Stars Group’s M&A activity drives revenue up to $572m

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first_img The Stars Group has cited its acquisition of Sky Betting & Gaming as the driving force behind a 74% year-on-year increase in revenue during what CEO Rafi Ashkenazi said was a “landmark” quarter for the company. Total revenue was $572m (£434.8m/€498.3m) in the third quarter, while gross profit also rocketed 66% from $267m to $442.8m. Adjusted EBITDA for the three months to the end of September amounted to $198.3m, up 27% on the corresponding period in the previous year, but net earnings dropped 87% to €9.7m.Reflecting on the results, Ashkenazi (pictured) said: “This was a landmark quarter during a transformative year for the company as we begin to deliver on our vision to become the world’s favourite iGaming destination. “We completed our acquisition of Sky Betting & Gaming, which was cleared by the CMA in October, making us the leader in the UK online betting and gaming market. We also launched BetEasy in Australia and sports betting in New Jersey.” “We are pleased with our quarterly results, which reflect both continued organic growth from our International business and contributions from both BetEasy and Sky Betting & Gaming, despite unfavourable sporting results during the period. “As we continue our transformation and look towards 2019, we are excited to take advantage of the opportunities ahead of us by leveraging our leading positions in attractive markets, strong brands, technology and operating expertise.”Ashkenazi expanded on this in an investor call, picking out a number of key markets where Stars hopes to grow during 2019. These include Pennsylvania, where the firm has applied for a licence ahead of an expected launch across all verticals next year.Stars is also seeking to build on its early success in New Jersey, as well as take advantage of re-regulation in Sweden, where it has also applied for a licence ahead of relaunch in January. Ashkenazi added: “We operate in attractive markets with high potential growth rates. We believe we can replicate our success in new markets as they open up.” Brian Kyle, who was appointed chief financial officer at Stars last May, built on this to say that the company has a number of strategies in place to help it cope with regulatory changes in markets around the world. Kyle cited the increase of remote gaming duty in the UK from 15% to 21% as one of these challenges, saying that Stars expects EBITDA to be hit by £30m before mitigation.However, analysts from Regulus also gave their opinion on the third-quarter performance, suggesting Stars had “learnt the hard way” that sports betting is more volatile than gaming. Regulus noted a cumulative impact of $40m from poor results in the UK and Australia, and with a tough Q4 expected, it is “unlikely” a strong growth pro-forma growth profile will emerge until 2019. Analysts also said Stars is facing “tough but well understood fiscal-regulatory headwinds” in its three key POC markets of the UK, Australia and Italy, while continuing to support a material .com tail, particularly in Russia and Germany. However, given Stars’ decision to pivot into “proven mass markets” and gain scale in sports betting, the company “has the capability to deliver sustainable growth”. Regulus said: “We believe the key test for the group now is to transform a series of highly distinctive businesses into a cohesive whole, without (unnecessarily) undermining the culture or cash flow of any of the core constituent parts. “This challenge should not be underestimated, but it is a much better problem to have than a heavily indebted .com business reliant on a declining core product.” Casino & games PokerStars operator finalised acquisition of Sky Betting & Gaming in July Stars Group’s M&A activity drives revenue up to $572m 7th November 2018 | By contenteditor AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwittercenter_img Tags: Card Rooms and Poker Online Gambling Topics: Casino & games Finance Sports betting Poker Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Email Addresslast_img read more

