FIFA World Cup Britains' Sports Bettors are Expected to Bet on the Event

According to a YouGov Direct survey conducted on September 5, 50% of sports bettors in the United Kingdom are “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to bet on the Men’s FIFA World Cup later this year.

The share is up eight percentage points since late July, and it could rise even more as gambling companies ramp up advertising efforts closer to the tournament’s start.

Before and during the event, brands will have the opportunity to win new customers. While two-fifths of potential World Cup bettors say they are not at all likely to sign up with a new betting company (38%), a quarter say they are very likely or somewhat likely to open an account with a new provider for World Cup betting (24%). Furthermore, 28% are “not very likely” to open a new account, indicating some receptivity to the possibility.

Potential World Cup bettors who already have an account with SkyBet are the least likely to open a new account (24%). In contrast, two-fifths of current Coral members (41%), say they are likely to open a new account. Customers are similarly likely to open new accounts at Bet365 (31%), BetFair (33%), Paddy Power (34%), William Hill (34%), and LadBrokes (35%). Only 10% of likely World Cup bettors who do not currently have an online account say they are likely to open one, indicating that offline betting avenues continue to be popular.

Importantly, potential World Cup bettors looking to open new accounts are more likely to be bigger spenders – 13% say they will spend more than £100 on World Cup bets, compared to only 5% of those who are unlikely to open a new account.

Free bets are the single most important motivator for customers who are likely to open a new account (77%). Similarly, promotional offers such as bonuses would motivate three-fifths (59%).

Platforms that provide better odds (36%), as well as those that run a tournament-length free-to-play competition (35%), appeal to a sizable portion of customers. A fifth are interested in an easier-to-use platform (19%), and a similar proportion are interested in platforms that offer fast/easy payments and withdrawals (17%).

Recommendations from friends (8%), a pledge by the provider to donate to charity or grassroots football (7%) and platforms with a diverse range of markets and bet types (6%) could all help with customer acquisition. A smaller proportion (3%), say they would be motivated by platforms that provide tools to help them stay in control of their play and gamble responsibly. Exclusive previews/expert tips (2%), or social tools like league tables to share with friends (2%), are also not major draws.

Motivators differ greatly depending on current betting membership. Customers of William Hill, for example, are the most likely to find promotional offers appealing (80%), while Ladbrokes customers are the most susceptible to free bets (94%). Those who do not currently have a betting account but want to open one are more interested in safe gambling features (17%).

Features that do not attract customers on their own may be critical in convincing new members to stay on the platform. After all, according to our research, one-fifth of consumers (18%) will only use the new account to use the free bet (if provided), while two-fifths (38%), will only place a small number of bets on the new platform.

One-fifth of those motivated by free bets will only use the new account for the free bet (19%), and two-fifths (42%), will place a small proportion of their bets on the new platform. However, 24% expect to place roughly half of their bets on the new account, and 14% expect to place the majority or all of their bets on it.

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