Leading Casino Brands Put Community Back In Gambling Using Social Media
Gambling initially started out as a social event, which would involve players visiting their local casino or bingo hall with friends. Over time, gambling has moved online, and the social aspect has dwindled leading to addiction and more serious regulations for operators in the UK as a whole.
With the UKGC clamping down on regulators, some of the big brands are using social media to give their brand a boost and connect with their players. This is helping to put the community spirit back in gambling. These operators have a social responsibility and social media is giving them a channel to take this responsibility on board.
Here, we are going to look at the UKGC, gambling addictions in the UK and some of the brands engaging with their players across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
According to a survey carried out by the UK Gambling Commission, 0.7% of UK gamblers were considered to have a problem. Interestingly, 0.2% of women were classed as problem gamblers with 1.2% of male players falling into this category. The group most at risk are males aged between 25 and 34 which is something that needs to be discussed.
Often, gambling addictions can start with regular exposure to gambling activities, trauma or a family history of addiction. When the social element of gambling is removed, as is often the case with online gambling sites, players can fall into the trap of hiding their addition. There is no need to be public about it by visiting your local casino as you can do it all from your phone and in private. This causes serious problems and needs to be rectified.
The UK Gambling Commission take their role very seriously and so stats like this tend to call for certain reforms. The UKGC states that any operators should protect ‘vulnerable persons’ from ‘harm or exploitation from gambling’. The latest updates in their regulations have meant that many operators have been forced to rethink their marketing strategies in favour of those which protect players rather than encourage them to gamble more.
Recently, the UKGC has called for gambling operator Platinum Gaming to pay a £1.6m fine for neglecting their social responsibility. This is due to a convicted fraudster spending £629,420 in stolen money on the site and breaching anti-money laundering regulations.
Social responsibility is taken very seriously and the UKGC often fine operators for beaching the terms of their licensing agreements. Not only must they seek to find out where money has come from, but they must also encourage responsible gambling at all times.
Responsible gambling tools such as GAMSTOP, deposit limits and self-exclusion are not useful for operators in terms of making a profit, but they are required by law as part of their social responsibility agreement.
Where Does Social Media Come Into This?
Social media is a valuable tool used for many marketing strategies across different industries. Many of the top operators in the UK are using channels like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to talk to their players and encourage them to get involved. There are around 2.38 billion monthly active users on Facebook and 1.56 billion people log onto Facebook every single day on average.
This is an incredible number of people and it goes to show just how much of an impact social media can have on operators and the success of their brands.
Engaging With Players
Brands that are using social media are permitted to do so, as long as they are abiding by the regulations set out by the UKGC. However, those who are using these channels to take on their social responsibility and to engage with players are leading the pack in this industry.
Players love to engage with other players and social media encourages this in every way. When you engage with your players, they become more receptive to your marketing techniques and will be less put off by what you post. Have they asked you a question on your Facebook page? By responding to this, you are showing them that you care about their issue and they tend to trust your brand a lot more.
Using social media as a marketing tool can also put the community back in gambling and encourage players to talk about what they are doing with their friends. Players can meet other people enjoying the same games as them and turn gambling into a more positive experience, reducing the risk of gambling addictions forming.
Who Is Doing It Right?
There are many brands out there right now who are taking a stand against gambling additions and taking on board the responsibility that they have. Recently, some of the leading operators in the UK including Bet365, GVC Holdings, William Hill, Flutter Entertainment and Sky Betting and Gaming have followed up with plans to increase funding for problem gambling.
These brands are committed to raising the voluntary contribution towards funding this issue from 0.1% to 1%. This is an incredible step forward, so we thought we’d look at some of these brands and how they are also taking strides on social media to tackle this.
William Hill is a great example of an operator using social media channels like Facebook to bring the community spirit back to online gambling. The William Hill official Facebook page has over 684,000 likes and they often post engaging content. While some of their content encourages players to enter competitions and play games, they also post content simply to engage players and start a conversation. This has a positive impact and is a great marketing tool for William Hill.
The Sky Bet Facebook page has over 598,000 likes and their content strategy is similar to William Hill. They often post news updates and ask questions to get players involved. They also make an effort to post video content that highlights their responsible gambling tools and often use #WhenTheFunStopsStop in their posts. While they are using social media to promote their brand, they are also taking their social responsibility very seriously.
Gambling used to be focused on community spirit, but sadly this got lost along the way as online gambling increasing in popularity. Social media channels are a vital marketing tool in 2019 and operators need to recognise this and use it wisely. Create engaging content and a community atmosphere on your social channels and you’ll be taking on your social responsibility whilst promoting your brand at the same time.