Ambassador: President Duterte has final say on igaming ban

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first_img Email Address Topics: Legal & compliance The Philippines’ ambassador to China has refuted the suggestion that the Chinese government’s calls for the country to ban online gambling will force President Rodrigo Duterte to acquiesce. Tags: Mobile Online Gambling Regions: Asia China Philippines The Philippines’ ambassador to China has refuted the suggestion that the Chinese government’s calls for the country to ban online gambling will force President Rodrigo Duterte to acquiesce.In a press briefing shown by broadcaster the People’s Television Network yesterday (29 August), Ambassador Jose Santiago ‘Chito’ Sta. Romana stressed that such a decision was down to the President and could not be dictated by China.When asked what Duterte was likely to say if Chinese President Xi Jinping asked him to implement a ban on igaming, Romana said: “He will say it’s legal in the Philippines.“It’s not rejecting [the request] it’s explaining the difference. They can’t dictate to us. Those are sovereign decisions, so that is where we stand,” he explained. “I think for me the key is for the President to be ready to explain [this].”However, he added that if a ban was to be implemented, it would likely be introduced slowly, due to its potential economic impact on the Philippines.“If we are to do it we want a soft landing, we don’t want a drastic impact that will affect our economy,” Romana said.The Ambassador’s comments follow last week’s call from Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang for the Philippines to ban igaming, days after the country suspended the awarding of licences to offshore gaming operators (POGOs).“We note the Philippine government’s announcement and appreciate it,” Geng said of the suspension of licensing activities.“We hope the Philippines will go further and ban all online gambling,” he continued. “We hope it will further strengthen law enforcement with China and jointly tackle criminal activities including online gambling and cyber fraud.”The moratorium on new licences followed pressure from China, which believes POGOs are targeting players in China under their licences from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).This, China claims has led to an increase in crime and social problems the country. Chinese nationals were being lured to work illegally for online and land-based operators in the Philippines, where they were subjected to physical abuse or even murdered, it added.Cambodia has also put a halt to the award of igaming licences as a result of Chinese pressure.On the question of criminal activity, Romana said the Philippines would work alongside China to put a stop to lawbreaking. This, he said, may force some POGOs to downsize their business as their addressable market size declines as a result of China’s gambling crackdown.Earlier this week the chair of the Philippines’ Central Bank and Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) revealed that he had ordered an investigation into the impact of an igaming ban on the country’s finances. Legal & compliance AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Ambassador: President Duterte has final say on igaming ban Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter 30th August 2019 | By contenteditorlast_img read more

Former chief executive Frieberger exits 888

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first_imgPeople Itai Frieberger, the former chief executive of 888, has stepped down from the online gaming operator’s board with immediate effect from today (23 January). AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Email Address Former chief executive Frieberger exits 888 Itai Frieberger, the former chief executive of 888, has stepped down from the online gaming operator’s board with immediate effect from today (23 January).Frieberger announced in January of last year that he was to exit the role of chief executive, which he had held since March 2016, with 888 naming Itai Pazner as his replacement.As part of his departure agreement, Frieberger remained as a director of 888 to support the transition of responsibilities to Pazner and to continued work on certain strategic initiatives.Frieberger spent over 14 years at 888 and, prior to his time as chief executive, held various senior roles including eight years on its executive team as chief operating officer and also as an executive director.“The board is grateful for Mr Frieberger’s many years of service to 888,” the operatof said in a statement.Speaking at the time of the original announcement, Frieberger said it was not an easy decision to step down, but felt it was the right time for him to move away from the day-to-day running of 888.“I am very proud of what we have achieved during my time at 888,” he said. “The global online gaming industry has changed beyond recognition during this period but, despite this, the group has continued to achieve its strategic objectives and deliver for its stakeholders. This is down to the strength of our team and our outstanding technology.”He also backed Pazner to succeed in the role, saying: “Itai Pazner is a fantastic operator with a tremendous passion for innovation, product development and the customer experience; I know we share the same approach, values and vision for the business.”Last week, it was also announced that Aviad Kobrine, 888’s long-serving chief financial officer, is to step down from the role later this year after 15 years with the business.888 did not state when Kobrine will leave the position, but did confirm that he will remain in the role until a successor is in place.Earlier this month, 888 also said it is on track to achieve adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation in line with expectations for 2019, after saying was boosted by a record revenue performance in December.Although the operator did not publish any figures, it said that its performance during the 12 months to 31 December 2019 was underpinned by ongoing success with its Orbit casino platform and further growth in sports betting.center_img Tags: Online Gambling Topics: People Strategy 23rd January 2020 | By contenteditor Subscribe to the iGaming newsletterlast_img read more

