Gambling Ads Ban Cause 18.2% Revenue Loss for Sky TV

  • Sky TV books 18.2% revenue drop from gambling advertisements
  • Whistle-to-whistle ban in the UK and Italy’s mass ads ban cited as the reason why
  • A slate of regulatory measures hit both the United Kingdom and Italy to reduce gambling harm

Sky TV’s revenue fell 18.2% because of gambling advertisement restrictions in the United Kingdom and Italy.

Sky TV Suffers Huge Losses Because of Gambling Ads Ban

Sky TV gambling advertisements revenue fell amidst the latest anti-gambling bans across the United Kingdom, even though Comcast – the parent entity – posted upbeat Q3 results overall.

The Comcast-owned company registered 18.2% drop year-over-year for Q3 2019. Decreasing revenue was mostly due to the whistle-to-whistle ban on gambling products during major sports events in the United Kingdom. Similarly, Sky TV had been affected by Italy’s decision to go all-out on any form of public gambling advertisement in the country.

Specifically, the revenue fell to $446 million from $545 million in 2018. That has been the first full quarter when Sky TV operated within the parameters of the UK gambling advertisement restrictions.

At the time the whistle-to-whistle measure was passed, some suggested that the restriction wasn’t enough to limit the negative effect from gambling advertisement, and that most operators and businesses had agreed, because they were in the process of shifting their advertisement efforts online.

A Whistle-to-Whistle Ban to Limit Gambling Harm

In December 2018, the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling (IGRG) pushed through with a ban backed by business and lawmakers. Even at the end of 2018, standards for regulated gambling were already getting tighter.

As per the ban, no pre-watershed event could be accompanied by any gambling ads in any of the breaks. The ban applies to five minutes before an event to five minutes after an event is over.

Gauging the results from the first three-months since the ban has been place will give companies some idea what to expect. However, business is likely to continue pushing more aggressively online, although this will come with its own challenges.

More Measures Regulate the UK

Meanwhile, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has been able to introduce a FOBTs restriction and push the remote gambling revenue levy up to 21%. In the case of FOBTs, the measure has led to the closure of over 700 betting shops by popular brands such as William Hill.

Furthermore, the Commission has asked operators to be prepared to offer adequate security and identity checks. Moving forward, no-one can play at any online casinos in the United Kingdom without having first verified their identity.

In 2018, gambling companies paid the whopping £19.6 million because of failures to meet certain regulatory standards. While this sounds worrying, the fines had mostly to do with infringements that happened earlier.

At the same time, the NHS and other concerned bodies have launched a number of help lines and clinics where young people can be offered assistance. There is still underfunding in the area, but more volunteers are helping pick up the slack.

Back to Sky TV’s revenue, Italy’s own measure to ban ads from public spaces, including the Internet, has definitely bitten deeply into the purses of gambling companies.

Most operators are now reconsidering their partnerships in the country, which is coming under tougher regulatory scrutiny, which some say is occasioned by populism.

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