Less than half of traffic generated by the top online gambling operators is direct traffic, according to a report published by SimilarWeb.
SimilarWeb, which also recently published extensive statistics on online UK sports betting, collated various pieces of online traffic data by examining the backlink profiles of the top gambling websites.
Ranking second behind direct traffic, which scored 37%, was referrals with 24%, followed by display ads with 22%, search engines with 17%, social with 1.5% and mail with 0.3%.
Only 21% of gambling websites were deemed to even have social media traffic.
SimiliarWeb said: “In most industries, one expects to see higher numbers for traffic sources such as direct, search, and, especially, social; and lower numbers for of display ads and mail. However, the traffic distribution in gambling differs from other industries.”
Overall, online gambling traffic makes up 0.4% of all online traffic.
Facebook was found to generate 53% of i-gaming social media traffic as of February 2016, and YouTube was the social media site that placed second with 23%, while Twitter scored 8% and Reddit made up 2% of the total.
Within Facebook, PokerStars was the most active gambling community with just short of one million likes.
The UK was the country that ranked highest for online gambling traffic with 9%, followed by the US and Germany with 8% and 6% respectively.
The US ranking can be seen as surprising, given that the regulated market only covers three US states and was worth an approximate total of $171.6m (£118.8m) for 2015, in terms of generated revenue, in comparison with estimated total online gross online win of approximately £3bn in the same year for the UK.
Another finding was that backlinks in the industry are predominantly below average, according to Ahref, which provides a database of live backlinks, with only 12% of gambling backlinks rating as above average with a score of over 60.
When assessing links from news website, it was found that 37% of gambling domains have at least one link from a top news website and 24% of gambling websites have more than one top media source in their backlink portfolio, while less than 6% of gambling websites have links from more than 10 top news websites among their referring domains.