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How British gambling operators are using Twitter

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How British gambling operators and their affiliates are using Twitter was the subject of two reports this year. One study had looked at the Twitter accounts of seven leading UK biggest gambling brands, finding that each was tweeting between 89 and 202 times a day. As the report’s authors say, gambling companies’ use of Twitter gives them huge reach, further enhanced through liking, replying and retweeting. The brands’ followers could potentially be receiving hundreds of messages per day, a ‘constant stream of content’, particularly problematic for those wishing to stop or reduce their gambling. Not surprisingly, an analysis of the emotional content of messages showed it to be overwhelmingly positive about the gambling being offered, with themes of anticipation, joy and trust predominating.

The other study included, in addition, the use of Twitter by the equally Twitter-active ‘gambling affiliates’. These are firms, such as Footy Accumulators and My Racing Tips, that offer sports news and betting tips, but which also provide direct links to place bets or sign up to particular bookmakers. They are payed for the business they bring in for gambling companies. Their tweets, compared to those of the gambling operators, contained less sports and humorous content but more direct advertising and betting assistance. Like the first study, sparse reference was found in the tweets to responsible or safer gambling.

Both studies examined thousands of tweets sent in a period during summer 2018 when the football World Cup was on. But their conclusions support those of earlier research from Australia and are likely to be generalisable to other time periods.

Bradley A & James R, International Gambling Studies 2019, 19(3), 451-70.

Houghton et al., International Gambling Studies 2019, 19(2), 312-26.

 

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