. This type of digital marketing for the UK gambling industry ranges from advertising online casinos on various affiliate websites to communication and involvement in social media:

  1. Many affiliate websites promote online gambling products while also providing UK players technical details on the websites and promotions they showcase. For instance, sites like casinoalpha and others layer their marketing with informational materials, in accordance with UKGC norms.
  2. At the same time, UK online casinos advertise their businesses through general networking platforms such as Facebook, via microblogging on Twitter, or in Instagram and Snapchat content.
  3. Aside from the classic ads inserted on the platforms mentioned above, UK gambling operators use social media to create events that involve the community with their company.
  4. UK gambling operators still use gender as a massive marketing hook. Recent studies found that betting and Poker websites are designed to appeal to a young male population. At the same time, Bingo sites usually focus on young women.
  5. Sports betting is still a massive gambling hook. So, marketing strategies make sure to create an enormous involvement of gambling operators in sports events and competitions worldwide.

Gambling is painted as a leisure activity leading to a state of relaxation and excitement. All marketing strategies carefully frame their messages to create positive emotions such as confidence, enthusiasm, and joy in their audience.

What does not work?

All is well if the audience of these marketing campaigns can self-regulate enough to avoid developing a gambling disorder. However, that is not always the case.

Aggressive marketing strategies have severe effects on vulnerable segments of the population, such as children, addiction-prone individuals, or poor people. Studies performed in the UK show that over-exposure of such influenceable groups to the targeted marketing tactics of today leads to unbalanced gambling habits.

So, the risk of problem gambling is palpable and growing. This is especially true as legalised gambling is spread worldwide, with many countries having a predominantly gambling population—for instance, 74% of the French population gambles. Naturally, the percentage of permanent problem gamblers also increased worldwide from 0.7 to 6.5% of the population.

Some of the most damaging consequences of gambling disorder are:

  • Losing one’s job and financial security;
  • Increased suicide risk;
  • Deteriorated mental health;
  • Loss of connections with friends and family, etc.

Although there is no clear evidence of whether marketing tactics promote the risk of gambling disorder, many people complain of the negative implications of aggressive publicity.

Factors that influence gambling marketing

Factors that influence gambling marketing

Marketing strategies evolve according to many factors. Let’s explore some of the most marked influences, to better understand the developmental principles of gambling advertisement:

Community interests

Anytime an event, an activity or a concept has a broad community outreach (nationwide and/or worldwide), the marketing potential is immense. So, of course, the gambling industry has embraced sports events and competitions.

Sports tend to create powerful emotional reactions in millions of supporters. The fact that online gambling is so focused on sports makes it so that sports betting marketing reaches more people than ever.

The constant association between an intense community event such as a sports competition and gambling has systematically normalised betting.

Technological advancement

Not only have marketing campaigns found a viable outlet on the Internet. The new technologies and devices have enabled the apparition of software developers, games, and websites that are much more complex and engaging than before.

Through technology, gambling can acquire various themes with ease. Online games now target the fans of popular TV shows, teams, and programmes. With the help of superior graphics, they enable gambling to become much more pervasive in society.

Obviously, with the apparition of new technologies, gambling marketing tactics can use many social and cultural interests to appeal to a larger public. This can now be done on laptops, tablets, phones, and any mobile device.

Mental health versus economic benefits

Legislation concerning gambling marketing tactics is a little trickier because it must adapt to how marketing strategies respond to other influencing factors.

For example, the world has turned to more liberal gambling industry regulations in the last 20 years. This is because gambling has become more accessible in most countries, adapting to technology, and appealing to community interests.

However, as this happened, the issue of problem gambling became much more pervasive. So, legislators slowly began to see regulating gambling and related marketing strategies as an ethical or social-responsibility issue.

But regulations could not become too strict because the UK gambling industry continues to increase its revenue, which benefits the government through taxes, employment rates, etc.

At present, the legislation does not restrict social media advertisement as much. Instead, it focuses more on traditional marketing, placing solid restrictions on content. In the UK, legislation is a little more restrictive, as we will see below.

How the UKGC influences marketing tactics at UK casinos

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is the institution that regulates the gambling industry in the UK, including marketing strategies. It aims to protect British gamblers.

So, in recent years, the UKGC has restricted gambling advertisement to prevent the increase in problem gambling percentages. Here are some examples of how it follows this objective:

  1. Gambling marketing materials should not include words that paint a rosy picture of gambling. This measure is meant to prevent consumers from forming an unrealistic idea of what gambling offers.
  2. Websites related to gambling should not be designed in such a way as to be attractive to children. In this way, the UKGC hopes to combat minor gambling.
  3. All online casinos and affiliate sites should promote responsible gambling behaviour. They must offer informative materials, trained staff, or valuable links to organisations that help problem gamblers and Internet control software.
  4. Responsible gambling tools are a must for anyone involved in the UK gambling industry. UK players need to have the possibility to self-exclude from an online casino, take time off, close their account, access their transaction and game histories, etc. Advertisements are supposed to inform the population of such tools and instruct players in using them.

If marketing agents and online gambling platforms/physical casinos do not abide by these or other UKGC regulations, they can suffer severe consequences, including fines, lack of exposure, and revocation of operating licenses.

Tendencies for the future

Tendencies for the future

The UKGC conducts yearly surveys and adapts its regulations to the situation of the UK gambling population. So, marketing tactics are bound to change according to this, as they adapt to their other influencing factors like economy, technology, culture, etc.

Many researchers have concluded that the future of gambling advertisement resides in social marketing. This is a form of marketing that aims to promote a positive change in human behaviour. Marketing tactics will likely involve increasingly more tools of social awareness regarding gambling.

At the same time, the old moral stigma around chance games is probably going to be forgotten entirely, as people will be more and more exposed to this concept.

Thus, instead of the primary purpose of UK marketing tactics being to create a positive image of gambling, they may start to paint the whole, unaltered picture. So, consumers can be informed and empowered to make their own decisions. But this is only one of many possibilities.

About the Author

Dylan Roberge

Dylan Roberge is a San Francisco-based writer and editor with over a decade of experience covering money saving and deal hunting. Before going freelance, he got his start as an editor at Yahoo Finance. These days he writes about mobile, tech gadgets, and lifestyle subjects for a variety of publications.