GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 24 - April 2013

Sports betting leads growth within online gambling in the U.K. Setting the scene Online sports betting is a vibrant market that is being driven by the significant growth of “in-play betting,” specifically within foot- ball (soccer) betting markets. There has also been a rapid increase in customers us- ing their mobile devices to bet online and it is those brands that are able to capitalize on this by delivering relevant content and ser- vices that are going to be themost successful. What is driving growth within online gambling? In 2012, online gambling broke the £2 bil- lion barrier. This growth has been primarily driven by sports betting, which now rep- resents over 50 percent of the value of the market. While the majority of U.K. consum- er expenditure on sports betting still contin- ues to flow through land-based operations, the remote sector – i.e., online desktop and mobile devices – has been able to close the gap through its own rapid expansion. The main growth area in sports betting is football, with “in-play betting” being the fastest-growing element. Since 2009- 2010 consumer expenditure on football betting has grown from £355 million to £600 million in 2011-2012. The rise of remote betting has given ma- jor impetus to the football betting market, with all of the leading gambling brands having developed promotional and spon- sorship opportunities within this area. Our latest research shows that queries from mobile devices account for 25.8 percent of all brand and non-brand searches. Moreover, during 2012 search impression volume via mobile devices grew by 75 percent, with sports betting having the largest share (see graph 1). Which keyword markets govern search within online sports betting? Within online gambling, sports betting terms have the largest share of search im- pression volume, with 40 percent of the total (see graph 2). Within the sports bet- ting market, horse racing betting domi- nates with 51 percent, the second largest being football with 15 percent (see graph 3). Generic sports betting terms are typi- cally used to develop search exposure and help initiate the search journey. Sport phrases such as football and horse bet- ting help users refine their search, while the more specific event or competition (e.g., Champions League) related phras- es help drive specificity and the conver- sion process. Within the generic sports betting market, over 90 percent of the Stickyeyes Managing Director Phil Kissane explores the key search metrics in this rapidly growing sector. 10