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The "Bet Regret" Campaign Year 1 & Year 2

The "Bet Regret" Campaign - Year One & Year Two

This campaign taps into the ‘I shouldn’t really, I’ll kick myself’ feeling immediately when a bet is placed when drunk, bored or chasing losses, provoking self-appraisal and self-reflection around such moments of ill-considered betting, with the aim of reducing the propensity to make such bets, and thus avoid behaviours that are obvious pathways towards problematic gambling.

Background to the campaign

In October 2017, when launching a consultation on a wider policy review, the government announced a new responsible gambling campaign to be funded by broadcasters and the gambling industry, but independently delivered by GambleAware.  The consultation document stated:

5.84. GambleAware, broadcasters and gambling industry groups have drawn up proposals for a major responsible gambling advertising campaign, to run for two years with a budget of £5-7 million in each year. This will include television adverts, including around live sport, as well as radio, cinema, print and online. The scale is equivalent to or larger than the scale of a major Government public awareness campaign. The aim will be to raise public awareness of risks associated with gambling, as well as signposting to further advice and support where necessary.

5.85. Proposals for the campaign involve new funding from online gambling operators, with airspace and digital media provided by broadcasters. The bodies which are members of the responsible gambling group, Senet, will continue to fund its existing messaging and responsible gambling advertising work but bring this in line with the wider campaign. We would encourage others who benefit from gambling advertising, including social media platforms and sports bodies, to look at how they can contribute to raising awareness of the potential risks.

5.86. GambleAware will lead the campaign, ensuring the content is independently approved and meets the campaign objectives. It intends to set up a Campaign Board and Delivery Unit, appointing an independent chair of the Board and approving all campaign content.

5.87. The Government welcomes the initiative by broadcasters and the gambling industry to fund and work with GambleAware to deliver a major responsible gambling advertising campaign.


Broadcasters and gambling industry groups drew up proposals for a major responsible gambling advertising campaign to run for two years from 2019, with a budget of £5-7 million per year. The government welcomed this initiative, and GambleAware was invited to deliver the campaign.

Supporters of the Campaign can be found here and an in-depth narrative outlining the detail of the campaign can be found here. GambleAware produced a short summary of the campaign and its results and is available to read online here

The Campaign Board

GambleAware created a Safer Gambling Campaign Board to oversee the campaign. The Board comprised of the following members:

  • Professor Sian Griffiths, GambleAware Trustee, Deputy Chair, Public Health England (Interim) and Non-Executive Director, Public Health Wales
  • Sheila Mitchell, former Marketing Director, Public Health England
  • Teresa Owen, Executive Director of Public Health, The Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board
  • Professor Marcantonio Spada, GambleAware Trustee and Professor of Addictive Behaviours and Mental Health at London South Bank University
  • Marc Etches, Chief Executive, GambleAware 
  • Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport representative

Professor Antony C. Moss, BSc (Hons), PhD, Professor of Addictive Behaviour Science and Director of Education & Student Experience at the School of Applied Sciences, London South Bank University acts as an academic adviser to the Board.

Attending in addition is a non-voting observer from the Advisory Board for Safer Gambling.  Bodies which originally proposed the campaign to government and which are funding it in cash and in kind are also present as observers - the Advertising Association, the Senet Group and commercial Broadcasters (represented by Sky).  The terms of reference for the Board make clear that only full members of the Board exercise voting rights.  Minutes of these meetings will be published here:

13 May 2021

21 January 2021

18 November 2020

7 September 2020

21 July 2020

5 May 2020

16 January 2020

7 November 2019

13 June 2019

19 March 2019

7 February 2019

15 November 2018

10 September 2018

18 June 2018

8 February 2018

Bet Regret Year 1

Bet Regret describes the universal feeling of remorse sports bettors often get when they make an impulsive bet – the kind of bet that bettors say they will know they will kick themselves for the moment they made it.

Targeted at the audience estimated at 2.4m young men aged 18-34 who gamble regularly on sport, mainly online, the campaign aims to drive self-reflection, as well as help their friends and partners recognise the warning signs of Bet Regret. The campaign was developed after extensive research, consultations with academic experts and several waves of focus groups with frequent sports bettors.

This campaign taps into the ‘I shouldn’t really, I’ll kick myself’ feeling immediately when a bet is placed when drunk, bored or chasing losses, provoking self-appraisal and self-reflection around such moments of ill-considered betting, with the aim of reducing the propensity to make such bets, and thus avoid behaviours that are obvious pathways towards problematic gambling.

Three TV commercials were produced by Gorgeous Productions to lead the campaign, directed by Chris Palmer.



"Chasing losses"

There are also a wide range of other creative materials to support digital marketing across social media platforms, out-of-home advertising focused around pubs and sportsgrounds, perimeter LED boards at key football matches, and to support a forthcoming programme of community activation projects. This campaign is just one part of the multi-layered public health approach required to reduce gambling-related harms.

Whilst there is a digital always on component strand to the Safer Gambling campaign, the two TV bursts ran from late February to end April to align with the football season and start of the horse racing season and then from end August to end September. 

All activity has been closely monitored with four waves of Tracking Study conducted by Ipsos MORI. Despite a low share of voice (just 2.6% of the sports betting advertising spend), campaign results to-date are positive; indicating that the campaign is well targeted against those most at risk with good recognition and strong take out of the message. Summary of the results can be found here.

In addition, a series of short films featuring ex England goalkeeper, David James ran on facebook and Twitter from mid September 2019. Results of this content campaign were also measured by Ipsos MORI and can be found here.

David James continues to be an ambassador for Safer Gambling in 2020 as part of his partnership with BeGambleAware. The content films below have been created to run across Facebook and Twitter.

Bet Regret Year 2

The second phase of the Bet Regret campaign launched in September, which introduces a behaviour change technique encouraging people to pause and reconsider before they place a bet they may regret. The campaign aims to target an estimated audience of 2.4m men aged 18-34 who gamble frequently on sport.

Timed to coincide with the start of the football season, the campaign includes two films featuring people who are about to place ill-considered bets. The unsuspecting gamblers are each interrupted by a wrestler, who pins them down until they agree to ‘tap out’ of their betting apps, saving them from Bet Regret.

The advice for bettors to ‘Tap Out’ is part of a strategy to encourage adoption of a specific and easy to follow behaviour of pausing before placing a bet to get the much-needed time to think.

The campaign was produced during lockdown using exceptional quarantine measures to allow physical contact with amateur wrestler Adam Kirby, who stars in the adverts. The spots, which were directed by Vince Squibb through Academy Films, ran across TV, radio, digital and supported on social by Ladbible throughout September and October 2020.

The second burst of this campaign activity ran from Febraury 2021-April 2021 across TV, radio & digital channels with the support of a talent amplification plan with Ladbible. This activity was monitored with a Tracking Study conducted by Ipsos MORI which went into field in April 2021. 

All tracking study results can be viewed as part of The Synthesis Report here

August 2021 saw the highly anticpated return of fans to football stadiums as the new season began. A key moment for our target audience - the football’s back, the fans are back, but the Bet Regret is not back. The campaign creative was updated to include a nod to the new season and this key moment, "This season, Tap Out, take a moment, avoid Bet Regret". The campaign ran across TV, radio, digital channels & OOH in football stadiums* throughout August & September 2021. The campaign activity was monitored with a Tracking Study conducted by Ipsos MORI which went into field in September 2021 with results due to be shared in October 2021.

*The OOH activity continues to run until December 2021.