Gamesys Group Cuts TV, Radio Advertising As Lockdown Gaming Soars

Gamesys Group Cuts TV, Radio Advertising As Lockdown Gaming Soars

April 23 (Reuters) - Online gaming operator Gamesys Group is suspending TV and radio advertising until Britain's coronavirus restrictions are eased, saying it was concerned not to target children and those with gambling problems stuck at home during the lockdowns.

The company said on Thursday it had increased the monitoring of player time and spend across all its sites and that it will suspend its direct-mail marketing and bda untargeted digital advertising but will continue to advertise its brands online.

First-quarter revenue at the company, which offers bingo and casino games, increased by 19% on a proforma basis to 155.3 million pounds ($191.64 million), boosted by strong growth in Asia and solid performance in the UK.

Shares in the company, which said its balance sheet was in robust financial health, were up 6.2% to 851 pence by 0719 GMT.

The owner of brands such as Jackpotjoy, Virgin Games, Botemania also said it is providing 10 hours of free bingo every day in markets where regulations allow.

Gambling firms have flagged growing risks of gambling-related harm as more stuck-at-home Europeans bet online amid nationwide lockdowns. Another online gaming firm 888 said last week it was ramping up programmes aimed at managing gambling addiction.

Gamesys said it had made a good start to the second quarter, with trends so far broadly in line with those experienced in the first quarter.

($1 = 0.8104 pounds) (Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham and Rashmi Aich)