Do bookmaker loyalty-programmes cause problem gambling?

Working paper


Marjan, A., Graham, C., Bruce, M. and Mitchell, A. (2020). Do bookmaker loyalty-programmes cause problem gambling? London London South Bank University. https://doi.org/10.18744/lsbu.8q66q
AuthorsMarjan, A., Graham, C., Bruce, M. and Mitchell, A.
TypeWorking paper
Abstract

A popular conception of bookmaker loyalty programmes is that they lock in heavy punters to a single brand and entice them into ever greater spending there. By implication they cause problem gambling. Evidence from the retail and travel sectors shows however that loyalty schemes do not segment the market in this way. With competing schemes in place, the heaviest category users remain distributed across rival brands and their patronage remains stable. As yet, few consumer-behaviour studies have explicitly examined membership loyalty across the gambling industry. We report here on the behavioural outcomes of bookmaker loyalty programmes, extending two empirical generalisations that predict split-loyal, habitual consumer choice behaviour. Drawing on large scale social research datasets we conduct brand-user profiling and duplication of purchase analysis to show that the behaviour of scheme members is already established and therefore predictable – but it isn’t loyal, either to brands or gambling formats. The criticism of loyalty programmes is that they exploit gamblers, but the evidence suggests exactly the reverse. Nevertheless, problem gambling is a serious social harm affecting just under one percent of people aged 16+. The findings suggest that most of this behaviour is already recorded in bookmaker loyalty data which could be better used to shape interventions.

KeywordsLoyalty Programmes, Gambling, Dirichlet, Duplication of Purchase, Brand-User Profiles
Year2020
PublisherLondon South Bank University
Place of publicationLondon
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.18744/lsbu.8q66q
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Print28 Aug 2020
Publication process dates
Accepted28 Aug 2020
Deposited02 Sep 2020
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Brandmovers Institute for Creative and Digital Economy

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