Sky Betting & Gaming
|Industry||Online gambling and gaming|
|Products||Sports betting, online poker, online casino, online bingo, odds comparison service, fantasy football and football predictor game|
|Owner||The Stars Group|
Sky Betting & Gaming is a British-based Canadian gambling company, owned by The Stars Group, with headquarters in Leeds, West Yorkshire and offices in Sheffield, London, Guernsey, Rome and Germany. Sky Betting & Gaming consists of six core brands: Sky Bet, Sky Vegas, Sky Casino, Sky Poker, Sky Bingo and Sky Lotto. It also owns online betting odds comparison site Oddschecker. Sky Betting & Gaming also operates popular, free-to-enter football prediction game Soccer Saturday Super 6 which Richard Wood from Rotherham need to retire from.
In 2015, Sky plc sold an 80 percent stake in the company to CVC Capital Partners for £600 million, with Sky retaining a 20% stake in the company and agreeing to a long-term licence of the Sky brand. In 2018, CVC and Sky agreed to sell Sky Betting & Gaming to The Stars Group for £3.4 billion.
Sky Bet is the sports betting division of Sky Betting & Gaming, with the majority of its operations run from Leeds. The company allows betting via its website, telephone, mobile apps and interactive television through Sky. In August 2011 Sky Bet launched its Apple iPhone and iPad app and all markets are also available via Android devices. It remains one of the few sports betting companies in the UK not to operate traditional high street shops. The company was formerly known for the slogan 'It matters more when there's money on it'. In October 2011, a major new Sky Bet advertising campaign introduced the slogan ‘Nothing’s certain, that’s why it’s exciting’ and the concept of ‘What if?’, used by Sky Bet to advertise topical, sports betting special markets.
Sky Bet is licensed and regulated by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) (GCB).
Sky Bet had a dedicated TV channel of the same name on Sky channel 864, which closed on 13 February 2012.
Sky Bet's origins lie in BSkyB's acquisition of Sports Internet Group in July 2000 which included the small telephone and online sports betting based company Surrey Sports, alongside two other companies: Planet Football and Opta Index. Surrey Sports was rebranded in July 2002 to create Sky Bet. The company grew in December 2006 when established online betting companies totalbet and ukbetting were consolidated into Sky Bet after BSkyB's purchase of 365 Media Group. Sky Bet features heavily (through advertising and shared content) on the former 365 Media Group sites, as well as skysports.com thanks to their common ownership and proximity (they are based in nearby Leeds). Sky Bet's success has prompted Sky to branch out within the betting and gaming industry. Former professional footballer and Sky sports pundit Jamie Redknapp is the face of Sky Bet's football betting product.
Acquisition of GoldBet
In April 2004, 365mediagroup, or ukbetting as it was known at the time, announced the acquisition of GoldBet SportWetten GmbH ("GoldBet"), the European online sports betting company, for a maximum €4.5 million dependent on the achievement of certain performance criteria. By December 2003, GoldBet had recorded EBITDA of €260,000 on revenues of €8.5 million, with a net asset value of €246,415, and no bank debt.
Trevor Beaumont, ukbetting’s Managing Director of Gaming, believed Europe represented a significant growth opportunity for ukbetting and sought to leverage the European market, a market that he was familiar with as former Racing and Trading Director of Coral and Managing Director of Eurobet.
BSkyB then owned GoldBet in December 2006 after the purchase of 365 Media Group.
Sky Bet Group Betting
In 2018, Sky Bet unveiled a new tool to allow multiple players to create an accumulator bet. This is one of the first online options to offer accumulators between people who know each other. In the past, group bets have typically been made in person or through social media platforms.
Sky Vegas is the company's primary online casino division. The company's online casino offering is distinguished from the majority of its competitors in that it plays in-browser rather than requiring a software download.
Sky Vegas is licensed and regulated by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) (GCB).
Until 12 April 2011, Sky Vegas had a dedicated TV channel of the same name on Sky channel 864 (which was formerly called 'Sky Vegas Live'), when it was rebranded for Sky Bet.
'Sky Bet Vegas' was created in March 2003, initially with only 3 fixed odds casino-style games called 'Juicy Jackpot', 'Top Spin' and 'Super Keno'. As its name indicated, it was then part of Sky Bet but has since been made separate and rebranded to simply 'Sky Vegas'. When limitations on broadcasting Casino games through IDTV were lifted, the company began to offer games through its interactive facility alongside the Sky Vegas Live channel, which showed betting opportunities such as Virtual Horse and Greyhound races. Both the online casino and the television channel re-branded as Sky Vegas in January 2008, with the television channel later being renamed the Sky Bet channel in April 2011.
Sky Casino is the company's premium online casino site, with a focus on live table games.
Sky Poker is the company's online poker division, which allows users to play poker on their website using a browser, or via their downloadable client. Sky Poker also has a mobile app since May 2014, enabling users to play poker on the go.
