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6 July 2021
How can the gambling industry overcome online marketing limitations?
Unsplash © Ellen Qin

How can the gambling industry overcome online marketing limitations?

The gambling industry has made big moves to support its customer base with measures to help prevent gambling becoming problematic. But with huge limitations on marketing and advertising for such websites, the regulations make it difficult to create a new community of customers.

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) states that “Gambling ads must not portray, condone or encourage behaviour that could lead to financial, social or emotional harm. This includes encouraging consumers to continue gambling after a loss, implying that consumers can excel in poker without previous experience, and emphasising the buzz consumers may feel while gambling.”

Many websites such as Lottoland support a healthy approach to gambling. Lottoland offers people in Britain the chance to bet on a wide range of international lotteries. Customers bet on the outcome of the official draw based on exactly the same prizes as the official lottery. 

Being licensed in the UK means that Lottoland has to abide by a number of strictly controlled rules, including those which relate to the security of everyone who uses Lottoland.

The platform itself is regulated by the Gibraltar Gambling Commission and the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, and it is licensed by the Irish National Excise Licence Office. There is very strict scrutiny to ensure the safe processing of customer and payment data as part of its licensing conditions.

Social media hurdles

The popularity of social media and video-sharing platforms make them an obvious media channel for marketers looking to reach particular audiences – but the gambling industry is hugely restricted in this realm.

Age-restricted marketing communications cannot be targeted at the protected age category – in this case, under 18-year-olds – “through the selection of media or the context in which they appear”, according to the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP). 

In one-to-many media – when a single source provides information to multiple receivers, such as a TV ad on a news broadcast or a magazine  CAP’s requires marketers to apply a placement restriction if more than 25% of the medium’s audience is in the protected age category. 

The rules have three key implications for different approaches to ad placement: no age-restricted ads should appear in or around media obviously directed at the protected age category; where marketing communications are directed at audiences based on data held by the marketer, media platform and/or other third party, targeting measures must be utilised to prevent the likelihood of those in the relevant protected age category from receiving them; and in one-to-many media, marketers must not place ads where children and young people are likely to make up more than 25% of the audience.

What does this mean for age restricted industries?

Restrictions on gambling content and advertising on social media are there to prevent an increase in problem gambling, but what about reaching those who enjoy casual gambling as a hobby? Gambling businesses can increase online awareness of their operation with:

  • Facebook advertising, which can be permitted with written consent
  • Google Ads
  • Creating a unique, shareable personality for your business via social media
  • Collaboration with a charity 

Remember, the main messaging on social media should be not only about free games or the potential perks of gambling: the goal should be to create awareness of your brand as a fun entertainment source.

Maddyness, media partner of Lottoland