Ideas & musings about consumer behaviour

Betting websites are punting $22 billion on trust – and are losing

By Jeremy Weinstein, Senior Client Advisor, Global Reviews

Despite the gambling industry broadly being considered untrustworthy, partially due to recent events in the news and its perceived historical links, a 2011 report in the Economist indicated that, on average, every adult Australian loses just under $1300 per year and as a nation we drop $22 billion per year on the punt – nearly five times what we spend on foreign aid.

This time of year is particularly fruitful for betting agencies with the Spring Racing Carnival underway, which is why Global Reviews’ recent Digital Sales Effectiveness (DSE) Benchmark results are particularly interesting. The benchmark highlighted ‘trust’ as a key deficiency in the online strategy of many leading online sports betting agencies. However, the importance of trust cannot be understated, prior to Global Reviews running its DSE Benchmark, it ran a Digital Marketing Effectiveness (DME) study that highlighted a key statistic around trust. Trust was number 10 in the top 10 reasons consumers shortlisted a company, with only 22% of participants responding that trust was important. However, when it came to finally preferring a company, that figure jumps to 3rd on the list with 34% of participants indicating trust was important at the final hurdle.

Furthermore, 34% those who nominated trust as a key issue when making a final preference selected TAB, while 24% selected Sportsbet and only 10% selected Tom Waterhouse – losing 33% of those who could recall the Tom Waterhouse brand. This highlights the effect trust can have on brand selection.

Understanding the importance of trust in the customer journey has led to the DSE Benchmark measuring this ephemeral quality. It does this by trying to understand how companies can build trust with its audience/customers while they are on their site, both from the home page and also prior to making a bet. The elements that help build trust are related to transparency and accessibility and include, is the phone number visible? Are there 3rd party endorsements, such as awards or testimonials? And, is there ‘why choose us’ information? These elements often work subconsciously to help consumers feel comfortable that the company they are dealing with can be trusted.

The sports betting industry does well to provide this information higher up the site, on the homepage for example, with the industry averaging 60% for the subcategory ‘Builds Trust’. However, once the customer is in the process of considering the bets there is little to no information about the company that would increase confidence and further develop trust, this is reflected in the industry average dropping to just 3% for the subcategory ‘Learning About the Company’.

The lack of information the company provides about itself makes it difficult for the average punter to get a sense of how to differentiate the many sports betting providers in the market – it is this content that helps to build trust with the consumer about why this company should be preferred at the very instance they are about to ‘put their money where their mouth is’. By improving the transparency of the business at this crucial juncture and providing additional information about why the company is worthy of taking the bet, approximately 1/3 of the punters will be encouraged to gamble their money on your site.

Last call for bets… no more bets!

Learn more about our Digital Sales Effectiveness Module

To find out more, contact:

Ché Carbis
Senior Commercial Director
T: +61 3 9982 3419
M: +61 411 962 857


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