Sky Betting and Gaming has recently decided to close down its affiliate programme. However, Mr. Joerg Hofmann of Melchers Rechtsanwaelte, a German legal firm commented that this decision is no shock to him.
Just last week, Sky Betting and Gaming closed down its hub of affiliates, giving them 28 days’ notice. They mentioned that the reason for the shutdown was due to regulatory concerns. Mr. Hofmann added that he thought operators should be more thorough because there might be more on the cards for the company.
Hofmann reported that, “The industry has been ignoring liability risks arising in the context of affiliate marketing for too long and will have to wake up. They will be well advised to take a close look at their partners and policies in place to avoid risks to their company.”
It is known that Mr. Joerg Hofmann is also a member of the International Masters of Gaming Law group. He has been voicing his opinion about the problems with liability for quite some time now, including when it stops for the operator. He has also mentioned that most operators don’t even realise the extent to which they are liable.
Sky Betting and Gaming commented, “As you will be aware, the regulatory landscape in which the industry operates is developing and maturing and operators are experiencing increased obligations regarding their regulatory responsibilities and level of compliance,” which definitely raised the concerns Mr. Hofmann has expressed.
They continued to say, “In order to continue to operate in a compliant manner, we feel that operating the Programme is no longer viable and that managing the output of affiliates presents a significant risk to our business from a regulatory perspective. It is for this reason that we have chosen to terminate the Programme.”
Mr. David Clifton, co-founder of the UK legal consultancy, Clifton Davies, had something to say about the matter. He included in reports, “This seems to me an unfortunate but inevitable consequence of the principle behind the combined regulatory requirements of data protection legislation, advertising rules and Gambling Commission LCCP demands, namely that gambling operators must take responsibility for the misdemeanours of their affiliates. Sky B&G appears to have decided that managing the compliance risks posed by its affiliates is too challenging a task and, with regulators adopting increasingly tough enforcement stances, one can’t help but wonder how many other operators will reach the same view.”
As more companies close their affiliate programme, it may begin to shift this business model entirely. The UK will most likely continue to see changes such as this one, so it will be interesting to see if or when this business model is completely gone.