Winning Big In 2024: Accelerating Growth in Sports Betting With a Proactive Defence Against Fraud

Share with your network:

As another big year of sporting events gets ready to kicks off globally, online sports books are laser-focused on winning new punters and maximising engagement to generate revenue. However, from the Superbowl to the Six Nations, to the Australian Open, sporting events across the globe are becoming magnets for fraud. As new markets are emerging, more players are active and competition between operators is rife, it’s more important than ever that operators protect campaigns from fraud if they want to make the most of the growth opportunity.  

Statista reports that revenue in the global sports betting market will reach $9.65 billion in 2024 and show an annual growth rate of 17.33%, reaching $14.44 billion by 2027. The large amount of money involved is not only enticing for operators looking to maximise growth, but also for fraudsters who look to infiltrate campaign efforts and take their share of the profit.

For sportsbooks wanting to win new players and generate revenue for sustainable growth, they can’t continue to pump more money into campaigns where fraud is present. Without a proactive defence against fraud ahead of the influx of upcoming sporting events, they won’t effectively make the most of the opportunity the market presents next year.  

Fraud Holding Back Growth Across Global Markets

The online gaming industry experiences significantly higher levels of invalid traffic than other verticals and this is holding sportsbooks back from expanding into new markets. Invalid traffic is engagement that artificially inflates an advertiser’s costs, including non-human traffic, such as bots, or activity designed to produce fraudulent impressions.

Invalid traffic comes in many forms, but the following are the most critical issues faced by sportsbooks:

Returning Users – This may come as a surprise, but it could be those very loyal existing customers who are unintentionally driving up costs. This happens when they repeatedly click through to the website using a paid, search campaign driving up customer-acquisition costs (CACs) and resulting in a huge inefficiency in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.  

Bonus Abuse – To drive new customer acquisition and keep a competitive edge in the expanding market, many operators will set up free bonuses and boosted bets. However, with this incentive, fraudsters use automated bots to create fake accounts and steal bonuses. Sophisticated networks of bad actors can leverage millions of IPs to commit bonus fraud almost entirely undetected by betting companies.

With a multitude of sporting events on the horizon, the amount of money in play is vast. If sportsbooks don’t take action to protect themselves from fraud, they risk missing out on the opportunity to maximise return-on-investment (ROI). To take advantage of the opportunities across global markets, sportsbooks must begin by building a strong defence against fraud.  

The Steps to Preventing Losses to Fraud

Both large-scale and local sporting events on the calendar in 2024 present a massive opportunity for operators to capture new users and take advantage of the market’s growth. According to, around 26% of the world’s population gambles, revealing a large market of already engaged users looking to place their bets next year.

Globally, the number of users on the betting scene continues to grow, generating exciting opportunities for operators:

  • Survey findings from the AIFS reveal that 73% of the adult population gambled in the past 12 months.  
  • The UK is the leading market in Europe with the Gambling Commission reporting that 44% of the population placed at least one bet from March 2022 to March 2023.  
  • In the US, changes in legislation mean mobile sports betting is now legal in 28 states, up from 18 in 2022.  

To prevent losses to invalid traffic, keep up with changing regulations and benefit from the new market opportunities, operators must create a strong layer of defence against fraud. With a reliable solution to combat fraud, sportsbooks can increase user acquisition by investing in the channels that deliver the best results.  

As earlier discussed, returning users could be responsible for driving up CACs, causing sportsbooks to waste spend on engagement that never converts. With custom validation rules, companies set the number of times a user clicks on a paid ads campaign so that budgets can be saved for genuine users who are more likely to convert.  

As well as this, shadow campaigns are an effective way of maintaining optimal audience engagement and reach. They are a duplicate of your current campaign but set up with lower cost-per-click (CPC) to funnel excessive clickers and returning users away from inadvertently driving up costs. By utilising custom validation rules and shadow campaigns, sportsbooks unlock previously wasted budgets that can be put straight back into acquiring new and nurturing existing customers. The result of this is maximised ROI from campaigns that thrive.  


Build a Proactive Defence with TrafficGuard

Many sportsbooks either aren’t addressing the issue of fraud or are ultimately at a loss trying to overcome it. This is where TrafficGuard comes in. Our proactive, multipoint approach has proven successful for gambling companies to unlock better results for their PPC campaigns and grow across new markets.  

With 2024’s sporting calendar populated, it’s up to businesses to put the right measures in place to prevent fraud and make the most of the opportunity to generate profit. With real-time verification of traffic, bookies can gain trust and confidence in the validity of the data being used to scale and drive conversions with reliable and fact-driven investments.

We put confidence back into the hands of sportsbooks so they can invest in the channels that are delivering results, increase customer acquisition and maximise ROI. Our full-funnel and transparent approach to tackling mobile ad fraud empowers operators to make the most of the opportunities to scale across the globe.  


1. What measures or strategies can sportsbooks implement to proactively defend against fraud in their ad campaigns, especially considering the diverse forms of invalid traffic highlighted? Are there any case studies or examples demonstrating the effectiveness of these approaches in real-world scenarios?

Sportsbooks can implement several strategies to defend against fraud in their ad campaigns. For instance, they can utilise custom validation rules to limit the number of times a user clicks on a paid ad campaign, thereby preventing excessive clickers from driving up costs. Additionally, shadow campaigns can be set up as duplicates of existing campaigns but with lower cost-per-click (CPC), redirecting returning users away from inadvertently inflating costs.

For a real-world scenario, check William Hill’s case study and see how their ROI increased 4.5 times with TrafficGuard.

2. How can sportsbooks navigate regulatory changes effectively and ensure compliance while maximising user acquisition and ROI?

Navigating regulatory changes effectively is crucial for sportsbooks to prevent losses to invalid traffic and capitalise on new market opportunities. Some proactive measures sportsbooks could take are staying informed about evolving regulations, adapting advertising strategies accordingly, and ensuring compliance with industry standards. Some practical guidance on monitoring regulatory developments, adjusting campaign tactics, and collaborating with legal experts could help sportsbooks navigate regulatory complexities while maximising user acquisition and ROI.

3. What are the potential risks or losses sportsbooks might face if they neglect to implement a robust defence against fraud in their campaigns, especially given the projected growth in the global sports betting market?

Neglecting to implement a robust defence against fraud in ad campaigns can expose sportsbooks to various risks and losses. These may include wasted advertising budgets due to inflated costs from invalid traffic, damage to brand reputation from fraudulent activities, and missed opportunities for user acquisition and revenue generation. Furthermore, failure to address fraud adequately could result in regulatory penalties or legal liabilities, especially as regulatory scrutiny in the sports betting industry intensifies. By prioritising fraud prevention measures, sportsbooks can safeguard their advertising investments, protect their brand integrity, and capitalise on growth opportunities in the expanding market.


Get started - it's free

You can set up a TrafficGuard account in minutes, so we’ll be protecting your campaigns before you can say ‘sky-high ROI’.

Share with your network:


Subscribe now to get all the latest news and insights on digital advertising, machine learning and ad fraud.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.