Category Archive : gambling

Scientific Games full-year revenue rises 1% after Q4 drop

Scientific Games has reported a 1% year-on-year rise in revenue, after suffering a fall for Q4.

Revenue for the 12 months through to 31 December increased to $3.4bn, while net loss improved by $234m down to $118m, and operating income increased 105% from the previous year to $546m.

Revenue for Q4 was down 3% to $863m, which the supplier says was down to fewer launches in Canada and lower machine unit sales, compared to 2018.

A disappointing Q4 was reinforced by the supplier posting a net loss of $37m, compared to a $207m income in 2018, which included a $40m loss on a debt financing transaction.

Scientific Games President and CEO Barry Cottle said: “This past year, we made great strides in developing the best games, attracting industry talent, and improving capital structure.

“I’m confident we have the right team in place to reach our goal to be the market leader across land-based gaming, lottery, sports and digital gaming driven by leading content and the platforms that enable play anywhere and anytime.”

The Q4 and full-year results come a week after Scientific Games announced an agreement to extend its partnership with William Hill until 2024, providing its sports betting technologies to the operator.

GiG suffers sharp revenue decline for 2019

Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) has announced a year-on-year revenue decrease of 26% for Q4 2019, down to €29.4m.

For the full year 2019, GiG also saw revenue fall 23% to €123m.

While B2C revenue was GiG’s main source of income, this was 26% down to €19m for Q4, while B2B revenue also decreased by 26% for the quarter, to €12.1m.

Q4 EBITDA was down, dropping 4% to €4.8m and 12% to €14.1m for the full year.

Gross profit subsequently fell 22% to €25m for Q4 and 20% to €98.9m for 2019.

GiG recently outlined its plan to sell its B2C business, which started with the operator agreeing to sell B2C assets to operator Betsson, announced last week.

That has left GiG expecting full-year 2020 revenue in the range of €70–€75m, which would represent another significant decrease.

Among the highlights during Q4 were the launch of a mobile sportsbook in Iowa with Hard Rock International and signing a deal with William Hill to launch Mr Green in Latvia.

GiG CEO Richard Brown said: “The dynamics in the online gambling industry, both competitive and regulatory, have changed dramatically in the last two years and we as a company are forcefully adapting to that.”

Triplebet boosting compliance after temporary Gambling Commission suspension

Operator Triplebet, which runs the Matchbook sports betting exchange, has accepted the Gambling Commission’s temporary suspension of its license in Great Britain, following a two-year review.

Gambling Insider understands Triplebet engaged the services of Alvarez & Marsal to improve compliance last year, with the subsequent recommendations being implemented as part of a phased programme.

The progress report has been shared with the Commission, although Triplebet has accepted the suspension of its license until the final recommendations are put in place.

The suspension is the result of a hearing at the end of January; Triplebet’s review took place in late 2019.

Areas highlighted by the operator’s report included the fair treatment of customers, the establishment of a compliance committee, daily screening for players that may be politically exposed people and the establishment of a new responsible gaming algorithm.

A Triplebet spokeperson told Gambling Insider: “Triplebet takes its responsibility as a betting and gaming operator very seriously and accepts the Commission panel’s findings following a two-year review. 

“Triplebet believes compliance goes to the heart of offering a betting exchange product, and through the introduction of new policies and the establishment of a compliance committee Triplebet has shown it is committed to achieving any standard of compliance required of it.

“Last year, Triplebet engaged a third-party compliance specialist to elevate its standard of compliance beyond what is required by the Commission. Over the coming weeks, these recommendations will be completed in full and an independent audit will be carried out with a view to the license being reinstated.”

A decade to remember

As we celebrate our 10th birthday, David Cook looks back on a momentous decade for both the industry and this publication.

What an incredible 10 years it’s been in gaming. At the start of the last decade, mobile gaming was in its infancy, there was no regulated online gambling in the US (or single-game sports betting outside Nevada), the fixed-odds betting terminal (FOBT) debate in the UK had barely gained traction, and some of gaming’s biggest holding companies either didn’t exist or were amoeba-sized compared to what they are now.

Another thing the gaming industry was yet to know about in 2010 was Gambling Insider. There was a gap in the market for a magazine to come along that could provide first-class insight into both the land-based and digital markets within one publication, while also covering all territories across the globe. Our founders used their industry contacts wisely and with a great amount of effort, built a publication that every significant company in gaming has wanted to be involved with at one time or another.

