The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) has issued new standards for gambling advertising in February 2018, following on from the CMA’s investigation into the promotional deals offered by gambling firms. As gambling operators adjust to the new requirements, the betting shop could have a new role to play in e-gaming marketing.

GBGC has said previously that operators with chains of betting shops like William Hill and Ladbrokes-Coral throughout the UK will have an advantage to sell internet services to gamblers via betting over those which had no high-street presence.

One key components of e-gaming marketing has been affiliates.  But this form of customer acquisition has come under pressure since the UK’s Gambling Commission stated that gambling operators must be responsible for the activities of their affiliates. If an affiliate transgresses the advertising code then the operator is held responsible and can be fined. The result is that e-gaming companies are now starting to take more control of affiliate marketing and in some cases curtail it. 

With ever closer scrutiny from the Gambling Commission, and the none stop media campaigns over gambling advertising, the e-gaming sector has to re-think how it attracts new customers.

Marketing is a key requisite for a successful internet gambling company and if that segment of the business is restricted then two things are inevitable.   More attention will be given to retention of existing customers rather than advertising to attract new ones. It is 7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current customer. A multiple that is likely to increase with advertising restrictions.

In the future, a high street presence through the traditional betting shop could be one way forward.  The development of the omni-channel service along with more betting choices for consumers through on-site betting terminals could revitalise a business that has been in decline for many years.

All bets would be off, however, if the FOBT review came down hard on stakes and prizes.

By Warwick Bartlett