In the context of increased marketing activity associated with the expansion of the sports and race betting (wagering) industry, the study aimed to explore the impact of this marketing on gambling behaviour and intention among Australians, particularly on specific population subgroups: regular bettors, non-regular bettors, problem gamblers and adolescents.
Key research questions were:
- Does exposure to wagering marketing encourage gambling intention and behaviour?
- If so, in what way does marketing impact upon target audiences?
- Does such marketing create a relationship with gambling?
- Does such marketing encourage gambling on other activities?
- Does such marketing impact particularly upon vulnerable groups such as adolescents and at risk gamblers?
To address these research questions, several iterative research elements were conducted:
- A literature review was conducted drawing on Australian and international sources. It provided context for the study by presenting an overview of wagering in Australia and of the use of advertising and promotions for sports betting and racing. Drawing on empirical studies, the review also assessed existing evidence for the influence of gambling advertising and marketing on youth gambling, adult gambling and problem gambling.
- An environmental scan which examined recent increases in sports betting marketing. This scan included a case study of six wagering companies, focusing on their business growth and marketing activity. It also included a media monitoring component which analysed advertising lists for sports betting companies, tracked advertising and monitored social media. In addition, live and televised sporting and racing events were observed to quantify marketing activity across different codes. Content analysis of 24 examples of marketing (from the six case study companies) documented techniques employed in such marketing.
- A qualitative study involving 10 focus groups with different research audiences. This element explored audience perception of wagering marketing, and the way in which such marketing impacts upon gambling intention and behaviour.
- An online survey of 3,200 respondents from six different research segments. This element was informed by the qualitative study, and aimed to measure attitudes to, and impact of, wagering marketing.