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Gambling Ads Shut Down During Pandemic, Virtual Sports Betting Takes Off

Written by:
Gilbert Horowitz
Published on:
Apr/27/2020

UK betting firms have put a stop to advertising of online gambling sites while the coronavirus pandemic continues.


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The Betting and Gaming Council, which represents 90% of the UK’s betting, gaming, bingo and casino companies, said booked TV and radio slots would either feature safe gambling messaging from charities or be removed entirely if contracts with broadcasters permitted.

“From day one of this crisis we have sought to protect customers potentially at risk,” said Michael Dugher, the BGC’s chief executive. “This latest move by the regulated industry further underlines our commitment to safer betting and gaming with many people cut off and feeling anxious.”
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Members have until 7 May to remove their ads from TV and radio, and the ban will last until at least 5 June.

DraftKings has already taken its first steps into the world of virtual sports betting. It announced last week that it had signed a deal with Inspired Entertainment, a major provider of such games for European sports books.

Virtual sports are very popular in Europe, especially now when most real sports leagues have suspended or canceled their seasons. Several operators have been attempting to introduce them to the US market too.


The Jazz Sports virtual betting product rolled out this month to rave reviews

Inspired already had a few deals in place in New Jersey prior to DraftKings. Bet365 is foremost among these as the first US operator to offer virtual sports products within its online sportsbook rather than its casino.

There are, however, a few challenges that DraftKings and other US operators will face while foraying into the virtual sports arena.

For one thing, the products themselves are mostly designed for the European market. Soccer is a major focus, for instance. That’s beginning to change, though, as Inspired has developed new products for American tastes. One of these, NFL Alumni Legends, is similar to Dream Bracket in that it features historical players rather than current or fictional ones.

- Gilbert Horowitz, Gambling911.com

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