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What's the message? A content analysis of emails and texts received from wagering operators during sports and racing events
journal contributionposted on 22.09.2020, 00:00 by Vijay RawatVijay Rawat, Nerilee HingNerilee Hing, Alexander RussellAlexander Russell
Previous research has established direct messages (such as emails and text messages) are a widely seen form of advertising and are highly influential on sports betting and race betting behaviour. Nevertheless, few studies have examined the specific content of these messages, and whether their content is related to account-holders' betting behaviour. The current study used an ecological momentary assessment design to examine direct messages received from wagering operators during the week around major Australian sports and racing events. Respondents completed a baseline survey followed by short daily surveys over a period of 1 week during peak betting periods, and provided the research team with the emails and text messages they received from wagering operators during this time. A sample of 102 sports and 110 race bettors provided a total of 931 messages. These messages subsequently underwent a content analysis to extract key features that were promoted, including inducements, incentives, and bet type. The analysis found the messages were saturated with inducements to bet, however no relationships were identified between the content of messages and the gambling risk status or betting frequency of participants. The most common types of incentives offered included bonus bets, rewards points, better odds/winnings, and reduced risk. Frequently promoted inducements included bonus or better winnings, refund/stake back offers, and match your stake/deposit. Given the influences of inducements on increasing betting expenditure and impulsive betting identified through previous research, taken together with the findings of the current study, direct messages may contribute to experiencing gambling-related harm. These findings have important implications for consumer education and the regulation of direct messages.