Whether you’ve been an avid follower of our work across the last decade, or whether you’re reading us for the first time, we hope you see how much effort goes into making sure we cover all relevant topics that the senior management who read this magazine want to know about. It’s not always easy to keep on top of everything, but in an industry that changes as quickly as this one does, there is never going to be a dull moment and we’re never exactly going to be short of topics to discuss.

You will see in this magazine, which will be distributed at ICE London, that our annual CEO Special feature is still one of our best and it continues to go from strength to strength. We first launched the CEO Special in our January/February 2015 issue, which featured the CEOs of Betfred, IGT International, Microgaming and MGM Resorts International. The list of big names hasn’t ended there, as we’ve gone on to feature the leaders of the likes of GVC Holdings, 888 Holdings, Novomatic, NetEnt, Scientific Games and, well, I could go on, but I’m sure you get my point.

I’ve personally enjoyed seeing our other products grow, including several focus issues, GamblingInsider.com and of course, the GI Huddle podcast, which we launched last year.

Looking ahead to this decade, I wonder just how much more consolidation we will see, as this has been a key theme of the industry in recent years. Ten years ago, Ladbrokes, Coral, Bwin, PartyGaming (all now owned by GVC), Paddy Power, Betfair, PokerStars and Sky Bet (now owned or will be owned byFlutter Entertainment) all operated as individual brands. Flutter also owns FanDuel. That’s without mentioning the deals we’ve seen on the supplier side, as OpenBet’s sale to NYX Gaming Group in 2016, followed by NYX’s sale to Scientific Games in 2017, were a sign of what can happen when one sports betting supplier takes such a strong hold in the market.

On a personal note, it’s been fascinating to see how the industry works above what you would normally see at ground level as a consumer. From the moment I successfully placed a £4 bet on England’s national football team to beat Mexico 3-1 in a friendly in 2010 (beginner’s luck, of course), I’ve had moments where I’ve fallen in and out of love with gambling as a player, but I must admit it’s been frustrating to see so much negative coverage of the industry, at least where we are based in the UK.

It was actually surprising to see a lack of regulation in so many markets around the world when I first started working for Gambling Insider, as here in the UK, gambling has until often been accepted as an enjoyable pastime. Sadly, that narrative has been lost in recent years, in part due to aggressive marketing, and in part due to some at times unfair and imbalanced coverage. It almost feels like we’ve had a headstart on a nation like the US, but the two markets seem to be moving in opposite directions; that’s certainly if the maximum stake reduction on FOBTs, from £100 to £2, and the pending ban on credit card gambling in the UK, are anything to go by.

Our job is not necessarily to get involved in the debates about whether the industry should be loved or hated, but to provide thought-provoking, detailed content that we hope helps our readership learn the fundamentals of how to keep improving operationally. If the industry is not up to scratch in any particular area, then of course we have to cover it, but it’s about focusing on how the industry moves forward.

With that in mind, if you just happen to be holding a glass of champagne while reading this, then please raise it to what I’m sure will be another memorable 10 years for us all – let’s reassess where we are in 2030!

Casino operations in Macau set to resume from 20 February

Operations in casinos across Macau are set to continue from 20 February, after authorities imposed a two-week closure earlier this month due to fears over the coronavirus.

The 15-day suspension, which started on 5 February, will come to an end, with the region not reporting any new cases of the virus since 10 cases were originally confirmed.

Health officials said earlier on Monday casino operators have 30 days from re-opening to resume full business operations, but business is expected to be limited with strict controls on visitor entry still to be in place.

The coronavirus has infected more than 70,500 people across China, with close to 1,700 deaths reported in the Hubei province alone.

It’s been a tumultuous time for Macau casinos, with gambling revenue dropping to $2.76bn in January, down more than 11% year-on-year due to the outbreak, while Wynn Resorts estimates the virus will cost the company around $2.6m per day.

William Hill appoints Adrian Marsh as CFO

William Hill has appointed Adrian Marsh as its next CFO, while he will also join the board as an executive director later this year.

Marsh will join from DS Smith, where he has been Group CFO for the past seven years; he is additionally a non-executive director of John Wood Group and chair of its Audit Committee. 

He has previously been Group Director of Tax, Treasury and Corporate Finance of Tesco. 

