Marketing Agencies Enlisting Students to Endorse Online Betting Apps

Aug 20

Academic institutions in the United Kingdom are fast becoming recruitment hubs for marketing firms that are working for betting companies.

Students are being signed up to promote betting apps on school grounds in return for a commission. They are encouraging other students to sign up and bet using the apps by handing out free money.

The University of Manchester is an example of a campus that reports have suggested as a school that has already been infiltrated by marketing firms for their recruitment process.

According to an investigation, marketing firms that admit they are employed by betting firms are approaching students to become promoters of gambling apps.

For instance, students at the University of Manchester are being honed in on by such firms to encourage other students to use these so-called “free bets” that are being offered through gambling apps. The students are offering £5 notes on campus to Kwiff and BetBull for betting online.

The recruitment process of the marketing firms has been heavily critiqued with the National Union of Students coming out and describing their methods as ‘‘deplorable.’’ The producers of the gambling apps vehemently deny they are involved or know of the arrangement that is taking place at UK universities.

Kwiff proclaimed they were oblivious to the marketing affiliates that claim to work for them promoting their app on campuses. The company stated this is not a marketing method they encourage or support.

BetBull also said their piece, saying that a flyer with their logo being passed out at universities was not sanctioned by them:

“Nobody at BetBull was aware of, or sanctioned, its production or distribution.”

BetBull’s official response continued: ‘‘BetBull does not tolerate or condone this practice. We take our marketing compliance obligations extremely seriously and ensure that our marketing affiliates are fully and regularly trained on these compliance requirements. We take all available measures to prevent misuse of our branding and have launched a full investigation into this matter.”

Students who register to endorse these bettings apps reportedly earn as much as £12 for each registration. Face-to-face marketing efforts are being made by students as well as link sharing via social media sites.

It has yet to be found out if the marketing firms are encouraging the college students to pass out incentives, or if the students are electing to do so on their own accord. According to one promoter of the applications, they are given little information once accepting the job. The aim is to get people to download the betting applications and then, place a wager.

Marketing agencies have been condemned by Gamban co-founder, Matt Zarb-Cousin, for getting young people involved, especially because of their vulnerability.

Gamban software is a product that blocks access to gambling applications and websites. The software help people by allowing players to block access to online gambling, helping with addiction issues.

Mr. Zarb-Cousin described the recent developments as ‘‘unscrupulous.’’ He also expressed his belief that, ‘‘the younger one starts gambling, the more likely an addiction will form.’’