The 2018 World Cup in Russia has broken records for online sportsbooks. The UK, which is being treated to the England National Team’s unexpected run deep in the tournament, is breaking national records for sports betting.

Though the US Supreme Court recently struck down a sports betting ban, in the UK sportsbooks are well established. Sports betting in the UK is worth £625 billion per year. The majority of the betting activity, 70%, is on football. Being that it is a World Cup year, the UK’s sports betting numbers are at a 4-year high.

During this 2018 World Cup, bookmakers are expected to generate a turnover of $36.4 billion (£41.3 billion). The UK is also expected to see a record high of £2.5 billion spent wagered during the World Cup, which is more than double the £1 billion the UK saw back in 2014. The expected investment world wide looks to reach close to £4.90 billion.

2018 World Cup Statistics

According to statistics, in the UK the average sports bettor is a single, middle aged man. 1 in 5 internet users visit betting sites spending an average of £236 million per match. 65% of those bets are placed before the match while 35% are made during live play.

So far, the World Cup had already seen some upsets for a lot of UK citizens putting their money on the line. The majority of UK bets were placed towards Germany taking home the victory. However, they were knocked out before even making it to the final 16. While the two following with the highest stakes on betting sites, France and Brazil, are still in it, this World Cup has seemed to be quite unpredictable.

Problem gambling is prevalent in the UK in a general sense. In this World Cup, problem gambling has peaked. 82% of bets placed will be made with credit cards while only 18% will be covered by other means such as Pre-paid Cards. Gambling with Credit Cards contributes to a lot of issues. When people are able to gamble with money they don’t yet have it is usually a recipe for disaster. It is easy to place a large bet with funds you intend to get; however, the problem comes when you don’t win it back. This then pushes you to make another bet to try to cover the last one, but in-turn only costs you more. This ripple effect is the reality for many throughout the world.

Smartphone Betting Apps

These days it takes only a few clicks of a button for sports gamblers to bet on their favorite sports and teams. With the unlimited availability online betting sites offer and with no physical money needing to be exchanged it is almost too easy do it.

That easy access is what seems to cause the most problems though. Most site use the data collected from gamblers to personalize offers specific to that gambler. However, though that sounds nice, that’s what contributes to the problem. Instead, sites should use their technology and data to help gamblers to avoid problem gambling and responsible gambling.

Though some UK citizens save their gambling fun for events such as the World Cup, most people do it all year round. And sadly, nearly 430,000 citizens are considered problem gamblers. For these people their addiction has cause them and their families hundreds of thousands of pounds causing a ripple effect of problems.

Events like the World Cup can be a triggering time for problem gamblers. During such events sports betting is advertised at an all-time high. Between that and seeing others placing their bets can push problem gamblers into even more trouble and can move them to make harmful decisions. And a lot of the time these problem gamblers deny even having an issue.

How Online Bookmakers Collect Data

Technology can track almost anything these days and gambling is no exception. Online gambling sites collect a long data trail of an individual’s bets, while compiling a picture of the bets their general customer likes. They can track when a bet is made, for how much, regarding what, etc.

Betting sites survive off of this data collected. Websites use it to tailor offers for individuals or groups aimed towards their specific interests. This specification can be dangerous for many individuals and is a leading factor contributing to problem gambling. When something is tailor made to fit you, you are more likely to buy it.

Though some sights use this data towards legitimate marketing and personalization of content and offers while many others use it for exploitation and manipulation. The line between the two is very fine and can be often impossible to know which is which. A lot of sites will send offers and promotions after an individual big loss pushing them to chase their loss with another bet.

EroGamb Project

Though these days as gamblers seems to be growing worldwide, many individuals and websites have pushed for better regulation of the data collected. Their aim to have sites use it to support reductions in problem gambling. Many in the gambling industry are working towards building a relationship of shared responsibility between gamblers and bookmakers.

Organizations are working to produce a system that will collect this data and use it to prevent problem gambling. One project, EROGamb Project, funded by GambleAware and Bournemouth University, aims to do just that. The project discusses working towards creating an app that would use the data collected to alert gamblers if they are exhibiting problematic gambling patterns, such as if they have reached their monthly spending limit.

The project studies stated the gambling addicts indicated that having a real-time reminder would help to act as a “wake-up call”. Awareness is key, and organizations are working towards changing the way the data is used.

This is now a better time than any to make moves towards that change. With the millions of bets coming in for the World Cup websites should start figuring out how to use that data to prevent and combat gambling addiction instead of how using it to tempt gamblers into their next big bet. I am not saying that advertising and promotions are bad all together. There is a line though between using it to make a profit and exploitation of an individual. It is just a matter of figuring out where that line is.

About the Author
April Bergman avatar
April Bergman

April Bergman was a longtime news blogger for BOC. She wrote gaming news posts from January 2013 until September 2018. April also wrote slot reviews, strategy articles, and online casino reviews for the site.

April Bergman began in the online gaming industry in August 2010. From 2010 to 2013, she managed evergreen content for several top online casino. Her duties included developing and maintaining multiple websites in the gaming space. When not writing about online gambling, April loves horse racing, travel, photography, and gardening. She's began in the business as a devoted poker players and spent several years as a card game editor on the now-defunct DMOZ. These days, she lives with her husband and two children in the Toronto metropolitan area.

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April Bergman was a longtime news blogger for BOC. She wrote gaming news posts from January 2013 until September 2018. April also wrote slot reviews, strategy articles, and online casino reviews for the site.

April Bergman began in the online gaming industry in August 2010. From 2010 to 2013, she managed evergreen content for several top online casino. Her duties included developing and maintaining multiple websites in the gaming space. When not writing about online gambling, April loves horse racing, travel, photography, and gardening. She's began in the business as a devoted poker players and spent several years as a card game editor on the now-defunct DMOZ. These days, she lives with her husband and two children in the Toronto metropolitan area.

READ MORE
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