Man online gambling on his phone

Consumer experiences and attitudes to free bets and bonuses

Prevalence and impact of free bets and bonus offers (‘incentives’) on gambling behaviour

In June 2021, Yonder surveyed c.8,000 adults aged 18+ online on behalf of the Gambling Commission, to learn about the prevalence of free bets and bonus offers (‘incentives’), and the impact on gambling behaviour. The questions asked gamblers to recall the types of incentives received, as well as the frequency and volume with which they were received.

  • Around two-thirds had received an incentive in the last 12 months, with free bets/spins being the most common form of an incentive received by six-in-ten and more than half receiving sign up offers.
  • Incentives were mostly received via email (47%) and most were likely to report receiving them for online betting activities (73%), with other online activities such as slots (39%), bingo (37%) and casino (30%) being most frequently incentivized after that.
  • On average, across all activities, respondents reported receiving seven incentives to gamble within the last seven days. The activities which consumers received the highest quantity of incentives for were online slots, online casino and the National Lottery.
  • Most respondents felt that their gambling was not influenced by receiving incentives (61%). However, 31% of respondents agreed that receiving free bets or bonus offers encouraged them to gamble more than they wanted to.
  • Almost half of consumers (47%) feel they receive too many incentives to gamble, and 48% agree that they would prefer not to receive them.
  • With regard to problem gamblers, the data suggests that they generally like receiving free bets and bonus offers, with 62% agreeing. Nevertheless, they were most likely to agree that incentives encourage them to gamble more than they want to (77%), and were least likely to agree that incentives don’t change the amount they gamble (45%). Problem gamblers were by far most likely to report receiving incentives to gamble daily (35%). 
  • Those in younger age groups (aged 18-44) appear to follow a somewhat similar pattern. They are more likely to agree that they like receiving free bets/bonus offers compared to those aged 45+. Those aged 25-34 are most likely (compared to other age groups) to agree that free bets/bonus offers encourage them to gamble more than they want to (46%), shortly followed by 18-24 year olds and 35-44 year olds (both 39%).
  • Click here for full details on the Gambling Commission website.