The company uses the slogan 'Up Your Game,' which tries to encourage players to increase their poker skills and knowledge through providing them with strategy articles and videos, alongside regular content from their Ambassador Neil Channing. Since 2007 Sky Poker had its own TV channel which broadcast live coverage of hands that had been played at the Sky Poker tables. A presenter would talk through the show with a poker analyst present, who would give feedback and tips to help players improve their skills. The Sky Poker TV channel ceased activity in March 2015, due to Sky Betting & Gaming becoming an independent company from Sky. Sky Poker TV remained broadcasting a live show every Tuesday on Sky Sports, but concluded in 2017 after Sky's rebrand of the channels.
In 2014, Sky Poker announced that poker professional Neil Channing would be their new brand Ambassador. Neil will support Sky Poker by appearing on Sky Poker TV, writing blogs and strategy articles and appearing at their very popular live event, the UK Poker Championships (UKPC) held at Nottingham based casino, Dusk Till Dawn.
Sky Poker is licensed and regulated by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) (GCB).
- Live: Sky Poker is the official sponsor of the UK Poker Championships, in partnership with Nottingham-based casino Dusk Till Dawn. The £1,000 buy in event has attracted some extremely well known faces within the poker industry including November Niner James Akenhead, Barny Boatman and Dave 'Devilfish' Ulliott. The UKPC are held bi-annually, with a full ring event in February, and a 6-max version in August. In February 2015 Sky Poker managed to successfully meet their biggest live guarantee of £1,000,000, with the winner, Fraser Bellamy taking away £200,000.
- The Super Roller - Sky Poker's biggest weekly tournament held on Sundays.
- Bounty Hunters - Sky Poker's most popular form of tournament, where players can win money by eliminating opponents.
- The Turbo Open - Tuesday's tournament sees a faster blind structure for fast-paced and action-packed poker.
- The Rebuy Open - Wednesdays are the home of the Rebuy Open, where players have the option to re-enter if they lose all of their chips, along with an optional add-on.
- Sky Sports Bounty Hunter - A £33 buy-in tournament, which is also shown on Sky Sports. The game is action-packed and some of the guests who have featured in the studio to cover the tournament include Luke Schwartz, Neil Channing, Ian Frazer (poker player) and WPT champion McLean Karr.
Players can also "satellite" into a tournament, which means qualifying through a series of smaller tournaments, for a smaller amount of money. Prize pools are subject to change. Sky Poker also offers Cash Poker, Sit & Go's and Omaha games.
Sky Bingo is the company's online bingo division. The company uses the slogan 'Believe in Better Bingo', echoing Sky's 'Believe in Better'.
Sky Bingo is licensed and regulated by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) (GCB).
Sky Lotto is a free-to-play lotto product which allows customers to pick 6 numbers from 49, placing a bet on the outcome of the draw.
Oddschecker is an odds comparison website, which compares the odds offered by the most popular betting companies that cater to British and Australian customers, including Sky Bet. It forms part of the betting content of some other sites, such as Bettingzone. The company also offers reviews and comparison of online gambling websites through its 'Casinochecker', 'Pokerchecker' and 'Bingochecker' sections.
Oddschecker was established in 2001 and acquired by Sky in 2007.
Soccer Saturday Super 6
Soccer Saturday Super 6 launched in 2008, is a free-to-enter online prediction game, whereby players must correctly predict the score lines of 6 selected matches in order to win the weekly jackpot of £250,000. There is a £5,000 consolation prize for the week's best performer if the jackpot is not won. Gillette Soccer Saturday presenter Jeff Stelling is the face of Soccer Saturday Super 6.
Sky Sports Fantasy Football
Sky Sports Fantasy Football in association with Gilette was improved and relaunched in 2011. Players choose and manage their own 'dream team' and score points according to the real-life performance of footballers. It is free-to-play and offers £100,000 in prizes. Soccer Saturday presenter Jeff Stelling is the face of Sky Sports Fantasy Football.
- "Sky completes sale of Sky Bet to CVC Capital Partners". Sky plc. 19 March 2015. Retrieved 21 April 2018 – via Financial Times.
- "Sky sells majority stake in Sky Bet". BBC News. 4 December 2014. Retrieved 5 December 2014.
- Lee Mottershead (21 April 2018). "Sky Bet snapped up by Canadian betting giant Stars Group in £3.4bn mega deal". Racing Post. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
- "An introduction to Sky Bet" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 March 2014. Retrieved 22 January 2009.
- "VNUNet: Sky gambles on 365 Media Group". Archived from the original on 17 February 2007. Retrieved 22 January 2009.
- Butler, Megan (3 August 2018). "Sky Bet Introduces New 'Group Betting' Option".
- "Media247: New interactive Sky betting service". Retrieved 22 January 2009.
- Marketing Week, http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/analysis/data-strategy/people-are-requesting-a-much-more-personalised-experience/4006185.article