NY sports betting market hits new low in February

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first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter 9th March 2020 | By contenteditor NY sports betting market hits new low in February Email Address Casino & games Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Regions: US New York New York’s four commercial casinos have reported losses of $179,593 from sports betting in February, with del Lago the only venue to actually generate revenue during the month.February’s total marked a new low point for the market, with the loss comfortably below December 2019, previously New York’s previous weakest month, when it generated revenue of $780,418.Leading the market was the del Lago Resort and Casino, which hosts a DraftKings-operated sportsbook, with revenue of $98,247. This set it far ahead of its nearest competitor, Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady, which posted a $38,802 loss for the month.Tioga Downs, with its FanDuel sportsbook, lost $94,030 from sports betting in February, while Resorts World Catskills, and its International Game Technology and Betgenius-powered book, lost $145,008.Read the full story on iGB North America. Topics: Casino & games Finance Sports betting Horse racing New York’s four commercial casinos have reported losses of $179,593 from sports betting in February, with del Lago the only venue to actually generate revenue during the month. Tags: OTB and Betting Shops Race Track and Racinolast_img read more

The best practice challenge for sports data

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first_img Email Address The International Betting Integrity Association’s call for a set of sports betting data global best-practice standards for sports betting data comes at a pivotal moment for the sector.  The sporting shutdown shone a light on the importance of the integrity of data, yet for a consensus to emerge far greater cooperation and agreement between suppliers and the sports is needed. Scott Longley speaks to the IBIA and other stakeholdersThe Covid-19 crisis proved to be a difficult and perhaps surprisingly contentious period in time for the sports-betting data providers. On the one hand, with global sport coming to a near total standstill, the major part of their business went silent.Yet, what little sport remained then quite understandably became the focus of an unparalleled degree of attention as the eyes not just of the operators but also the gambling regulators, sports bodies and legislators fell on sports and events not used to being in the limelight.As the major leagues and tournaments fell away, so the world’s betting operators were left with a menu of table tennis from Russia and football from Belarus.It is likely not a coincidence that at the same time we saw reports of ghost games taking place first in the Ukraine and then in Brazil and warnings being issued by the Ukrainian Football Federation (UFF) and its ethics committee president Francesco Baranca, also secretary general of Federbet, over instances of what it claims to be unauthorised data collection.These claims may or may not be related to the deal announced in June between the UFF and FeedConstruct.It was against this backdrop that the call came in late May from the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) for global betting data standards to be agreed upon by all parties involved in the sports data supply chain.In a brief press release, the IBIA said that such an effort would be the most effective means of achieving an approach which best serves to protect the integrity of sport, its data, the betting markets generated by that data and the consumers enjoying those products.Speaking to iGB, Khalid Ali, chief executive at the IBIA, says it was “becoming increasingly important for the credibility of the data supply chain, well-being of sport and fairness of consumer betting that standards are created that serve to further enhance the integrity framework covering those areas.”“Corrupters don’t stand still in the development of their methods of operation and those involved in the data supply chain need to react to that, and preferably in unison, if they are to have maximum impact in meeting that challenge,” he adds. Means to an end StatsPerform was the first sports data collection and distribution company to publicly endorse the IBIA’s call. Andrew Ashenden, chief betting officer at the company, says that the call for best practice in data collection is a “positive development” which needed to “remain focused on best practice”.“This is about processes, risk management, and standards around the data across all sports,” he adds. “It is in the interests of all parties that data providers adhere to the highest standards.”Such sentiments are broad enough that all the major players in the data sector can sign up to just such a manifesto. For instance, Chris Dougan, chief communications officer at Genius Sports says that the company “welcomes greater transparency and co-operation in the sports data industry to ensure operators and consumers are protected.”“If implemented and monitored effectively, a global set of standards would clearly contribute positively from an integrity standpoint in terms of continuing to reduce the limited number of integrity breaches that do occur,” Ashenden adds.He envisages a body which would be as “independent and transparent” as possible under the IBIA banner which he says is in the “right position to lead this along with establishing an independent audit process for companies in this space.”Yet, pushing the sector forward from this point is perhaps more of an issue. “If we didn’t think that it was necessary or important we wouldn’t have started this process,” says Ali.