Tag: Strategy

Luckbox owner to acquire Asia-facing B2B platform

Luckbox owner Real Luck Group has signed a letter of intent to acquire an unnamed igaming platform targeting the Asia-Pacific region.

Real Luck Group will acquire 100% of the shares in the Asia-facing business, which it says will give it access to more than 6,000 games from 50 game providers.

Real Luck Group chief executive Thomas Rosander said that the business had long aimed to add a B2B element to its portfolio, but that through this deal it is set to accomplish this sooner than it had expected.

“Adding B2B to our proprietary platform has always been a significant part of the Luckbox strategy, and this important acquisition means we will complete this objective almost a year in advance of our projections,” he said. “It also extends our opportunities into APAC, a significant region that we currently do not have a presence in and perhaps the largest esports market globally.

Real Luck Group CEO Thomas Rosander

“This transaction ultimately builds our business’ upside by providing ..

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Lahcene Merzoug on PressEnter’s management buyout

Fresh from announcing a management buyout, PressEnter CEO Lahcene Merzoug talks to iGB about the new leadership's strategy and future plans.

So, the cat is out the bag; PressEnter Group will be under new (or should we say old?) management.

There are many questions that remain: Will the new chairman stay the course or head to uncharted waters? What form will the shape of the business’ future growth take? And what’s the plan with the company’s brands?

The business formerly known as Betpoint has reinvented itself before, though only the new owners know what the plan is now. Current CEO and future executive chair Lahcene Merzoug explains in his own words.

What was the rationale behind the management buyout, and what important factors led the executive team to decide to go down this route?

The management team has grown the business into what it is today, so we could clearly see the potential in the company and its operations. When the opportunity to buy PressEnter Group arose, ..

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PressEnter announces management buyout

The senior team at PressEnter Group, the igaming operator formerly known as BetPoint, is to take charge of the business through a management buyout.

Terms for the buyout have been agreed with PressEnter’s existing investors.

Chief executive Lahcene Merzoug and a team of senior executives will then take control, with Merzoug named the operator’s executive chairman once the deal completes.

Management said PressEnter, who operate online casino brands such as 21.com, JustSpin, NeonVegas Casino, NitroCasino, UltraCasino and RapidCasino, in addition to the XLBet sportsbook, offers “significant growth potential”.

New chapter for PressEnter

“The management team sees this as a new chapter for the business and will be reviewing existing strategies and processes to maximise new opportunities, grow the business and focus on the company’s core strengths,” PressEnter said.

Lahcene Merzoug will become executive chair of PressEnter following the buyout

“The management team has worked hard fo..

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What will it take to create a US challenger that’s actually viable?

iGB op-ed: Following MaximBet’s exit from the US sports betting market, Daniel O’Boyle asks what it will take for a lower-tier US brand to succeed.

This week’s column comes to you as I prepare to board a flight for a week off in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia, so what better to focus on than the idea of retreating from costly US battles?

Maximbet became the latest US operation to shut down, hot on the heels of the Fubo Sportsbook. If it wasn’t clear already, it’s fair to say now that it’s tough for second-tier and below operators to make much money, and other exits are likely coming soon.

In August, I wrote that the podium of top US sports betting operators had effectively been set, with no path for challengers to compete with the likes of FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM.

The chances of anyone coming close to FanDuel’s market share disappeared a long time ago

Recent events have only reinforced that there simply isn’t a path into the top tier for the also-rans. So the question..

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MaximBet ceases operations amid “challenging” macroeconomic conditions

Online gambling operator MaximBet has ceased all operations with immediate effect citing “challenging macroeconomic conditions” and an “increasingly cost prohibitive marketplace”.

MaximBet announced the decision in a message to customers, saying they will have until 15 December to withdraw any funds in their accounts. After this date, any remaining balances will be refunded via cheque sent to the address on the account.

Players are no longer able to deposit more funds or place net bets, but MaximBet said that it would settle any existing bets in line with its MaximBet House Rules until 15 December. At this point, MaximBet said bets will be cashed out at “current fair value market pricing” and player balances will be returned via cheque.

MaximBet was founded in April of 2021 through a collaboration between sports betting operator Carousel Group and media brand Maxim, supported by a $50m investment from the xSigma subsidiary of Chinese engineering business ZK International.

At the ti..

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SportNation and RedZone to cease trading in UK

Esports Entertainment Group (EEG)-owned brands SportNation and RedZone will cease trading in the UK from 30 November 2022.

SportNation and RedZone both said the sites were “closing for a variety of reasons including the economics of operating a small igaming business in the UK market”.

Users will be able to place bets and use their accounts will normal functionality until 30 November – after which they will be able to login to withdraw funds from 7 December, when the final closure is due to take effect.

Following this, there will be another seven-day period where the operator will process requests to withdraw funds of any amount over £1. From 14 December, SportNation and RedZone stated that “should any customer balances remain, we will continue to comply with requests for refunds of such balances to the extent required by law and in accordance with our terms and conditions”.

The operator has said that it intends to keep possession of customer data for five years following the clos..

