Gambling Industry Acquisitions, Mergers and Financial News — Weekly Round-up for March 1, 2019

Scientific Games Delivers Revenue Growth In FY2018

But losses widen

Scientific Games’ losses widened despite a 9 percent rise in revenue to $3,363 million, the company’s full year 2018 report details.

Net loss was $352.4 million (FY17: $242.3 million) attributed to its Spicerack acquisition, restructuring and a $151.5 million settlement related to a Shuffle Tech lawsuit.

Barry Cottle, CEO and President of Scientific Games: “We are building momentum and continuing to grow our business while at the same time operating more efficiently. The entire organization is enthused about 2019 and focused on helping our customers win, which will drive our free cash flow and create meaningful value for our shareholders.”

Michael Quartieri, Chief Financial Officer of Scientific Games: “We continue to grow our top line driven by the strength of our products. We believe there are opportunities for further growth in 2019, both on a top line and bottom line basis as we are firmly committed to maximize free cash flow and deliver our balance sheet.”

While Scientific Games reported a decline in total gaming revenues , gaming operations revenues and Gaming machine sales, the company enjoyed growth in Gaming systems, Table products, lottery and social revenues.

Social revenue grew 19 per cent to $113.7 million attributed to its Bingo Showdown, Jackpot Party Social Casino and Monopoly-themed casino app.

Total digital revenue increased to $71.5 million due in part to $51.7 million of revenue from NYX.

Coljuegos Report Stellar Growth In Colombia Market

Online industry generates US$185 million in licensing and exploitation rights

Colombian gaming regulator Coljuegos, in its 2018 report, detailed a rise of 9.8 percent in online licensing and exploitation rights reaching over $37 billion (approx. US$ 12 million). Total gaming licensing and exploitation rights amounted to COP 574 billion (approx. US$185 million), up 10 percent. These funds go towards financing the country’s health sector.

16 online licensees are currently active in the market with a total of 1.5 million active, and 1.9 million registered players recorded at year end which predictably peaked in June 2018 during the Russian Football World Cup.

The rate of return was 89 percent with $ 1.6 billion in prizes awarded and wagers totalling over $1.8 trillion, ColJuegos revealed.

“This outstanding performance of online games is due to the articulated work between Coljuegos and the online gaming industry,” Juan B. Pérez Hidalgo, president of ColJuegos, said.

“Although Colombia was the first country in the Americas to regulate these games, innovation in the different platforms does not slow down and is consolidated as an important entertainment alternative for Colombians, which is also making an important contribution to financing the health of Colombians.”

ColJuegos called on Colombians to play with licensed operators as illegal gambling continues to be one of the biggest challenges the industry faces. Working with the Ministry of ICT and the Cybernet Centre of the National Police, 2,642 websites were identified and blocked during 2018.

Dismal Performance From Webis Holdings

Attributed to reduction in B2B betting activity

Webis Holdings’ unaudited interim results for the six month period ended November 30, 2018 detail halved profit and revenue attributed to challenging conditions in the B2B sector.

Group turnover decreased to US$ 5.38 million (2017: US$ 10.30 million) with gross profit also decreasing to US$ 1.70 million (2017: US$ 2.22 million), resulting in an overall loss of US$ 0.59 million (2017: loss of US$ 0.02 million) for the period.

The company said the reduction in betting activity in its international B2B sector, had negatively impacted results, despite its other sectors performing satisfactorily.

Despite the poor performance, the gross margin percentage derived from wagering activity increased over the period, reflecting the low margins previously derived from international business-to-business wagering.

“The operation now has a much wider spread of higher margin turnover, with less reliance on any single customer, or small group of customers or even tracks,” a company statement reads.

“In summary, although we have seen a significant loss of short-term trading in our international business-to-business sector, this has allowed the Board and senior management to restructure the operation. This process of ensuring immediate cost efficiencies whilst focusing on our core assets is now well underway.

“Overall, we are more confident that now and will, in the future, have a more stable platform, with a wider spread of business, and consequently less commercial risk.”

River iGaming Acquires Gaming Realms’ Bear Group

Gaming Realm’s to focus on development and licensing of Slingo and other proprietary games

Gaming Realms plc has agreed the sale of the entire issued share capital of its real-money operating subsidiary Bear Group Limited to River Game Operations Limited (RGO) for a GBP 11.5 million consideration.

The deal includes a sole perpetual license granted to River Technologies Limited (RTL, also a River Group Company) to the Group’s real money gaming platform, as well as the residual 30 percent stake in River UK Casino Limited (RUK) to River iGaming.

The consideration includes settlement of the contracted deferred consideration of GBP 4.2 million owed by RUK to Gaming Realms born from River iGaming’s (RiG) original deal to acquire a 70 percent stake in RUK back in June 2018 (see previous InfoPowa reports). That deal included the Pocket Fruity, Spin Genie, Britain’s Got Talent Games, X Factor Games and the associated businesses.

Gaming Realms will allocate the GBP 11.5 million consideration towards the provision of sufficient working capital for the development of games, the remote game server and worldwide licensing. In addition, it will provide resources for the repayment of a GBP 3.5 million loan from JPJ Group Plc (entered into in December 2017).

Gaming Realms will retain the Slingo brand and slingo.com IP, and shall, on completion, enter into a white label agreement with River iGaming ensuring that the Group’s slingo.com brand can continue to operate on the Bear Group gaming platform.

The Transaction is subject to the approval of both Gaming Realms’ and River iGaming’s shareholders, as well as the UK and Alderney Gambling Commissions, and certain other third party consents. It is expected to complete in Q2 2019.

Patrick Southon, chief executive officer of Gaming Realms:

“The new UK regulatory environment, together with increases in Point of Consumption tax, has made it increasingly difficult to operate a sole UK facing casino and real money platform. However, the acquisition of the Slingo brand and IP in 2015 has enabled the Company to become a highly regarded developer and licensor of games in the international gaming market. This is a high growth market and one that the Board believes can be further developed for the benefit of shareholders.”

Aristocrat Acquires Sic Innovations Source Code And IP

PlayerMax casino mobile technology

Aristocrat has acquired Sic Innovations’ source code and IP relating to casino mobile technology, PlayerMax, for an undisclosed consideration.

Under the terms, Sic Innovations’ PlayerMax’s web and mobile source code is now a wholly owned Oasis 360 systems product, allowing Aristocrat to further enhance its player-focused offerings to its customers.

“The PlayerMax mobile app, combined with Oasis 360 Loyalty, creates an ideal situation for casino operators to extend the brand beyond the limits of their four walls, maximizing efficiencies and providing an opportunity to reduce overall marketing expenses,” Aristocrat said.

Aristocrat has the exclusive use of the technology in the gaming industry and, in addition, has received a non-exclusive license to leverage Sic’s AvT patent for use within the PlayerMax mobile platform.

Aristocrat Vice President of Oasis Systems, Kelly Shaw :

”This purchase is another exciting step forward in our Oasis 360 systems offerings. It enables us to further enhance and expand our Loyalty solutions in the mobile segment, which will allow our customers to engage with their players in an even more meaningful way.”