Gambling Industry Acquisitions and Financial News — Weekly Round-up for June 22, 2018

By Brian Cullingworth, Last updated Jun 22, 2018

Stars Group Releases Public Share Offering Details

Canadian online gambling group seeks to finance $4.7 billion acquisition of Sky Betting and Gaming

Toronto-listed The Stars Group has released details on its new public share offering, the proceeds of which will go towards the $4.7 billion acquisition costs of Sky Betting and Gaming (see previous InfoPowa reports)

The documents propose a 15 million common share placement, additionally supported by a secondary 6 million share disposal undertaken by existing corporate shareholders.

The offering will be priced in the context of the market with the price and total size to be determined at the time of entering into an underwriting agreement.

The Company and the selling shareholders will also grant the underwriters for the offering an over-allotment option to purchase up to an additional 15 percent of the common shares to be sold, exercisable for a period of 30 days after closing.

Italian Online Gambling Stages A Comeback In May

Betting is back on track in the Italian market

After a surprisingly subdued set of numbers in April, the Italian online gambling market staged a comeback in May according to the latest figures from the regulator, which notes that online sports betting turnover grew 6.4 percent year-on-year to Euro 518 million, with revenue soaring 40.4 percent to Euro 40.8 million.

Year-to-date online betting revenue figures for the first five months of 2018 rose 46.4 percent to Euro 262.4 million.

On the retail front the picture was less encouraging in May, with betting turnover declining 5 percent y-o-y to Euro 355 million, although revenue was up 9.4 percent at Euro 52.1 million. YTD retail revenue numbers rose 47 percent to Euro 362.6 million.

Top online sports betting market share again went to Bet365 (17.6 percent) chased by SKS365 at 14.9 percent, with Snaitech (recently acquired by Playtech) in third with 10.5 percent.

Snai led the retail sports betting market on 13.1 percent, followed by SKS365 at 12.4 percent and Eurobet at 11.2 percent.

Online casino operators continued to prosper in May, reporting revenue up 23.7 percent year-on-year at Euro 57.3 million.

The Stars Group’s PokerStars brand led the online casino market with a 9 percent share, just ahead of Lottomatica (8.64 percent) and Sisal (8.3 percent).

Italian poker tournament entry fees fell almost 2 percent to Euro 6.4 million, but cash game revenue was up almost 1 percent at Euro 5.5 million; that brought YTD poker numbers to Euro 37.3 million for tournament action and Euro 289.7 million from cash game activity.

Whether the Italian market can continue to deliver such positive overall numbers in the months ahead remains to be seen, given the apparent hostility of the new national coalition government and its stated intention to tighten regulation and ban gambling advertising (see previous InfoPowa reports).

Brian Cullingworth

Infopowa news was a staple of Casinomeister’s news from 2000 until 2019. Brian Cullingworth was the main writer, contributor, and was one of the most knowledgeable persons I have ever known involved in the online casino industry.

We first met in January 2001 at the ICE in London where I observed him going booth to booth interviewing online casino, software, and licensing jurisdiction representatives. Brian was also heavily involved with our forum as “Jetset“, he was involved as an informal consultant to eCOGRA, the OPA, and was a player advocate who assisted countless aggrieved players with his connections to industry folks. He also published “Casino Cautions” via Infopowa news for quite a number of years. These can be found in our news archives.

His passing in February 2019 was a dark day for us. He will be forever missed.

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