UKGC Survey: Bonuses and Free Bets Reinforce Gambling
According to a survey conducted by the UKGC, 61 percent of gamblers are not influenced by bonus payments such as free bets or spins. However, 31 percent said that obtaining these kinds of promos “encouraged” them to take more chances than they had planned.
Yonder Consulting, which gathers data from 8,000 British people each year, commissioned the online questionnaire in June of last year. It concentrated on the effect that reward offers, particularly free bets, had on bettors and whether they ended up giving them an additional reason to engage in forms of gambling.
Young gamblers were especially affected, as the survey discovered that 39 percent of 18–24-year-olds who were polled said they were incentivized to gamble more often when provided free wagers. For players aged 25–34, the figure rises to 46 percent.
Two-thirds of those polled, or 65 percent, said they did receive some incentive in the previous 12 months. These betting rewards were mostly delivered via email (47 percent), with text messages coming in second (17 percent ). Finally, 16 percent of those polled received incentives through gambling apps.
Of the 65 percent who said they had received some form of incentive in the previous 12 months, 58 percent said they had received free bets. Fifty-four percent of respondents received sign-up offers, while 41 percent were reminded to gamble with an incentive.
In terms of the most widely accepted gambling activity about which they received incentives, 73 percent of those polled said they did receive a sports betting bonus, followed by 39 percent for online slots and 37 percent for online bingo.
In recent years, the UKGC has been steadfast about protecting players. There has been criticism that the UKGC is overly harsh. However, the commission continues to fine operators who it deems to have crossed the line.
After a 2-year investigation, it approved a $5 million fine to Genesis Global in January. It penalized Rank Digital Gaming and Annexio for social responsibility violations just a few days before fining Genesis.
The operators have been fined a total of $1.8 million, which is far less than Genesis’s fine, but it serves as a reminder to all other providers in the region that the commission will not endure any violations. The commission is also working hard to revise the Gambling Act of 2005. The review has been delayed once more, and it will most likely take place in May of this year.