Monday, 25 July 2016

Gambling – a risky business? Adults at risk and gambling project

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to post an update about the Adults at risk and gambling project that I'm working on at King's College London.

Last week, myself and Caroline Norrie wrote a blog post which provides an introduction to gambling in the UK and also more information about the scope of our project.  You can read the blog post via this link: Gambling – a risky business? We would be really interested to hear your thoughts on this project.

Thanks,

Stephanie


Monday, 13 June 2016

New publications!

Hello everyone,

Just wanted to let you know about two articles which have been recently published:

Bramley, S., Dibben, N., & Rowe, R (2016).  The utilisation of music by casino managers: An interview study.  Journal of Gambling Studies.  Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s10899-016-9604-z. 

Bramley, S. Dibben, N.J. & Rowe, R. (2016).  Investigating the influence of music tempo on arousal and behaviour in laboratory virtual roulette.  Psychology of Music. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/0305735616632897.  


Both studies were conducted as part of my PhD research.

Happy reading!

Stephanie 

New job and new research project...at King's College London

Hello everyone,

I'm very pleased to share some exciting news with you all....

In May 2016 I was appointed as a Research Associate at the Social Care Workforce Research Unit at King's College London.  At King's I will be working on a project about "Adults at risk and gambling". More details to follow soon, in the meantime you can read all about the research that is carried out at the Social Care Workforce Research Unit  and check out my profile.

Best wishes,

Stephanie

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Evidence from Facebook - The marketing of betting during the 2015 Rugby World Cup

Dear Reader,

I hope that you found my last post about the marketing of the 2015 Rugby World Cup via YouTube interesting.  In this post, I’ll present my interim findings following my analysis of content uploaded to Facebook.  The data presented reflects content uploaded between the first match of the tournament (England v Fiji on Friday 18th September) and the conclusion of the Pool Stage (11th October 2015).

Eleven of the 12 gambling companies posted to their Facebook page (see Table 1).  In total 46 posts which related to the 2015 Rugby World Cup were made to Facebook, with Ladbrokes making the most posts. 

User engagement with Facebook posts
Paddy Power had the highest number of ‘likes’ for its Facebook page, the highest number of views and the highest total number of ‘likes’ for its Rugby related posts. 

Table 1: User engagement with Facebook


Ladbrokes
William Hill
Betfair
BetVictor
Paddy Power
Bet365
Stan James
Bwin
Betfred
Coral
888 Sport
Page likes
344,345
504,958
498,666
12,229
1,426,256
392,590
46,296
693,414
155,512
269,239
14,475
Posts
11
6
6
6
5
3
3
2
2
1
1
Total no. of  post likes
408
343
2,486
5
17,664
1,188
23
798
4
58
11
Total no. of  views (for posts which include video/audio)
19,737
-
138,626
-
662,660
-
Information not provided
-
791
6,700
2,100
Total no. of posts that contain video and Text
6
0
4
0
3
0
1
0
0
1
1
Total no. of posts that contain picture and Text
3
6
2
6
0
2
3
2
0
0
0
Total no. of posts that contain audio and Text
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
Total no. of posts that contain pictures only
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Total no. of posts that contain text only
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0

Using text accompanied by a picture was the most popular way that the gambling companies communicated with its audience.  Posts which comprised video and audio were often the same as content that had also been uploaded to YouTube (e.g. Ladbrokes; Betfred; Paddy Power; Betfair).    

Creative strategies employed within Facebook posts

The most popular creative strategy used within Facebook posts was game statistics/news/form information, followed by wagering information, fan engagement, comedy/parody and history/nostalgia. 

Table 2: Facebook Creative Strategy


Ladbrokes
William Hill
Betfair
BetVictor
Paddy Power
Bet365
Stan James
Bwin
Betfred
Coral
888 Sport
Totals
Game statistics/news/form information
4
11
0
1
0
2
1
2
0
0
0
21
Wagering information
1
0
3
7
2
0
2
0
3
0
0
18
Fan engagement
1
0
2
0
0
3
2
1
3
0
0
12
Comedy/parody
3
0
1
0
4
0
0
0
0
1
0
9
History/nostalgia
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
2

