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Background and aims

Despite recent growth in sports betting advertising, minimal research has examined the influence of different advertising message attributes on betting attitudes and behaviors. This study aimed to identify which attributes of sports betting advertisements most engage attention, interest, desire and likelihood of betting among non-problem, low-risk, moderate-risk, and problem gamblers.

Methods

A novel approach utilizing an experimental design incorporating conjoint analysis examined the effects of: three message formats (commentary, on-screen display, and studio crossover); four appeals (neutral, jovial, ease of placing the bet, and sense of urgency); three types of presenters (match presenter, sports betting operator, and attractive non-expert female presenter); and four bet types (traditional, exotic key event, risk-free, and micro-bet). A professional film company using paid actors produced 20 mock television advertisements simulating typical gambling messages based on the conjoint approach. These were embedded into an online survey of 611 Australian adults.

Results

The most attention-grabbing attributes were type of presenter and type of bet. The attractive non-expert female presenter gained more attention from all gambler groups than other presenters. The type of bet was most persuasive in converting attention into likely betting among all gambler groups, with the risk-free bet being much more persuasive than other bet types. Problem gamblers were distinct by their greater attraction to in-play micro-bets.

Discussion and conclusion

Given the potential for incentivized bets offering financial inducements and for in-play micro-bets to undermine harm minimization and consumer protection, regulators and wagering operators should reconsider whether these bet types are consistent with their responsible gambling objectives.

Open access
Authors: Nerilee Hing, Alex M. T. Russell, En Li and Peter Vitartas

Background and aims

Marketing inducements for addictive products, such as wagering, can prompt impulse purchasing by triggering consumption reminders, urges, and cravings. Wagering inducements incentivize betting by providing bonus bets, money-back guarantees, deposits into betting accounts, and discounts. Their promotion during sporting events, push marketing efforts directed at consumers, and ease of uptake at the point-of-sale, may trigger betting on impulse. This study examined whether the uptake of wagering inducements predicted impulse betting on sport.

Methods

Australian sports bettors (N = 1,813) completed an online survey measuring their proportion of planned bets, impulse bets before match commencement, and impulse bets during play; frequency of using wagering inducements; and several psychological, behavioral, and demographic variables.

Results

More frequent users of wagering inducements had a greater tendency to place impulse in-play bets, which were also predicted by problem gambling, higher buying impulsiveness, higher frequency of watching sports, younger age, and higher educational status. Sports bettors with a greater tendency to place impulse bets before match commencement also tended to have higher buying impulsiveness and to be younger, but they used inducements less frequently, and tended to be female, less-educated and non-problem, moderate risk, or problem gamblers.

Discussion and conclusions

Uptake of wagering inducements appeared to be particularly effective in stimulating impulse in-play betting among problem gamblers and frequent sports viewers. These results suggest that a more cautious approach to the regulation of both in-play bets and wagering inducements may be required to better protect young adults from gambling problems and harm.

Open access