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23 May 2022
23 May 2022
Posted by TrafficGuard

Five things you should know about sports betting and ad fraud.

As ad budgets balloon, betting businesses can’t afford to drop the ball on ad fraud. School up on how click fraudsters are stealing money and customers from the gambling industry, and learn how to score a slam dunk against online advertising’s toughest opponent.

If this threat is news to you, here’s 5 things you should know about ad fraud in the betting industry.

It’s more prevalent than ever.

The first thing to understand about ad fraud and betting? It’s everywhere. Thanks to the tidal wave of home working (and general being-stuck-inside), there were more eyes on screens, more free time, and more interest in national and international sporting events. Americans bet an estimated $7.6 billion dollars on this year’s Super Bowl alone, 78% more than last year.

With an increased appetite for sports betting, bookmakers are increasingly relying on paid media channels to bag their share of customers. With these eye-wateringly high ad budgets and traffic levels, fraudsters are par for the course.

The industry is one of the most impacted.

While the tech boom has caused ad fraud to rise across most industries, sports betting is one of the hardest hit. In fact, fraud across gambling campaigns is second only to the financial sector in terms of click validity, with 34% of the traffic through gambling campaigns found to be invalid.

The large budgets we mentioned earlier are partly to blame for this. Acquisition costs in the industry are sky-high, as bookmakers battle to score customers in a crowded, time-sensitive market. The huge amounts spent on securing the most coveted spot on the SERP are highly attractive to bad actors. Bonuses like free spins and bets are a tactic often deployed by bookmakers to attract new customers, but they’re also highly attractive to fraudsters. Bad actors use sophisticated bots and networks of fellow gambling gangsters to swindle advertisers out of these bonuses. This puts advertisers in a difficult position, as they’re top marketing tactic is also one of the major drains on their precious ad budget.

It’s having a big effect on ad budgets.

We already know the devastating impact click fraud can have on ad budgets, but a recent campaign we ran with a betting customer highlighted just how large the effect can be in the industry. Before they had TrafficGuard in their corner, this betting company was up against a heavyweight opponent causing no end of damage to their ad campaigns. Check out the stats;

  • 38% of all of their clicks came from invalid sources.
  • This equated to approximately £18,934.57 wasted on invalid traffic.
  • This was nearly half of their total spend during the same period.
  • 83% of invalid clicks came from bots.

Fraudsters are taking advantage of spikes in traffic.

From the Stanley Cup to the Daytona 500, the Tour de France to the Kentucky Derby— international sporting events attract massive surges in online betting whether they’re played with wheels, balls, or hooves. During the last World Cup punters dropped $136 billion across the entire tournament, March Madness in the US rakes in $8.5 billion on its college basketball every year, and big name boxing tournaments are seeing increasing numbers of single wagers over $1 million. Spikes in betting traffic come in thick and fast—but so do fraudsters.

Share of fraudulent traffic massively increases during significant events, with bad actors able to take advantage of surges and hide among the masses. The overall conversion rate naturally increases during this time, and cheaters are able to sneak invalid traffic by as operators are unable to source them out.

Once again advertisers are at their most vulnerable during what should be their most profitable time.

A powerful solution is needed to combat ad fraud.

The high budgets and large volumes of traffic experienced by gambling companies leave them open to fraudulent threats. To fight back, betting businesses must implement a strategy that is fit for the demands of their industry as opposed to a one-size-fits-all approach many legacy partners offer, it’s the only way to safeguard budgets from large scale bot attacks and stay ahead of the competition.

With a clearer understanding of where invalid traffic is coming from, betting companies ROAS with greater conversions and confidence in their data and analytics. By getting ahead of the sources before it affects the budget, businesses can avoid playing catchup and chasing lost revenue that is already in the hands of fraudsters.

TrafficGuard enables gambling companies to access better results for their PPC campaigns with a proactive, multipoint approach. If you’d like to know more, reach out to our team.