The company announced in January that CFO, Ruth Prior, will be leaving following the expiry of her notice period, to join Element Materials Technology.

William Hill CEO Ulrik Bengtsson said: “I am delighted to welcome Adrian to the Board.

“As a proven CFO of a FTSE-listed company with M & A, deal execution and multi-sector finance experience in US & European markets, he will be able to make a significant contribution to William Hill in the enablement of the strategy and is a great addition to the team.”

Marsh said: “I am extremely excited to be joining William Hill at such a key time in the company’s history and look forward to supporting Ulrik and the rest of board in delivering their growth plans for the future.”

William Hill will announce the exact date of Marsh’s appointment to the board, as well as Prior’s departure date, at a later time.

SportPesa’s partnership with Everton set to end two years early

SportPesa’s partnership with Everton FC will end following the conclusion of the current English Premier League football season.

The operator agreed to a five-year deal back in 2017, but the company has agreed to an early termination.

The agreement was reached following a review by Everton of its commercial strategy in line with its future growth plans.

A club spokesperson said: “This has been a difficult decision but one that allows us to best deliver on our commercial plan and to grasp the new opportunities now open to us.

“The club would like to thank SportPesa for all the work that has been done together.

“Our partnership has seen our first team visit Africa on two occasions, as well as former players and club staff take part in numerous activations in the region.”

SportPesa also has an agreement in place with Championship side Hull City and has previously partnered with Southampton and Arsenal.

Gambling Insider contacted SportPesa for comment, with a spokesperson from the operator saying: “Following the statement released last night by Everton FC, SportPesa can confirm that its commercial arrangement with the club will conclude by mutual agreement at the end of the current season after a successful partnership.

“We would like to thank Everton FC for their support, in particular for their valued input on an array of charitable projects in Africa.

“We understand this agreement allows Everton to pursue a variety of other commercial arrangements for next season, which we note they are already doing.”

Postponement of ASEAN Gaming Summit 2020

Asia Gaming Brief regrets to inform you that, after careful consideration, we have made the decision to postpone our highly popular ASEAN Gaming Summit due to the disruptive influence of the coronavirus on travel and the potential risk to health.

Over the past three years, the March event has attracted thousands of delegates and cemented itself as the key gaming industry conference in Asia, serving both the land-based and online sectors.

The new dates will be July 28-30. The venue – the Shangri La At-The-Fort, Manila – will remain the same, as will our commitment to bringing the best conference content, leading speakers, networking opportunities and good old fashioned fun.

Asia Gaming Brief hopes this decision will help to protect our community by helping to curb the spread of the coronavirus, as well as to give our industry sufficient time to focus on recovery.

For further updates, please go to aseangaming.com, or to keep up to date on the outbreak itself and its effect on travel and our industry, please see our live coverage of the outbreak here: https://agbrief.com/headline/coronavirus-live-updates-2020/

We thank you for your continued support of the ASEAN Gaming Summit, and we look forward to seeing you in Manila in the Summer.

On behalf of Asia Gaming Brief & ASEAN Gaming Summit Rosalind Wade & Luis Pereira, Managing Directors.

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GVC Australia hit with record New South Wales fine

GVC Holdings-owned Ladbrokes Australia and Neds have been hit with a New South Wales record fine of AUS$207,500 (US$139,300) for offering illegal gambling inducements to residents in the state.

An investigation by government agency NSW Liquor & Gaming found Ladbrokes – which is owned by GVC, along with Neds – was guilty of offering betting bonuses to people who opened new betting accounts.

The adverts, four from Ladbrokes and two from Neds, ran across Channel 7, Instagram and Facebook in 2018, with the deal offering a ‘Deposit $50, get $250 in bonus bets’.

Under the state’s Betting and Racing Act, it is deemed an offence to publish adverts which might lure people to participate or participate frequently in any gambling activity.

Operators found guilty of promoting such inducements to gamble face fines of up to  AU$110,000 per offence and company directors can be criminally prosecuted.

NSW Liqour and Gaming Diretor of Compliance, Dimitri Argeres, said: “Inducements are known to increase the risk of gambling harm and these advertisements reached a broad segment of the population.

“In NSW such advertisements are restricted to registered betting account holders. This record fine should serve as a reminder that betting operators have an obligation to ensure their gambling advertising complies with NSW laws.”