Gambling Industry Acquisitions and Financial News — Weekly Round-up for June 29, 2018

By Brian Cullingworth, Last updated Jun 29, 2018

Betfred Posts Gbp 13.4 Million Operating Loss

Weaker performance attributed to goodwill impairment on digital assets, rising costs and higher taxes

Online and land gambling group Betfred has posted a decline in operating profit for the FY ended September 2017, dropping from a profit of GBP 32.4 million in the preceding year to a loss of GBP 13.4 million, and attributing the slide to goodwill impairment on digital assets, rising costs and higher taxes.

The loss came despite a 9.6 percent rise in revenue to GBP 634.5 million and earnings up 3 percent at GBP 83.3 million, with overall group turnover up 17.5 percent at GBP 12.7 billion…mainly from retail operations.

Analysts estimated Betfred’s online revenue at GBP 90 million, a 3 percent year-on-year improvement from a growing player base.

They also noted that 83 percent of Betfred earnings emanate from retail operations, and the UK government’s decision to cut maximum Fixed Odds Betting Terminal stakes from GBP 100 to just GBP 2 by 2020 will have a detrimental impact that may necessitate structural changes in the group’s core business.

Strong First Quarter For Danish Online Gambling

Online casino vertical performs particularly well as overall revenues grow 9 percent year-on-year

Danish gambling regulator Spillemyndigheden released Q1-2018 gambling industry stats Thursday, reporting that overall gross gaming revenues rose almost 9 percent y-o-y to DKK1.52 billion (US$236.4 million).

Nevertheless, revenues eased compared with the preceding Q4-2017.

Sports betting delivered a 7 percent y-o-y rise in revenue to DKK 555.4 million, with wagering on mobile devices performing well to contribute 49.9 percent. Retail (land-based) wagering brought in 35.3 percent whilst desktop betting delivered 14.9 percent.

Online casino action showed the best revenue growth – up 25.5 percent y-o-y at DKK 520.8 million, and an improvement on the preceding quarter; the calculation included online bingo which contributed DKK15 million and was only recently approved by the regulator.

Online slots were responsible for 66.5 percent of the vertical’s revenues, with roulette and blackjack trailing at 13.1 and 10.8 percent respectively.

Online poker again disappointed, with combined tournament fees and cash game revenue of DKK 27.8 million, sliding DKK 7 million in year-on-year terms.

Land machine revenues in general fell 3.6 percent to DKK 370.3 million, and land casino revenue overall was flat at DKK 92.7 million.

Spillemyndigheden reported that the self-exclusion register at the end of March this year comprised 14,871 individuals, 10,122 of whom had permanently excluded themselves from all gambling activity.

Online The Growth Area In Czech Gambling

Online revenue up 56 percent and now delivers over 20 percent of revenue

Czech Ministry of Finance numbers on the gambling industry’s performance in 2017 show that overall growth was low at 1.1 percent y-o-y with revenues amounting to CZK39.8 billion (US$1.78 billion), although turnover was up 14.1 percent at CZK224 billion.

Despite high taxation, which enabled government to harvest an overall CZK 12.2 billion from gambling, online operations contributed CZK 8.3 billion (US$370m) soaring 56 percent year-on-year and now comprising 20 percent of the overall market. The online casino vertical contributed over CZK 2 billion, with live casino adding another CZK 120 million, while online fixed odds sports betting revenues totalled CZK 6.2 billion. Online lotteries delivered revenues of CZK 276 million.

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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