Morgan Stanley’s London gambling team has commissioned a survey with Alphasights on the UK internet gambling industry. The striking result of the survey is the high level of customer satisfaction with internet gambling services. When asked if they were “very”, or “quite satisfied” with their choice of internet gambling company, most of results were between 80% and 91%. (91%) and Bet 365 (90%), produced the best results with Betfair the lowest at 72%.  However, on perception of best odds Betfair came out top.

Ladbrokes is the best-known betting brand with 66% awareness, Coral was fifth at 62%, just above Paddy Power.  William Hill was second just behind Ladbrokes with 65%.

Summary of findings:
•    42% of people surveyed placed bets in the last 6 months. A 3% decrease from the 2017 survey.
•    Retail brands have the highest brand awareness (Ladbrokes in first place), suggesting the potential for omni-channel.
•    Customer churn shows signs of increasing with an average of 48% of people with active accounts indicating they are likely to close them in the next 6 months. While it is unclear if the intention to close actually leads to account closures, this is markedly higher than the survey in 2017 (39%).  However, the survey was conducted after a prolonged period of poor sporting results for the gambler.
•    Price promotions and bonuses are the key drivers to sign-ups.
•    Of the online-only brands Bet365 ranked the highest at 57%.  GVC’s Foxy Bingo 56%, Betfair 51%, 47%, Skybet 41%.

Source: Morgan Stanley

GBGC’s view

The elevated levels of customer satisfaction, even after a period of sporting results going against the gambler, demonstrate that the internet gambling industry is serving its customers very well, and contrasts with the surveys produced by the Gambling Commission.

Retail brands have the highest customer awareness.  GBGC has discussed this in previous newsletters.  With advertising restrictions being imposed, we predict retail will become more significant.

Bonuses and best odds are still key marketing tools for internet gambling.

Customer churn is increasing and it could be down to one of a number of reasons: confusion over self-exclusion where customers inadvertently exclude; the customer is closing the account after being influenced by all the bad publicity attached to gambling; the customer is fed up of losing and wishes to stop after a bad run of sporting results. The last of these reasons being most likely.

Written by Warwick Bartlett