Picking an online betting service: What are crucial factors for the consumer?

Oliver RoweDirector of Reputation Research
April 19, 2021, 7:02 PM UTC

New YouGov data reveals what factors gamblers think are most important when picking which online betting service to use. 

YouGov’s Global Gambling Profiles, a new multi-market tool that captures attitudinal and behavioural data among the world’s gambling population, shows about two in five gamblers in the United Kingdom (39%) say ease-of-use of the app or website is important when choosing which platform to use to place a bet. We define gamblers as those who have placed a bet in the last 30 days, either online and in-person. 

 Nearly half of this cohort of UK’s gamblers are logging on via an app (33%) or on their mobile device using a website (12%). These combined figures dwarf the number of those gambling online via their computer or laptop using a website (19%). Further data shows just 8% use a tablet, either to use an app or their browser. A quarter (25%) of this group say they never place a bet online. This data really demonstrates the importance not just of mobile-focused technologies but also of mobile-focused marketing in the sector. 

In the sports gambling world, in-play or prop bets have increased in popularity. Our data suggests 8% of the gambling population in the UK has placed an in-play bet in the last month, with those aged 18-34 more than twice as likely to have done so (17%). With that, the user experience of an app or website is key to growing a loyal group or repeat users. The easier it is to tap open an app and place a bet in seconds, the more likely the user will be to do it again. 

Good user experience is also important in attracting those new to gambling. Eliminating confusion around odds, providing good navigation, and clearly explaining the types of bets on offer will likely help eliminate barriers for new users. 

Aside from how easy the app or website is to use, the UK’s gamblers are looking for services with the best odds (28%) and the best promotions (18%).  

In our research, we presented several other factors to respondents, including that the service has a broad selection of betting types (12%) and a good selection of matches or events (11%). Younger gamblers aged 18-34 are more likely to list these as factors compared with the wider gambling population (18% and 17% respectively). 

Notably, 14% say they use specific online betting sites out of habit because it is the one they know best, suggesting brands offering an effortless gambling journey will often be rewarded with customer loyalty. 

Other factors listed were that the website/app is fun (14%), that the brand cares most about customer wellbeing (4%), or that it has live dealing (2%). 

How do UK’s gamblers compare with those in the United States? American gamblers are notably less likely to say a service's usability is factored into their decision to choose a service (25% in US versus 39% in the UK). But gamblers stateside care more about selection. Nearly one in five (19%) list selection of matches and events as an important factor when choosing a service, and 15% list selection of betting types. Americans are also three times as likely as Brits to take into account how a service cares about its customers wellbeing (4% vs. 12%). 

Understanding the consumer journey of gamblers is crucial for online operators to be successful in this increasingly competitive landscape.