The figures correspond to the first half of the year, with Sportsbet deciding to invest more copiously into its promotional and marketing operations as the brand is also anticipating a complete ban on such promotions in future.
Pulling the Plug on Gambling Ads in Australia
This “last hurrah” as some have dubbed it is an increase of more than $12.70 million in real terms on marketing materials. Flutter Entertainment, the owner of Sportsbet, has acknowledged some of the criticism that the company has received over this “frenzy” of marketing spending, but it tersely stated that the move was necessary to ensure that Sportsbet retains its pole position in the market.
Naturally, there have been dissident voices, including that of Alliance for Gambling Reform chief advocate Tim Costello who said that the company was looking to generate profits before the incoming ban. He described this strategy as irresponsible and suggested that the company is losing credibility by doing so.
“This proves a levy on Sportsbet is appropriate and why are we allowing our kids to be targeted by a foreign, Dublin-based company,” Costello blasted Flutter, pointing out to the company’s headquarters. This is coming at a pivotal moment for the country, as previous legislative efforts have culminated in a decision to introduce a phased banning of gambling advertisements.
Sportsbet has been known as a critic of this measure, arguing that advertisements should not be restricted in their entirety, but rather tied to very specific rules that reduce the overall number of ads that can be shown, for example. Even Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA) argued that this measure was not really the answer, although it sounds like a good solution.
RWA, though, is a lobbying group whereas the Alliance for Gambling Harm is an anti-gambling hawk, so it’s natural that their opinions would differ. Regardless of the looming legal challenges, however, Sportsbet is still confident in the potential of the Australian market.
Pending Legal Changes Won’t Impact Results
The company has confirmed that it is expecting the Australian sports betting market to continue growing over the coming months and years. Meanwhile, the company is also rolling out new products of its own that are designed to boost its presence with local punters, including through the addition of the same-game-multi product.
Not least, Sportsbet is adamant that it provides a superior product compared to others. The marketing spend – criticized as it may be by some – is a step that the company considered necessary to consolidate its presence.