Speaking at last week’s Betting on Sports 2017, Sky Betting & Gaming CEO Richard Flint said that his company “had to act” after recent rulings by the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
The rulings, which led to Sky Bet closing its affiliate hub, deemed that an affiliate partner of the operator had used dubious adverts which promoted the idea that ‘gambling could provide an escape from personal financial problems’.
Speaking to CalvinAyre.com at Betting on Sports, Sky Bet CEO, Richard Flint said: “There are lot of high profile detractors and people criticising the gambling industry, to have those sort of affiliate led advertisements that damages our license and certainly damages our reputation, we had to act, this announcement today was really the last straw in us taking the decision to shut our affiliate programme.”
Flint highlighted that there had been a noted concern amongst Sky Bet and Sky UK hierarchy with regards to affiliate marketing practices, and their negative effects on corporate marketing principals.
Sky Bet’s CEO pointed to a meeting between Sky and the Premier League in which illegal streaming websites were a key discussion point. Whilst reviewing illegally streamed sports content, a number of Sky Bet affiliate banners were displayed on the rogue websites, causing much embarrassment for Flint and Sky Bet operations.
Despite not being implicated in the recent ruling, Paddy Power Betfair was also prompted to toughen its stance on affiliates, stating that it takes Gambling Commission guidelines ‘very seriously’ and warning its affiliates that it will take immediate action against any partners that breach its promotional guidelines.
Discussing affiliates at Betting on Sports, CEO of Better Collective, Jesper Soegaard voiced his annoyance at Sky Bet’s decision: “They could have dealt with the decision in a better manner, the way they handled it. They could have continued paying out affiliates from the databases they might have, or just honouring all the players they’ve sent.”