Gambling Industry Acquisitions, Mergers and Financial News — Weekly Round-up for December 07, 2018

By Brian Cullingworth, Last updated Dec 7, 2018

Macau Gambling Revenue Up In November

Asian gambling hub sees revenues rise 8.5 percent y-o-y

Gambling revenue in the Chinese territory of Macau rose 8.5 percent in November from a year earlier to 25 billion patacas (US$3.1 billion), according to figures from the regulator, Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.

The Reuters news agency reports that November marked the 28th consecutive monthly rise in revenues, and the fastest since August, despite growing macroeconomic concerns in China that have dented sentiment in the high-end VIP segment.

That beat the median analyst estimate for growth of 4 percent, but they cautioned that it’s not quite a recovery…this is the third consecutive month of single-digit growth, with September and October notching the weakest showings in more than two years.

Profits are still climbing and are forecast to hit a record next year, some analysts say, but the rate of growth is slowing as casinos face stiffer competition and emerging new hot spots in Asia.

Local operators and investors are also facing continued uncertainty arising from delays in the government timeline for casino operators to bid for licenses, and exacerbating concerns regarding the possibility of deteriorating trade relations between China and the United States.

Playtika Acquires Wooga

Expands with story driven, casual games developer

Israeli mobile games company Playtika has agreed the acquisition of Berlin-based casual games studio Wooga GmbH for an undisclosed consideration.

Wooga’s CEO Jens Begemann will remain at the helm leading 180 people in its Berlin studio who create story-driven, casual puzzle and hidden object games.

Following the acquisition casual games will represent 50 percent of Playtika’s titles.

“This is an amazing day for Wooga,” Begemann said. “Becoming part of Playtika is opening the next chapter in the history of our company. It is a very natural fit for both parties: we have the expertise in creating and launching story-driven casual games, Playtika has the technologies to help us scale and reach new audiences to continue our growth.”

Robert Antokol, Playtika’s Co-Founder and CEO, added: “We see great opportunities for Playtika in the casual games genre and our acquisition of Wooga firmly positions us for this next phase of our evolution.

“Playtika’s strengths in implementing live-operations, advanced AI and performance marketing at-scale will serve as a global springboard for Wooga’s creativity in ideating and developing winning story-led titles.

“Together we’ll bring audiences worldwide a whole new level of game experiences that never cease to captivate and amaze. The Wooga team is driven and passionate, has strong leadership and we’re thrilled to have them join the Playtika family.”

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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