“Ultimately, it will be up to all of those involved to determine whether or not they are going to engage and whether they see an agreed set of standards as an important and beneficial integrity measure. We’d prefer to be proactive rather than reactive.”That call for involvement of every actor in the process inevitably involves the sports themselves. “We are aware that sports are also a key party in this,” says Ali. “It is clearly going to be a challenge and will rely on stakeholders recognising the importance of the process.”The point is picked up by Dougan who says any “meaningful change” will necessarily mean that sport has a “pivotal role to play in helping to develop a set of sports data collection and distribution practices and standards that can be adopted across the industry.”A sector at odds Further potential stumbling blocks, however, lie within the structure of data supply landscape itself. At is stands, competition within the sports data sector is fierce.So fierce, in fact, that Sportradar has a case pending in front of the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal against Football DataCo and its still relatively new data partner, the aforementioned Genius Sports, with regard to access to data from the English and Scottish football leagues.That case essentially revolves around an almost theological struggle between, on the one hand, Sportradar which believes that multiple data sources for the same event is inherently a good thing and, on the other, the Genius/FDC point of view that a single data source should be the “one source of truth”.Clearly, these are two opposing poles of belief and at this stage it is hard for foresee how a mediation might be achieved which would see them cooperate over common standards.Although there does appear to be a glimmer of hope. As David Lampitt, managing director for Sports Partnerships at Sportradar, says: “We wholeheartedly support the principles of  integrity protection and cooperation to safeguard the sector generally and we would like to see more done in areas such as under-age competition coverage.“However, the quality control environment around data production and levels of overall operational resilience are important factors in differentiating between suppliers in our market. “So the details behind the suggestion of a more interventionist approach need to be clearly articulated. Bookmakers generally understand the critical importance of these areas when selecting suppliers and market forces therefore continue to drive improved standards which is a good thing for the industry.”Evidently, the sector that would likely have the most to gain from any data standards initiative would be the members of the IBIA themselves, the major bookmakers.Wider arguments As Ali suggested, the credibility of the supply data chain is coming under ever more scrutiny and for both the betting public and the sports themselves, greater efforts to enhance the integrity framework are always going to be necessary.In announcing the data standards initiative, the IBIA said it hoped to instigate a “industry-wide debate” and Ali suggests in the instance of tennis’ International Review Panel (IRP) that the importance of sports data to integrity has already been demonstrated.Indeed, the implementation of the IRP report – in which there was a controversial recommendation that the way to combat integrity issues at the lower levels of tennis would be to discontinue data provision altogether – is instructive.Sportradar recommended at the time that a tri-partite body with representation from the sport, the betting operators and the data supply companies, be formed in order to ensure new levels of cooperation in the fight against corruption in tennis.That proposal has yet to be taken up, suggesting that inertia remains the biggest danger to integrity at various levels in sport.“Learning from that process and recent data related integrity concerns raised in other sports, we believe that it would be beneficial for key stakeholders to be proactive and cooperate on agreed standards in this area across all sports,” says Ali.Scott Longley has been a journalist since the early 2000s, covering personal finance, sport and gambling. He has worked for a number of publications including Investment Week, Bloomberg Money, Football First, eGaming Review and Gambling Compliance. Scott now runs his own editorial consultancy, Clear Concise Media, and writes for a number of online and print titles. The best practice challenge for sports data The International Betting Integrity Association’s call for a set of sports betting data global best-practice standards for sports betting data comes at a pivotal moment for the sector. The sporting shutdown shone a light on the importance of the integrity of data, yet for a consensus to emerge far greater cooperation and agreement between suppliers and the sports is needed. Scott Longley speaks to the IBIA and other stakeholders 13th July 2020 | By Stephen Carter Legal & compliance Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Topics: Legal & compliance Sports betting AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterlast_img read more

