Sky Betting & Gaming (SB&G) is shutting down its casino affiliate marketing program in the wake of some scathing media coverage and a rapidly changing regulatory environment. It’s a significant move that could signal seismic shifts in the casino affiliate marketing business.
SB&G informed its affiliate partners of its decision on Monday in an e-mail that spoke of a changing regulatory environment that made maintaining the program no longer viable.
Casino affiliates and their operator partners have been under increased scrutiny from both the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC)and Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) for their business practices. In particular, the government seems concerned that some affiliate programs are in need of more regulatory oversight, especially when it comes to rollovers and other promotions. The situation was made worse when The Guardian ran an article suggested that some affiliates were actively encouraging problem gamblers to make long odds bets.
In its statement to its (former) affiliate partners the company explained the situation as follows:
Following a comprehensive strategic review, Sky Betting and Gaming has decided to close its UK affiliate programme. This difficult decision has been taken to give us more control of our marketing outputs and standards to ensure that we can continue to meet the changing regulatory requirements in our sector.
Over at GPWA.org and other industry forums, SB&G’s former affiliate partners were understandably disappointed (and angry) and some even threatened legal action. Though what recourse they have if the company keeps its word and pays out any outstanding charges is unclear.
SB&G says that their casino affiliate marketing program will be completely shuttered by October 2.