Gambling Industry Financial News — Weekly Round-up for October 20, 2017

By Brian Cullingworth, Last updated Oct 20, 2017

New Investment Strengthens Gambling App Provider

Casino Scouts receives “significant” investment from HillCour Capital, LLC

Las Vegas-based mobile gambling marketing app developer Casino Scouts has received a “significant” investment from HillCour Capital, LLC.

Stephen Crystal, CEO of Casino Scouts said in a statement Thursday:

“With several beta-sites set to launch, HillCour Capital’s investment in Casino Scouts provides the capital needed to push the development of our first marketing app to the finish line.”

“This is our first investment in the gaming industry,” said Wayne Watters, chief investment officer at HillCour. “Casino Scouts’ vision and knowledge of the casino gaming industry gives them the ability to create applications that will provide the industry with the capability to expand their reach to current patrons, and adapt and grow their new millennial patrons.

“HillCour Capital sees tremendous growth opportunities with Casino Scouts and the chance to invest and help grow their vision will provide us with an excellent return.”

Announcing the appointment of Watters to the Casino Scouts board of directors, Crystal noted:

“Wayne’s background in the federal government and information technology, coupled with his ability to spearhead successful investments are welcomed expertise to our board of directors.”

South African Land Gambling Notes First Revenue Decrease In 20 Years

Trade association blames illegal online gambling in part

The Casino Association of South Africa (CASA), has reported in its 12th annual survey of the legal land casino industry that for the first time in 20 years there was a decrease in gambling revenue.

Members of the Association reported gross gambling revenue of Rands 17.8 billion in the year to end March 2017‚ down 1.8 percent year-on-year. The Association attributed the downturn to “…current economic conditions negatively impacting consumers’ disposable income, and revenue erosion from illegal online gambling”.

The province of Gauteng remained the largest contributor to gross revenue with Rands 7.363 billion, down 1.6 percent y-o-y, whilst the Western Cape saw GGR grow 5.3 percent compared to the same period in the preceding year.

The worst performer was the North West province which saw GGR plunge 22.1 percent year-on-year…the result, according to the Association, of national government’s controversial decision in 2016 to allocate an additional casino licence in the province.

CASA chairman Jabu Mabuza commented:

“What emerges is a picture of an industry that‚ although displaying strengths in certain key areas‚ is undeniably facing a number of challenges. Some of these are beyond our control: for instance‚ the 1.8 percent drop in gross gambling revenue [is] primarily attributed to the erosion of gambling revenue by illegal gambling operators, especially illegal online gambling operations, which continue to grow unabated.

“Our current economic climate‚ has also had significant implications on how much money is available to consumers as disposable income and how they choose to spend it.”

Mabuza once again called on the relevant authorities to crack down on illegal gambling, and reminded government that 36 percent – Rands 5.9 billion – from CASA member activity went to local‚ provincial and national governments in the form of various taxes and levies, along with substantial sums paid to employ South Africans, pay suppliers and spend on social responsibility projects (where members spent a total of Rands 155 million).

He also noted that CASA members invested almost Rands 2 billion in capital expenditure in the current year under review – 11 percent of GGR.

Digital Growth An Important Contributor To Rank Plc Progress

Rank group trading update reports a 2 percent y-o-y rise in revenue

The digital operations at UK land and online gambling group Rank plc were major contributors to the growth in group revenues, according to a trading update issued by the company Thursday. The update covers the 16 weeks to October 15 2017.

Digital revenue soared 19 percent year-on-year, Rank reported, making a major contribution to group revenue growth of 2 percent.

Retail venue revenue dipped 1 percent over the period, with Mecca land activities losing 2 percent and Grosvenor venues down 1 percent.

In contrast, the digital operations of Grosvenor and Mecca achieved year-on-year revenue growth of 34 percent and 11 percent, respectively.

The trading update announced the appointment of Alan Morgan as overall retail managing director, and confirmed the departure at year’s end of Grosvenor md Martin Pugh.

Rank’s H1-2017 numbers in June showed a 7 percent drop in annual profit at GBP 79.7 million, which it attributed to “macro-economic conditions, customer due diligence, venue closures and competitor openings”.

Trading On Global Gaming 555 Starts On Stockholm Exchange

Thursday start for online gambling company on Nasdaq’s First North exchange

Online gambling company Global Gaming 555 AB’s shares started trading today (Thursday) on the Nasdaq First North exchange in Stockholm, Sweden.

Global Gaming 555 falls under the Consumer Services sector and is the 91st company to be admitted to trading on Nasdaq’s Nordic markets in 2017.

The company specialises in online casinos, delivering both B2B and B2C gaming services under a number of casino brands, including flagship Ninja Casino. It is headquartered in Malmö, Sweden with additional offices in Estonia and Malta and primarily operates in the Nordic region.

“Becoming a listed company has been the plan since the merger between Connected Table AB and LMA Gaming back in 2015 which resulted in Global Gaming as the company is named today. We as a company are on a journey and have a number of milestones set out for the future. To have reached this milestone – becoming a listed company in what still is early days of the company – feels fantastic!” says CEO Stefan Olsson.

Delta Corp Pleased With Adda52 Contribution

Despite challenging tax conditions

Indian real estate, gaming and hospitality firm Delta Corp Limited delivered robust results in its latest quarterly report saying its recent acquisition of Gauss Networks Private Limited and online operation Adda52 is paying early dividends.

Key performance indicators include:

– Net revenue of Rs 145.3 crore, up 8 percent y-o-y (impacted by tax conditions)

– EBITDA up 15 percent to Rs 65.5 crore versus Rs 56.7 crore.

– Profit after tax was up 41 percent at Rs 43 crore versus Rs 30.6 crore for the same period last fiscal.

Despite the disruptions of demonetisation and the onset of goods and services tax (GST), the company has managed to not only overcome those disruptions but have also managed to surpass its earlier trajectory,” Hardik Dhebar, group chief financial officer of Delta Corp, said.

Dhebar expects to double profits and improve margins in FY2018 aided by its Adda52 online business.

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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