In an apparent U-turn on part of its television betting policy, satellite broadcaster BSkyB is putting fixed-odds roulette games back on its interactive TV (iTV) platform after a year's absence.
Sky Subscriber Services told gaming companies last week it had dropped a year-long moratorium on the game, self-imposed in the wake of a High Court ruling last year after a case brought by the Gaming Board against the Association of British Bookmakers. The effect was to allow fixed odds betting at the bookmakers, but to ban casino games except roulette on TV.
SkyBet, BSkyB's wholly owned betting subsidiary, is now expected to offer fixed-odds roulette for the first time. "The SSSL agreement is under review, but as an operator I expect roulette to be included," said Richard Flint, SkyBet's commercial director. "The internet has an image as a geeky medium, and interactive TV betting is an easier sell to the mass market."
Fixed odds roulette has proved very popular in the UK. Reports suggest that it may pull in up top 90% of the gaming revenues derived from fixed-odds betting terminals installed on bookmakers' premises, with William Hill forecasting $3.5bn from its terminals alone this year.
Lovelacemedia | 14.07.2004