Wardle H, Critchlow N, Brown A, Donnachie C, Kolesnikov A & Hunt K (2022) The association between gambling marketing and unplanned gambling spend: Synthesised findings from two online cross-sectional surveys. Addictive Behaviors, 135, Art. No.: 107440. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2022.107440
Background: In 2020, the British Government initiated a review about whether to introduce stricter controls on gambling marketing. We examine: (i) what proportion of regular sports bettors and emergent adult gamblers report that marketing has prompted unplanned spend; and (ii) what factors are associated with reporting that marketing had prompted unplanned spend.
Methods: Data are from two British non-probability online surveys with: (i) emerging adults (16–24 years; n = 3,549; July/August 2019) and (ii) regular sports bettors (18+; n = 3,195; November 2020). Among current gamblers, logistic regressions examined whether reporting that gambling marketing had prompted unplanned spend (vs never) was associated with past-month marketing awareness, past-month receipt of direct marketing (e.g., e-mails), following gambling brands on social media, and problem gambling classification.
Results: Almost a third of current gamblers reported that marketing had prompted unplanned gambling spend (sports bettors: 31.2 %; emerging adults: 29.5 %). Escalated severity of problem gambling was associated with reporting that marketing had prompted unplanned spend in both samples, in particular those experiencing gambling problems compared to those experiencing no problems (sports bettors: ORAdj = 17.01, 95 % CI: 10.61–27.27; emerging adults: ORAdj = 11.67, 95 % CI: 6.43–21.12). Receipt of least one form of direct marketing in the past month and following a gambling brand on at least one social media platform was also associated unplanned spend among sports bettors and emerging adults.
Conclusion: Among emerging adults and regular sports bettors, increased severity of gambling problems, receiving direct marketing, and following gambling brands on social media are associated with reporting that marketing has prompted unplanned spend.
Gambling; Advertising; Marketing; Emerging adults; Sports bettors; Surveys; Quantitative analysis
Addictive Behaviors: Volume 135