Mark McGuiness: The Football Pools – Back to the good old days…

Mark McGuiness – The Football Pools

Mark McGuiness, Head of Marketing and Casino at The Football Pools, says that global events and the upcoming review of the UK Gambling Act will change how bettors bet, with many consumers looking for big wins from small stakes and with established brands they can trust…

You only have to take a quick look at the news headlines to see that the world is changing and not necessarily for the better.

The Covid 19 pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a looming global recession and the UK government’s pending review of the Gambling Act 2005 are all impacting life as we know it. The latter is of particular concern for the operators, suppliers and affiliates active in the UK market.

While the long-awaited outcome of the review has yet to be published, it is clear from recent changes and the discussions being had that responsible gambling will be front and centre. But what does this actually mean for stakeholders and especially operators?

At The Football Pools, we believe this will result in a shift to small stakes betting but where the potential to win big is still a real possibility.

This will be driven by changes to the Gambling Act and visible economic factors that will reduce disposable income and see consumers seek greater value from their reduced spending.

This means that operators should refocus on products that provide this, with pool betting, bingo and lottery aligning with changing industry requirements and consumer preferences.

This is not only because of the small stakes big win potential they provide but also because they are considered softer forms of gambling – both in the eyes of players and wider stakeholder groups. I believe this will ultimately benefit established brands. In times of trouble, people often hark back to the good old days when things were different.

As a heritage brand fast approaching its 100th birthday, this is something the team behind The Football Pools is looking to leverage.

But we know that an established name and trusted reputation that is multi-generational is not enough on its own to compete in what is a very crowded market. That is why we continue to adapt and innovate and remain committed to transitioning The Football Pools and The Pools into digital businesses and brands built for today.

Of course, we are in a unique position in that in our 100-year journey we have weathered a world war, several recessions, a miner’s strike and massive societal changes.

We have done this by putting our players first and by not becoming a faceless brand in a sector where trust and loyalty are incredibly hard to come by. We do not take this trust and loyalty for granted, and as we approach our 100-year anniversary in 2023 the team is working harder than ever to meet and exceed player expectations.

This means providing our players with the chance to win big from small stakes and with a player experience that sets the standard within the online lottery and pool betting verticals. We are thoroughly committed to responsible gambling and want our players to have tremendous fun via socially acceptable games that will entertain and excite for another 100 years to come.


Mark McGuiness – Head of Marketing @ The Football Pools 

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