Sky Bet Cuts Ties With Affiliates To Avoid UKGC FinesJake Cooper | 13 Sep 2017
Sports betting and gambling giant Sky Betting and Gaming has caused controversy among its affiliates by announcing plans to drop its affiliate programme altogether. The operator runs numerous popular iGaming brands, including Sky Casino Sky Vegas, Sky Bingo, Sky Poker and Sky Bet.
The company announced its affiliate programme shutdown via email, giving its affiliates thirty-day notice (the programme will officially end on October 2). Sky Bet and Gaming’s decision has understandably been met with chagrin from affiliates, as many of them may see dropping revenues in the months to come.
Representatives of the UK betting giant have explained that closing the programme is necessary as operators could soon face strict regulatory changes thanks to the UK’s recent iGaming crackdown. The UKGC has also made it clear that it will toughen its stance on the legal responsibilities of licensed operators, particularly when it comes to affiliate advertising. Unethical ads from affiliates prompted the authority to introduce strict laws after several major operators received hefty fines.
’Social Media Tipsters’ Blamed For Sky’s Decision
BGO was the first to receive a fine after its affiliates posted misleading ads in order to attract players. Lottoland was next, being slapped with a fine for violating marketing codes – more specifically, broadcasting a misleading radio ad.
Sky Betting and Gaming spokespeople noted in their email that the firm is opting to end its relationships with affiliates because the programme may be a serious risk to the brand. The UKGC’s strict new regulations have become a concern for Sky, forcing the company to manage its advertising on its own in order to minimise the risk of receiving a UKGC penalty.
Some affiliates who provide customers with incorrect information have also prompted Sky Bet’s decision. These so-called social media tipsters generate income by offering followers betting outcome information, but unfortunately, this info has been demonstrated to not always be correct.
Former Affiliates Must Remove All Info Related To Sky Bet
Tipsters are known to attract a great number of new customers for operators by recommending their brands, but the operators often bear the brunt of their wrongdoings. Some affiliates believe that this is the reason behind Sky Bet’s decision, although it could lead to significantly lower revenues for the operator.
Sky Bet’s former affiliates will now be forced to remove all links and promotional material related to the brand from their sites. Some affiliates are even threatening to press legal charges against the bookmaker due to a breach of contract surrounding a promised ‘lifetime revenue share’.
Others still believe that this could be the beginning of the end of Sky, and are concerned that the brand’s move could inspire other gambling brands like Ladbrokes Coral to drop their own affiliate programmes to cut costs and minimise risk.