Covid-19 write-downs push Tabcorp to AU$870m FY loss

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first_img Covid-19 write-downs push Tabcorp to AU$870m FY loss Australia’s Tabcorp has seen revenue fall 4.8% in its fiscal year ended 30 June, amid disruption caused by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, with a hefty impairment charge resulting in the operator swinging to a loss for the year.Revenue for the 12 months fell to $5.22bn (£2.86bn/€3.18bn/$3.79bn), with outgoing chief executive David Attenborough saying Covid-19 had been “very challenging for Tabcorp’s people, partners and customers”, and materially affected its FY2020 results.“Covid-19 restrictions meant that hotels, clubs and TAB agencies were closed for significant periods of time during FY20,” he explained. “This has heavily impacted our Wagering & Media, Gaming Services and Keno operations.”The Wagering & Media division saw revenue fall 10.1% year-on-year to $2.08bn, after Covid-19 enforced closures and restrictions across all states and territories from 23 March, and the suspensions of domestic and international sport.During the period the division continued to invest in its digital transformation and substantially completed the integration of UBet, acquired through its deal for Tatts Group.This investment in digital saw turnover for the channel grow 3.8% to $7.1bn, at a time when retail turnover declined 27.9% to $5.4m, marking the first time the digital contribution exceeded that of retail across a full year.Following the end of the fiscal year, the migration of UBet customers to a single digital platform was completed. This provides players with a more attractive portfolio of products and services, including digital in-venue betting, as well as extra tote and fixed odds options, Tabcorp said.Gaming Services also suffered a fall in revenue during the year, dropping 27.3% to $221m. Again, the closure of venues from 23 March hit the division, something further exacerbated by the social distancing protocols in place after reopening.The division also suffered from contract expirations, contract extensions at lower daily rates, reduced project work and a service contract with communications business Telstra that was not renewed in the first half of the year.Tabcorp suspended all fees for venues during the Covid-19 closures, as well as furloughing staff and reducing operating and capital expenses.“We continue to support our venue partners and have waived more than $100m in fees to date,” Attenborough said. “We are focused on ensuring that together we emerge strongly in the post Covid-19 environment.”Efforts to simplify the Gaming Services business’ operating structure and reduced costs have been implemented following an operational review of the division. A strategic review of this division, announced in February this year, was paused because of Covid-19.While Wagering & Media and Gaming Services both struggled during the year, Tabcorp’s largest division, Lotteries & Keno, actually grew 2020 revenue, which rose 1.8% to $2.12bn.This growth, the operator said, reflected its investments in digital and retail channels, as well as an “evolution” of its games portfolio to appeal to more diverse range of customers. This resulted in an additional 400,000 Australians registering to play its lottery games, taking its total customer base for the vertical to 3.7m.Powerball turnover grew 16%, with Set for Life turnover up 21%. While Tabcorp’s lottery retail network, comprising newsagents and convenience stores, continued trading during the Covid-19 lockdown, retail turnover actually fell 4%. This was more than mitigated by growth in digital turnover, with the channel now accounting for 28% of total lottery turnover, up from 23.5% in FY2019.Keno, on the other hand, saw revenue decline 14.3%, due to the shut-down of clubs and hotels in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria during the second half, to 30 June.The division paid $2.01bn in taxes and levies to state and territory governments over the year.After a further $1.44bn in commissions and fees were factored in, Tabcorp’s variable contirbution – revenue minus variable costs – came to $1.80bn, down 9.4%. The business’ operating expenses came to $804m, a 6.7% decline on the prior year, which left earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of $995m, 11.5% below FY2019.Depreciation and amortisation charges rose 14.7% to $399m, which resulted in earnings before interest and tax declining 23.2% to $596m. After interest expenses of $193m, and income taxes totalling $132m, Tabcorp’s net profit before exceptional items came to $271m, within the range of $267m to $273m that it announced earlier this month.However, the business then recorded an $1.09bn goodwill impairment charge. This broke down to a $905m charge for Wagering & Media, then $185m for Gaming Services.Tabcorp recorded a further $51m in additional exceptional items, comprising $19m in asset impairments, then $18m in costs related to the integration of Tatts, as well as $19m paid to Racing Queensland to settle a point of consumption tax dispute. This partially offset by a $5m tax refund.As a result Tabcorp’s net loss for the 12 months to 30 June amounted to $870m.In July, the month following the full year end, revenue was up 2.8%, with Lotteries & Keno’s contribution growing 4.7% and Wagering & Media by 6.8%, though this was reduced by Gaming Services revenue dropping 52.2%.Attenborough warned that uncertainty surrounding the severity and duration of the disruption caused by Covid-19, with the state of Victoria having gone back into lockdown amid a spike in cases.“Our focus is on positioning Tabcorp to emerge strongly in the post Clvid-19 environment,” he explained. “It remains a challenging time, especially for the Victorian community which is in the middle of a difficult Stage 4 lockdown. Our priority is to navigate the pandemic by executing strategies that support our people, partners and customers, while maximising value for our shareholders.”This includes a $600m equity raising drive, to pay down debts and ensure greater financial flexiblity. “With the integration of Tatts substantially complete, we are focused in FY2021 on capturing the value from the digital opportunity across Lotteries, Keno and Wagering and on unlocking the value of a more competitive TAB.” AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Australia’s Tabcorp has seen revenue fall 4.8% in its fiscal year ended 30 June, amid disruption caused by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, with a hefty impairment charge resulting in the operator swinging to a loss for the year. Regions: Oceania Australia Bingo 19th August 2020 | By contenteditor Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Topics: Casino & games Finance Lottery Sports betting Bingo Slots Tags: OTB and Betting Shops Slot Machines Email Addresslast_img read more