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Flutter CEO: Gambling Act white paper likely pushed back to 2023

Flutter chief executive Peter Jackson said that he thinks that the Gambling Act white paper is most likely to be delayed until next year, as he suspects new ministers will wish to “make their mark” on the document.

Speaking at Flutter’s Q3 earnings call, Jackson said he could not predict the the Gambling Act white paper timeline with any confidence, given that its release had repeatedly been pushed back by personnel changes in government and at the Gambling Commission. However, he said he would think its release was more likely to be in 2023 than this year.

“I don’t know if I can really comment on timing because I’ve tried to comment for the last two years and keep getting it wrong, so I might have lost some credibility there,” he said. “But I suspect it’ll end up coming out after Christmas as there isn’t much time now before Christmas.

“The new ministers I think will want to make their mark on it.”

Gambling Act review delays

The white paper is the next phase in the Gambling Act r..

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Flutter revenue up 31% in Q3 as US becomes largest market

Flutter Entertainment forecast a 31% year-on-year increase in revenue for the third quarter of its 2022 financial year, primarily due to growth within its US and international businesses.

In a trading update, Flutter said that revenue for the three months to the end of September is expected to amount to £1.89bn (€2.17bn/$2.18bn), which would be a significant increase from £1.44bn in the corresponding period last year.

On a constant currency basis, revenue is forecast to increase by 82%.

Flutter said it expects this to be driven by growth within the US, where its revenue is forecast to rise 114% year-on-year, or 82% on a constant currency basis, to $598m, making it Flutter’s largest market.

This, the group said, was down to a 106% rise in sports revenue – comprising sportsbook, exchange, daily fantasy sports, advance deposit wagering and B2B product verticals – driven by customer acquisition across existing states as the new NFL season began.

US igaming revenue is also expected t..

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Analysts divided on potential value of FanDuel IPO after court ruling

Analysts are divided on the value that may come from a potential FanDuel IPO, after a court ruling left the hopes of a potential spin-off for the US market leader up in the air.

The reactions come following a New York court ruling that media giant Fox must pay $4.16bn if it wishes to acquire a 18.6% stake in FanDuel, which is owned by Flutter Entertainment

While the court ruling settled the question of the value of the stake that Fox had the option to buy, it left the question of a FanDuel spin-off up in the air until next year. The tribunal will determine early next year the conditions under which Fox may be able to participate in a FanDuel IPO, which Flutter had raised the prospect of before the legal dispute began.

Analysts at Barclays said that this factor was “dampening the enthusiasm” of the main ruling.

“The path to a FanDuel IPO is not yet clear with Fox stating that ‘Flutter cannot pursue an IPO for FanDuel without Fox’s consent or approval from the arbitrator’,” Barclays ..

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Kindred still committed to US, but won’t break even until at least 2026

Kindred chief executive Henrik Tjärnström said the operator does not expect to break even in the US states where it is currently active until 2026, but that it would nonetheless remain committed to the market.

During an earnings call following Kindred’s Q3 results, Tjärnström offered an update on Kindred’s performance in the US market. Here, he said the business hoped to break even by 2026.

“We are now live in seven states,” he said. “We’re going to reduce that to six when we leave Iowa and then increase it again to seven with Washington.

“We have been in an investment position across our state footprint and it will take some time, a few years to achieve profitability.

“We’re expecting the contribution from 2022 to be negative from 2021, but then in 2023 we’re reducing those losses and by 2026 we’ll be breakeven across our current state footprint.”

Last week, FuboTV became one of the highest-profile operators to exit the US market, highlighting the difficulty in turning a profit ..

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Kindred set for strong Q4 as Netherlands “exceeds expectations” in Q3

Kindred said it is “exceeding expectations” in the Netherlands and expects rapid revenue growth in the final months of the year, after reporting its first quarter of revenue since reentering the market.

In Q3 of 2021, Kindred reported revenue of £277.8m, which was down by 6.9% year-on-year. Almost all of this revenue came from B2C operations, at £271.9m, while B2B revenue – from Relax Gaming – was £5.9m.

The decline in revenue continued to be down to the operator withdrawing from the Netherlands at the start of Q4 2021. While the operator returned to the country during the quarter, generating revenue again, the amount Kindred took in was less than before the country regulated, as was expected.

Kindred said it was “exceeding expectations” with 137,000 active Dutch customers, and brought in around £400,000 per day since launching on 11 July. Chief executive Henrik Tjärnström added that the business had around a 15% market share in the country.

“Thanks to our strong brand awareness, u..

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Catering to the next generation

Tom Waterhouse’s latest betting investment column examines social betting, which he sees as a key way to engage younger audiences.

As discussed in our January 2022 newsletter, wagering apps have maintained a consistent information architecture for decades, typically structuring their layout by featuring promotions at the top, then providing some high level navigation to the most popular sports and major racing codes.

We have a particular focus on companies that are revolutionising this traditional user interface and the broader user experience. In January, we discussed Voxbet, a voice and text to bet business, which bettors can use directly through Viber, Telegram and other popular messaging services, thus circumventing the need to bet through a bookmaker’s website/app.

Social betting

Another way that bookmakers can appeal to a younger, digital-native generation of bettors is by promoting the social aspect of betting.

Bettors have always discussed their top picks with their frien..

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