Wagering inducements and marketing

Past project

This project examines how vulnerable adults are affected by the marketing practices of wagering agencies.


Wagering operators are major sponsors and commercial partners of popular Australian sport and horse racing. These operators’ advertisements, branding, celebrity endorsements, and live betting odds are regularly televised during sports and horse racing broadcasts. In addition, gambling inducements are extensively promoted in digital media targeting new and current customers. 

As a result, the public can be exposed to an variety of betting advertising that is ubiquitous,  continually refreshed, and which intensifies before and during sporting events.

About the project

This research, which will run over the horse racing and sporting seasons, examines the characteristics of marketing inducements and their causal impact on the betting behaviour of vulnerable adults. 

The project addresses the following questions:

  1. What is the impact of racing and sports betting marketing on vulnerable adults?
  2. Do particular marketing approaches contribute to harmful gambling?
  3. Do gambling inducements change gambler behaviour and attitudes?

The AGRC is collaborating with gambling research experts at Central Queensland University (CQU) to conduct this multi-state project comprising five experimental and exploratory studies, including: 

  • Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) study using mobile apps to capture participants’ real-time betting in response to different marketing and incentives. This data will provide information about how marketing and incentives contribute to harmful gambling;
  • Interview study providing in-depth context to compliment the EMA data, by talking to sports bettors about the social context of gambling, people’s spending intentions, psychological factors, and how these are shaped by their exposure to sport gambling marketing;
  • Knowledge and Attitudes study will focus on bettor’s understanding of ‘bonus bets’ incentives, particularly their terms of use, and why they are attractive. This study will consider how these incentives might impact vulnerable adults differently;
  • Experimental control study examining the effects of different types of gambling inducements on betting behaviour; and
  • Physiological study testing skin, heart and eye reactions to gambling inducements and advertisements.

The final report Effects of wagering marketing on vulnerable adults is published on the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation website.

External researchers

Nerilee Hing
Research Professor, Gambling Studies, Central Queensland University

Matthew Rockloff
Professor, Central Queensland University

Matthew Browne
Senior Lecturer, Psychology, Central Queensland University

Alex Russell
Senior Postdoctoral Fellow, Central Queensland University

En Li
Senior Lecturer, Marketing, Central Queensland University

Erika Langham
Lecturer, Health Promotion, Central Queensland University

Lisa Lole
Lecturer, Central Queensland University

Anna Thomas
Knowledge Translation Manager, RMIT



May 2016 - June 2018

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