Dutch Lottery completes SG sportsbook integration

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first_img24th August 2020 | By contenteditor Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Dutch Lottery completes SG sportsbook integration Sports betting Nederlandse Loterij has completed the integration of Scientific Games’ sports betting technology to its Toto sportsbook offering. Nederlandse Loterij has completed the integration of Scientific Games’ sports betting technology for its Toto sportsbook product.The Dutch lottery’s sports betting brand has now gone live with Scientific Games’ OpenSports digital sports betting solution with an agreement that covers the supplier’s OpenTrade managed trading services and access to its full pre-match, in-play and risk management services. The integration completes an expansion of the partnership between the operator and supplier that was first announced in October last year. Nederlandse Loterij becomes the twenty fourth lottery worldwide to deploy Scientific Games’ sports betting solutions.“Moving onto Scientific Games’ sports betting platform was important to us, as we strive to offer our customers the best experience with Nederlandse Loterij and its brands every day,” Nederlandse Loterij chief technology officer Maurice Meijer said.“We are very content with the smooth go-live process, due to the close cooperation of both of our teams. Since enhancing our offering, we’ve received strong customer feedback welcoming the new user interface.“Scientific Games is an important partner for us as we look to grow our customer base.”Scientific Games has been working with the Nederlandse Loterij for a number of years, providing it with its OpenPlatform player account technology through a deal originally agreed with SG Digital (originally NYX Gaming Group), and instant win games.It said that in the last eight weeks it has launched six sportbooks across the globe for its partners in regulated markets.Keith O’Loughlin, senior vice president of sportsbook at SG Digital, said: “Nederlandse Loterij is a valued customer of ours and we’re delighted that our sports betting technology will sit at the core of their player experiences. We anticipated the pace of regulatory change across the globe through enhanced software development and hardware deployment at scale and at speed.“A strategic decision that has become the foundation for our accelerated digital expansion.”Nederlandse Loterij was formed through the merger of De Loto and the Nederlandse Staatsloterij in 2016, and is overseen by the country’s Ministry of Finance.It is preparing to compete against private operators when the country’s regulated igaming market opens from 1 July 2021, having struck a platform deal with SG Digital in 2017.center_img Regions: Europe Western Europe Netherlands Topics: Sports betting Tech & innovation AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Email Addresslast_img read more

