|Sky TV is to ban casino games on its platform, according to a story on tech website New Media Zero. |
New Media has seen a letter from Sky Subscriber Services Ltd (SSSL) to its broadcasters saying that from July 21 it will remove any such services. The letter, sent in the past week follows negotiations between Sky, the UK government and the Gaming Board, which have reservations about the growth of interactive gambling on iTV. The UK’s gambling reforms have yet to come into effect, which leaves a number of loopholes that have allowed interactive gambling services to operate so far.
The letter warns that companies must remove all such services “defined as gaming by the 1968 Gaming Act”, or Sky will “take immediate steps to disable these products or if necessary the entire service from which such products are launched”.
A Sky spokesman denied that the move was due to government pressure, saying instead that this was more of a “proactive move”. But the spokesman admitted that this would remove the possibility of government action against SSSL if services did contravene the law.
Tom Kavanagh, secretary of the Gaming Board, said the Sky platform currently hosts services which shouldn't be there “because they're offering gaming which is not permitted in the UK”.
Sky's move will have be bad news for gaming operators like Avago and TotoPools. Avago founder Debbie Mason said Sky's decision had 'come out of the blue' and that Avago was taking legal advice.