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The Perfect Match: FIFA World Cup Meets Gambling Apps and Sites

by Babita Earle , 12.06.2014

For gambling app and site developers, the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil looks to be a very big win. To accommodate anytime, anywhere digital access that football fans have come to embrace, World Cup action can viewed by millions of people on their mobile devices – big names such as FIFA and ESPN have created dedicated World Cup apps and Panini’s famous football sticker album is available in virtual form.

That’s good news for the mobile gambling industry. We predict that mobile gambling in the UK could increase exponentially during the tournament—especially if England go the distance*.

Our data* has found that football and mobile gambling go hand-in-hand. It’s clear that usage of gambling apps and sites on mobile devices peak when major football matches take place. For the gambling industry, it is vital to make the most of the time England will spend in the World Cup.

Below we give an insight into the user behavior we can expect in the UK mobile gambling industry over the next 30 days:

Know your audience

  • Data shows that the key demographic for mobile gambling is a younger, tech-savvy male. 55% are under 34, 47% earn less than £30k per year and most use almost twice as many apps per day as the average smartphone user.
  • Also, keep in mind, 76% of gambling site users access just one gambling site on their mobile device per day.
  • Users also prefer the brands they know. Mobile gamblers users more likely to use betting and sports news apps provided by the same brand.
  • Timing is everything. Highest usage comes from pre-match bets, highest between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. on weekdays and 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. on weekends, i.e. just before kick-off.

User location is key

  • Mobile gambling predominates in London and the North West, both regions with a high concentration of football teams—and therefore, fans.
  • By targeting users in areas where interest in gambling is high, brands can expand their audience and significantly boost their user numbers. Doubling down in areas where the brand already has a strong presence could similarly increase user numbers. With the World Cup just around the corner, that could be a big win for every player in the mobile gambling industry.


For more mobile insights from the World Cup and other current data, visit Our Thinking page.

Babita Earle is Head of GfK UK Digital Market Intelligence. For more information, contact her at babita.earle@gfk.com