Getting to Know British Online Gamblers

29 July 2005

Hitwise, a company that conducts extensive research into Internet usage data, recently published a report providing insights into the trends affecting the U.K. online gambling sector. While the full report is available at Hitwise's Web Site, following is a quick overview of its main findings:

  • There is a clear skew toward international sites for poker and casinos. Fewer than one in five visits to poker Web sites and one in 15 visits to casino Web sites are to domestic sites. The remaining share of visits to poker and casino websites go to sites that are registered in countries other than the U.K., such as Gibraltar, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Belize. By contrast, nearly 19 in every 20 visits to sport betting sites are to domestic sites. This is likely a result of the tendency for punters to bet on local teams and events.

  • Online gambling is a highly competitive market. This is illustrated by the level of movement among casino, poker and sport betting sites as internet users jump from a casino, for example, to a poker site. This high level of movement is encouraged by site ownership, affiliates, and hijacking of traffic.

  • Gambling sites receive a smaller share of visits from search than average for the Internet. Among gambling sites, lotteries receive the largest share of visits from search, with about one quarter of visits coming from search. However, these sites receive 13 percent fewer visits from search than average for the internet. This is likely a result of diminishing ROI, behavior of internet users, and the low-risk commission deals offered to affiliates.

  • Bingo, casinos and lotteries receive about 9 percent of visits from Web-based e-mail services, such as MSN Mail and Yahoo! Mail. This is about 70 percent more visits from e-mail than average for the Internet.

  • Among the top five casino sites, there was an average 77 percent gap in the sites sending visits to each site in the month of May 2005. A gap is defined as a site that sends one site visits but not another. On average fewer than one in four sites sending visits to casino sites overlap. Gambling sites rely heavily on affiliates for traffic, so this gap is an important indication of the opportunities that exist to grow market share.

  • There is a similarly large gap in the search terms sending visits to lottery sites. In the 12 weeks ending June 18, 2005, there was an average 95 percent gap in the search terms sending visits to lottery sites. A gap is defined as a search term sending visits to one site but not another. This means that either these lottery sites were not bidding on or optimized to receive visits from 95 percent of terms that were sending visits to their competitor’s site.

  • Gambling sites on average appeal more to men than to women. Compared with the profile of visits to all internet sites, the Hitwise Gambling category attracts 8 percent fewer visits from female users. Sport betting holds particular appeal to men, with three in five visits from men. Bingo sites attract more visits from female users, with nearly three in five visits from women.

Click here to get the full report.

About Hitwise

Hitwise is the world's leading provider of online competitive intelligence services. Each day, Hitwise monitors how more than 25 million Internet users from around the world interact with over 500,000 Web sites, across over 160 industry categories. Only Hitwise can provide marketers with daily information on customers and competitors to better maximize the return on their online investments.

Hitwise anonymously collects Internet usage information via a combination of Internet Service Provider (ISP) data partnerships and Opt-In Mega Panels. The Hitwise methodology captures home, work and educational access, and complies with local and international privacy legislation as audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers on a quarterly basis.

Clients of the Hitwise service access daily market and competitive insights via the user-friendly Hitwise Web interface at Annualized agreements can be customized to meet a client's specific business objectives. Fees are based on levels of access to industry categories, intelligence tools, user licenses and market-specific data. All Hitwise clients are assigned a dedicated account manager and receive ongoing product training and technical support.