Rush Street maintains lead as IL betting revenue doubles

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first_img Regions: US Illinois Rush Street maintains lead as IL betting revenue doubles Casinos in Illinois took in $7.2m in revenue in August, up 99.6% from July, as players staked $140.1m, up 166.7%, with Rush Street Entertainment continuing to lead the way. 7th October 2020 | By Aaron Noy Casinos in Illinois took in $7.2m in revenue in August, up 99.6% from July, as players staked $140.1m, up 166.7%, with Rush Street Entertainment continuing to lead the way Rush Street Entertainment and its Kambi-powered sportsbook, the first to launch in the state, continued to dominate the market, accounting for $6.3m of total revenue, up 88.5% month-over-month. This came on amounts wagered totalling $117.9m, up 127.8%. The state brought in $1.2m in tax from these wagers, up 100.8%, making $982,000 from online bets and $$195,000 from those placed in person. Email Address William Hill, which accepted a takeover offer from Caesars Entertainment this month, took in $42,000 from Elgin Riverboat Resort. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Topics: Casino & games Finance Land-based casino Penn National also took in a further $24,000 through its sportsbook at Hollywood Casino Joliet and $27,000 at Hollywood Casino Aurora. Finance Read more on iGB North America. DraftKings’ sportsbook at Casino Queen in East St Louis followed, bringing in $657,000 in its first month of action on handle of $14.1m, while Penn National’s Argosy Casino Alton saw revenue increase five-fold to $222,000 on $2.7m worth of wagers. Online wagers made up the vast majority of handle, at $124.0m, up 155.5% from July. From this handle, bookmakers made $6.0m online, up 80.6%. The remaining $1.2m was made through retail sportsbooks, more than five times the revenue posted for the channel in July.last_img read more

LeoVegas preparing bond issue to fund growth strategy

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first_img27th November 2020 | By Robin Harrison Email Address Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Topics: Casino & games Finance Strategy Online casino M&A Management LeoVegas Group has appointed a pair of banks to serve as joint bookrunners as it explores the possibility of issuing a senior unsecured bond to facilitate the operator’s expansion strategy. Swedish financial institutions Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB) and Swedbank to arrange investor meetings ahead of a potential bond issue.  Earlier this month LeoVegas reported marginal year-on-year growth for the third quarter of 2020, with revenue up 0.8% to €88.9m (£80.2m/$104.4m). It said that growth was slowed by Sweden’s temporary restrictions on spend for online casino, which the operator has strongly opposed from the outset.  The operator added that it would look to maintain a leverage ratio of net debt to adjusted earnings before, interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 1.0x, though may exceed this level in the short term, to pursue larger acquisitions or other strategic initiatives.  Alongside the transaction, the operator has entered into a new three-year revolving credit facility for €40m.  AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter “This enables us to continue to deliver on our expansion strategy where we focus on regulated markets and markets soon to become regulated,” he explained. “Further, we continuously evaluate strategic and complementary acquisitions that may fit into the LeoVegas Group.”center_img This week it was one of a number of operators to speak out against plans to extend measures including an SEK5,000 deposit cap until June next year, arguing that the Swedish authorities should instead shift focus to tackling offshore activity. “With this, we ensure a long-term and stable financing for LeoVegas. We strengthen the company’s financial flexibility and diversify our financing with the combination of a bond and new bank loans,” LeoVegas chief executive Gustaf Hagman said.  The proceeds from the potential bond issue would be used to refinance existing debt and fund future M&A activity.  Regions: Nordics Sweden Its other, existing financial targets remain unchanged. The business will therefore aim to continue outperforming the wider gaming market, and keeping the long-term EBITDA margin of at least 15%, as well as returning at least 50% of profit after tax to shareholders as dividends.  Tags: LeoVegas Management LeoVegas preparing bond issue to fund growth strategy The senior, unsecured bond would have an expected volume of SEK500m (£44.0m/€49.2m/$58.7m), within an SEK1.2bn framework, that would mature after three years. This may be followed by a capital market transaction, depending on market conditions. last_img read more