The main use of game statistics/news/form information was to communicate match results to the audience.  Wagering information posts were classified into five categories: predictions, prompt to bet, odds, competition and to promote special offers.  Predictions were often made by ex-rugby players (n=6; Betfred and Betfair), however Paddy Power used the ‘American Dentist’ parody (n=2) as noted within my last post concerning YouTube content.  Prompts to bet included posting links to the gambling company’s website (n=5 BetVictor).  Stan James and BetVictor included odds within some of the Facebook posts.  Two of BetVictor’s posts contained promotional offers - “Bet £20 & get £5 to bet in-play!”; “Place an in-running bet of £5 or more on any 3-way handicap and we’ll give you £5 to use on our Rugby Star slot!”  Competitions were also run which offered customers the chance to win a free £10 bet by guessing the time of the first try scored during the Samoa v Scotland match (Stan James) and to get a free “liftwithladbrokes” by tweeting what bet the person was going to place on the Ireland v France match (Ladbrokes).  The third most popular creative strategy was fan engagement.  Six gambling companies encouraged fans to engage with Facebook posts.  Questions such as “What are your predictions?” (Betfred); “What was your #PuntOfTheWeek?” (Betfair) and statements were posed “Rate [Ireland’s] chances of World Cup glory out of 5” which encouraged the audience to actively participate by commenting on the post or casting votes.        

Three gambling companies included Twitter hashtags within some of their Facebook posts.  The hashtags referred to countries participating in the Rugby World Cup (e.g. #Eng), the competition itself (i.e. #RWC2015), specific matches (e.g. #WalesVsEngland) or were seemingly created specifically by the gambling companies to promote an gambling app (i.e. #Instabet – BetVictor), a promotion (i.e. #liftwithLadbrokes – Ladbrokes; #PuntOfTheWeek – Betfair) or other content produced for the Rugby World Cup (i.e. #realballs – Ladbrokes). 

Responsible gambling messages within Facebook posts
None of the Facebook posts contained a responsible gambling message. 
In some instances responsible gambling information could be obtained by audiences because the Facebook post contained a video.  All of betfair's videos that were uploaded to Facebook contained a responsible gambling message, which appeared at the end of each video and comprised the phrases "Please gamble responsibly", "18+" and the website "www.gambleaware.co.uk".  The videos uploaded by Betfred or Paddy Power did not contain a responsible gambling message.  In addition the videos uploaded by Coral, 888sport, Stan James and Ladbrokes did not contain a responsible gambling message, however, the content of such videos did not directly promote gambling (i.e. they did not contain predictions).  The videos uploaded by 888sport and Stan James were of the Haka performed by the New Zealand team, the video uploaded by Coral was a short compendium of tackles and the Ladbrokes videos were humorous as a former rugby player and a former footballer were taking part in challenges. 
Responsible gambling information could also be obtained by audiences in instances where the Facebook post contained a link to the gambling company’s website.  However information concerning responsible gambling was typically situated at the end of the page.  For example, links included within BetVictor’s posts directed the audience to their gambling app or website, which also contained responsible gambling information.  Such information comprised the logo for Gamcare, the Gambling Commission or the web address for Gamble Aware.  Visitors could also access information provided by the gambling company itself via clicking on a link, which was similarly located at the bottom of the page.  Therefore the onus was on the visitor to click onto the links to obtain further information about responsible gambling. 
 
Conclusions
Facebook is the biggest social networks; figures suggest that it has over 1.4bn monthly active users (http://www.statista.com/statistics/264810/number-of-monthly-active-facebook-users-worldwide/).  Analysis of posts relating to the Rugby World Cup suggests that gambling companies often use Facebook to communicate game statistics, news and form information as the competition progresses.  Gambling companies also use Facebook to communicate wagering information in the form of predictions, prompts to bet, odds, competitions and special offers.  Facebook’s functionality allows gambling companies to include pictures, videos, links to websites or apps and Twitter hashtags within posts, meaning that the audience can easily view and engage with such information.  Therefore links are created between promotional material posted to Facebook and the 2015 Rugby World Cup.  One possible consequence of fan engagement, which needs further research, is whether vulnerable groups or young people might be exposed to gambling-related content as a result of their Facebook friends liking, sharing and commenting on content posted by gambling companies.    
                As noted in my previous post (http://stephbramleyphdblog.blogspot.com/2015/10/evidence-from-youtube-2015-rugby-world.html), the use of videos that are humorous or nostalgic may not be clearly understood or distinguished by the audience as promotions.  Such posts are promoting gambling companies indirectly, through visual information (e.g. logos or company names being present within the videos) and therefore this raises the issue of whether they are forms of advertising.  Furthermore the lack of comprehensive responsible gambling messages within the Facebook posts once again raises issues concerning gambling companies’ obligations to its audience in terms of promoting responsible gambling via social media. 

Regards,


Stephanie 

Contributors