Gambling Industry Financial News — Weekly Round-up for December 15, 2017

By Brian Cullingworth, Last updated Dec 15, 2017

Italian Gambling Market Continues Growth In November

Bet365 regains the top sports betting operator spot

Italy‘s overall gambling market continued its phenomenal growth in November, achieving an impressive 78.2 percent year-on-year increase in revenue to Euro 147 million.

The online gambling vertical contributed Euro 61 million of that amount, recording a stunning 89 percent year-on-year rise in revenue off turnover of Euro 505.4 million, itself up 30.7 percent year-on-year.

That brought the YTD turnover figure to Euro 5.2 billion – up 40.5 percent year-on-year, with revenue reaching Euro 473.3 million – up 46 percent.

Bet365 regained the top spot overall in November despite its lack of a retail betting arm, taking 16.1 percent market share in turnover terms. It was trailed by Snaitech (11.5 percent), Eurobet (10.6 percent, and SKS365 (10.45 percent)…all had less market share but reaped better revenue overall.

Looked at through the lens of online gambling only, Bet365’s dominance rose to 28.6 percent market share in turnover terms, streets ahead of SKS365’s Planetwin365 (9.7 percent) of turnover and 13.3 percent share of online revenue.

In the online casino vertical Lottomatica was king with a 9.4 percent market share, leading companies like Sisal (9.1 percent) and PokerStars Casino (7 percent). Here Bet365 did not shine as brightly, achieving only a 2.9 percent market share.

November online casino revenue topped Euro 48.2 million – a y-o-y improvement of 16.8 percent.

Predictably, PokerStars led the way in the online poker vertical, taking a 67.7 percent market share in the tournament sector, followed by Snaitech (5.5 percent) and Sisal (5.2 percent). November online poker tournament fees topped Euro 7.2 million – up 3.1 percent year-on-year. YTD fees are now at Euro 75.7 million.

Online poker cash game revenues sadly declined 5.5 percent y-o-y in November to Euro 5.8 million, bringing the YTD total to Euro 63.8 million. Once again PokerStars led in market share at 43 percent’, chased by Lottomatica (7.6 percent) and SKS365 (7.5 percent).

Observers hold out the hope that shared poker player liquidity with France, Portugal and Spain may give Italian online poker a boost once the project is operational, but there is uncertainty over when that will come about, as opposition in Italy is mounting against the country’s inclusion.

Russian Online Betting Group Does A Little Bragging

Liga Stavok has good cause to be happy with its performance so far this year

The first online sports betting site to achieve licensing in Russia last year, Liga Stavok, did a little justified bragging at a press conference Monday when vice president Dmitry Pavlovsky gave the press information on a few KPIs covering this year to date at the bookmaker.

Admittedly starting from a low base, the company recorded online growth of over 500 percent, enabling the Liga Stavok online division to contribute 60 percent of all revenues for the retail and online bookmaker.

Pavlovsky took some pride in the figure, opining that at the 10 to 15 percent monthly growth rate experienced in the digital operation it would not be long before the revenue contribution constituted 80 percent of the company’s overall revenues.

Mobile was the biggest contributor to online revenue at 60 percent, Pavlovsky revealed, noting that since launch in 2016 Liga Stavok has attracted a registered player list in excess of 4 million individuals.

Whilst there was Russian interest in English Premier League games, Russian bettors were up to 80 percent more active in wagering on Russian Premier League football games, where betting volume has soared 96 percent year-on-year so far, with a 25 percent increase in football punters.

888 Holdings Trading Update

CEO says this year a major focus has been on compliance and responsibility

Issuing a pre-close trading update Thursday ahead of its full year results preparation, 888 Holdings plc announced that it expects adjusted EBITDA will be in line with market expectations, adding that this has been achieved despite the increased regulatory focus, primarily in the UK, and the strategic decision to exit from five markets in the first half of the year.

The Group’s business has again been driven by further progress in the online casino vertical, strong momentum with 888Sport, increased activity on mobile devices and continued expansion in regulated Continental European markets, most notably Italy and Spain.

CEO Itai Frieberger said:

“888 has continued to develop its position in European regulated geographies, further diversified the business and maintained a firm focus on enhancing operational efficiencies.

“A major focus in 2017 has been on ensuring that 888 is leading the way in terms of compliance and responsibility. This is an ongoing process of continuous improvement and I am confident that 888 is well positioned as the regulatory focus on the industry continues to become tighter, particularly in the UK.

“888 is an agile business with an entrepreneurial culture and team and we have successfully adapted to opportunities and challenges during 2017. Our progress has again been underpinned by the strength of 888’s proprietary technology as well as the Group’s core expertise in CRM, marketing and business analytics. With these qualities, 888 remains well positioned for future growth.”

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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