First lessons in slots: Lessons #10 to #12

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first_imgSlots Access to information is one of the best things about living in this past decade.  Video slots were new, but so many people wanted to play them that it ballooned and ballooned to what it was then and is today. The number of players around the world who play video slots consistently in websites, online casinos, etc. is unbelievable big and is only growing as the opportunity became easier to play.  Topics: Casino & games Product & technology Slots Can you imagine your grandmother being first in putting on special glasses to play something? It’s just not going to happen.  Lesson #11: The death of augmented reality slots Lesson #10: The emergence of 3D slots At the time it was technologically new, the players had not really seen those, and it was assumed that this would amaze and awe players. It was assumed that KPI’s would rise.  But the reality was that it wasn’t as popular as people expected. In fact, those slots usually did worse.  Guy Hasson’s lessons from a storied career in slot development continue, with warnings about augmented reality and 3D, and why slots will never die. A few small slot companies tried it and failed. A few big companies tried in order to have the technology, and then shelved it.  A few years ago, when Pokemon Go broke out in a supernova with its augmented reality, it seemed like the entire start-up world went crazy. And that included slot creators.  Something to think about. Why? Because the players do not play slots for technological wonder, but to escape reality into nostalgia and fantasy. The companies spent their efforts on the technology and making it look cool, rather than on what makes slots work: the theme, the symbols, and the math.  Everyone tried to imitate the success of Pokemon Go, in all games. Three new slot start-ups approached me and asked me to help create an augmented reality slot game. Lesson #12: Slots will never die Which means that slot players are not first adopters, certainly not of technology. center_img Augmented reality and virtual reality slots will return, in a big way, but only when grandmothers and grandfathers are the last adopters, not the first adopters.  “It’s the next big thing,” each told me in his/her own words.  Pretty early on in 2010 and 2011 new slot companies emerged, in both real money and social, that offered 3D animations and 3D characters as symbols for their slots.  With today’s information you see how many people play, how long they play, how often, how they spend their paycheck immediately after getting it , etc.  20th May 2021 | By contenteditor AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter For this, I pulled out knowledge I received pretty early in my career: The age of the slot players. Slot players are relatively old. A 45-year-old is a young slot player. Not all slot players, but many of them are in their fifties, sixties, seventies, and upwards.  First lessons in slots: Lessons #10 to #12 The longer this lasts, the more clear it is that gambling (and slots in particular) is a part of human nature. People did it when it was illegal and still do it where it continues to be illegal. And people do it when it’s legal.  Regardless of the future of technology, slots will never go away, because they fulfill a need in human nature.  Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Tags: First lessons in slots Back when I was in Playtech, the supplier was already a giant in the field, employing more than 600 in the company. But Playtech was just a few years old. And I heard some stories from one of the first employees about how it had started  Guy Hasson worked for Playtech for three years before becoming Playtika’s content manager, responsible for the content of Slotomania and Caesars Casino. He is now a social slot consultant, specialising in game popularity. Email Addresslast_img read more