The recently formed Gamesys Group has suspended all non-targeted customer marketing, including television and radio advertising, to protect customers and minors under lockdown as a result of novel coronavirus (Covid-19).
The group – created when JPJ Group acquired Gamesys last year – said it recognised that lockdowns to limit the spread of the virus could lead to vulnerable gamblers seeing many more advertisements, which could put them at greater risk.
“The unprecedented Covid-19 crisis means that families across the UK are now spending the vast majority of their time living together at home, with the result that some children and some of those that may be at risk of gambling disorder, may be watching more television, listening to more radio and increasing consumption of other media platforms,” Gamesys explained.
“In such an environment, the Gamesys board believes that it is prudent to suspend untargeted customer marketing and we have taken the precautionary decision to cease all TV and radio advertising in the UK until current social restrictions are eased.”
As part of this suspension, the group’s Jackpotjoy brand will no longer sponsor ITV’s daytime chat show Loose Women. The show will instead be sponsored by domestic abuse charity Women’s Aid, to which Gamesys Group has also donated £200,000.
“I am delighted to be able to announce our support for Women's Aid to help it provide such a vital service during these extraordinary times,” Gamesys chief executive Lee Fenton said.
“Like all businesses across the UK and those within our sector, we will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation carefully and operate based on official Government guidelines until we are ready to return to a normal course of business.”
The group will continue to use targeted online marketing, but will also suspend direct-mail marketing and non-targeted digital ads.
“Our business purpose of ‘crafting entertainment with care; has never been more relevant and we remain committed to providing a fun, safe and entertaining environment for our global customer base to enjoy,” Fenton added.
The news was announced alongside a financial update for the first quarter of 2020. The operator said revenue increased 19% to £155.3m for the three months ended 31 March.
The group said revenue growth was down to progress Asia and continued success in the UK, as well as double-digit growth in the US. Gamesys also experienced growth in most mainland European territories, but this was offset by continued struggles in Sweden.
Although many businesses have been heavily affected by the virus, Gamesys Group said the second quarter of 2020 looks similar to the first in terms of revenue so far.
“The Group has made a good start to Q2 and although it is still early in the period, trends are so far broadly in line with those experienced in Q1,” it noted.