Being stuck in the middle of a pandemic of a virus that we don’t know much about and that has gripped every contour of society is discomforting, to say the least.
Yet, in the face of an unprecedented situation, the general tone of things has for once been “we’re all in this together”, which kind of gives hope that Covid-19 could soon be brought under control.
Irish gambling operator Flutter Entertainment (formerly Paddy Power Betfair) has often landed in hot water for its tongue-in-cheek advertising campaigns. However, the company revealed that it has taken steps to prevent its affiliates and third-party advertising partners from taking advantage of the global coronavirus crisis and use “current events in an opportunistic manner.”
Flutter, which manages the Paddy Power and Betfair gambling brands, among others, this week distributed a message to its affiliate partners titled Coronavirus and Marketing, warning them to follow the company’s marketing guidelines and code of conduct amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
The message reads:
“Partners are not allowed to reference coronavirus in any marketing materials when promoting PPB (Paddy Power Betfair) brands. We will have zero tolerance on this type of activity and partners will be suspended immediately.”
Warning Amid Widespread Cancellation/Postponement of Sporting Events
Flutter’s warning emerges as the sports betting industry is preparing for unprecedented losses as there are practically no major events sports enthusiasts can wager on.
A number of sporting events around have been canceled or postponed globally in recent weeks in response to the Covid-19 crisis and as the world is fighting to contain the spread of the dangerous virus.
There are nearly 250,000 known coronavirus cases around the world and the number of deaths passed the 10,000 mark. Numbers continue to rise steeply despite global efforts to contain the outbreak.
Flutter said earlier this week that the unfolding crisis and the impact Covid-19 has on the global sports calendar would have massive impact on its 2020 financial performance. In a market update, the gambling operator said that it expects its full-year EBITDA to be reduced by £90-£100 million, or even more, due to the cancellation/postponement of big sporting events.
Flutter’s estimate included the cancellation of Euro 2020, even though UEFA’s announcement that it would postpone the football championship to 2021 was made a few days after the gambling operator updated the market on how badly it expects to be affected by the Covid-19 crisis.
Flutter is in the middle of a multi-billion tie-up with Canadian gambling giant The Stars Group. The deal was expected to close in the second or third quarter of the year. However, it is yet to be seen whether the coronavirus outbreak would affect that timeframe.