The Sun preps launch of own-branded betting service

The Sun is exploring the launch of its own-branded gambling service, which could see it create an additional revenue stream to build on its recently enhanced digital sports offering.

Sun Bets
News UK trademarks Sun Bets.

Publisher News UK has applied for a series of “Sun Bets” trademarks, including two which carry the strapline “back yourself”.

A betting service would create additional utility for users and monetisation for the publisher within The Sun’s “Goals” package, which forms part of its £2 week Sun+ digital subscription. However, it could also cause conflict with advertisers – particularly bookmakers such as Paddy Power, which was the first sponsor of the Sun Goals app when it launched in August last year.

Sun Bets would join a portfolio of existing branded gambling products, which include its Sun+ “Second Chance Sunday” Lotto game and Sun Bingo, which launched in 2006. 

A News UK spokeswoman told Marketing Week: “Britain’s most popular paper is the number once choice of more than half of the UK’s online gamblers, so we are always seeking ways to strengthen our sports offer to them.”

A search on the Gambling Commission website for recent applications does not turn up any results for News UK, but it is likely the Sun owner would use a white label company to launch the product.

The Sun’s digital content went behind a paywall in August. In December News UK revealed the Sun+ digital package had 117,000 subscribers

News Group Newspapers, the subsidiary of News UK that owns the Sun, reported a pre-tax loss of £75m in the 12 months to 30 June, as it was subject to charges of nearly £90m related to The News of the World phone-hacking scandal. That was a reduction of the £318m loss it ran up the previous year.

The company generated turnaround of £514m in 2013, up from £493m in 2012.