The UK TV and Online Casinos

Published on: September 7, 2009 

NetPlay, an interactive gambling group, has signed an interesting deal.  On September 17th, 2009 the casino along with the TV station they signed a deal with will change how the future of casino gambling looks.  This is the day when casino play will be broadcast in the United Kingdom for the first time.  RTL owned Five will broadcast NetPlay’s  They will have a show three nights per week running from midnight to 4am.  The show will be extended to six nights a week in October after both companies see how well the station does.  By 2010 it is possible that the online casino world will have a show running seven days a week.

The show is going to give players access to create betting accounts and gamble right from the television.  Once the account has been set up the player is going to be promoted for action.  The bets can be made on the phone or web.  For example, when the roulette wheel begins to spin on the TV screen it means all bets are in and the player is waiting to see if they win.  The money is then accredited to the players account.

The deal includes an option to buy 5 percent of Netplay’s shares at 28.5p.  This means there is a small premium on top of the closing price for last week.  The deal was made to other stations.  For example Ofcom was in on the bid, but their guidelines did not allow televised gambling.  NetPlay is not the first online casino to make a television deal.  Nor is Five the first deal NetPlay has made regarding TV.  They have already been operating on satellite channels, on STV Scottish TV, and now they have added Five to the mix.  NetPlay has described the show as a four hour advertisement.  It is supposed to encourage the viewers to gamble.

Martin Higginson is the CEO of NetPlay.  In a recent interview he stated that the controls will be tight like they are for internet gambling.  Yet there is a decline in advertising, so they needed to find a way to increase revenue.  Naturally they thought of TV.  They are hoping the show will be successful enough to add other UK channels and to branch out into more countries.  Some are against the new move.  They feel it could open up too much debt and addiction for gamblers.

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