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Where's the bonus in bonus bets?: Assessing sports bettors' comprehension of their true cost.
journal contributionposted on 19.06.2019, 00:00 by Nerilee HingNerilee Hing, Matthew BrowneMatthew Browne, Alexander RussellAlexander Russell, Nancy GreerNancy Greer, A Thomas, R Jenkinson, Matthew RockloffMatthew Rockloff
Wagering inducements with bonus bets are prominently marketed and often have play-through conditions requiring further expenditure. However, these conditions are not usually presented in the inducement advertisement and may be difficult to locate. The play-through conditions themselves are complex and may lead bettors to miscalculate the inducement's true cost. Therefore, in relation to inducements with bonus bets, this study aimed to assess: (1) whether their perceived attractiveness varies with the amount and type of information provided about their play-through conditions; (2) bettors' comprehension of their true cost; and (3) whether bettors' comprehension of their true cost varies with problem gambling severity. A sample of 299 Australian sports bettors completed an online survey and rated the attractiveness of three variations of an inducement. Promo1 simply noted that "terms and conditions apply"; promo2 included the terms and conditions immediately below the offer; and promo3 revealed the true cost of the offer. Respondents were asked to calculate the true cost before this was revealed. The study found that detailing key terms and conditions for an offer directly below the advertisement impacts negatively on its perceived attractiveness. Moreover, nearly three in five bettors underestimated the additional amount they would need to bet to access any winnings from the bonus bet. No significant differences were found amongst gambler risk groups. The results imply that current approaches to marketing these inducements are likely to lead consumers to overestimate their attractiveness and underestimate their cost. To enhance responsible gambling practice, these promotional offers should be presented in ways that enable informed decision-making.