Macau outlook ‘sound’ despite underwhelming growth

first_img Macau has posted lower-than-expected gross gaming revenue for June Macau outlook ‘sound’ despite underwhelming growth Macau’s gaming outlook remains “fundamentally sound” despite a slump in the share prices of several Hong Kong-listed casino operators after slower-than-anticipated monthly revenue growth, according to investment firm Jefferies.A 12.5% increase in revenue from so-called “games of fortune” to $2.78bnin June was significantly lower than analysts’ expectations of about 18%. The share prices of Galaxy Entertainment, Melco International, Sands China and Wynn Macau all fell in the immediate aftermath of the disclosure.However, Jefferies managing director David Katz cautioned against drawing long-term conclusions from results that had “significantly” missed consensus estimates.“The opaque structure of Macau has resulted in wide disparities to intra-month checks the past two months and in the past, which can increase volatility,” he stated, according to Barron’s.Katz estimated third-quarter gross gaming revenue of 10.7% and added that the second quarter had not “altered our views on the upcoming quarter or long-term capabilities as we believe business remains fundamentally sound”.The figures represented a 23rd consecutive monthly increase in Macau’s gross gaming revenue. Accumulated GGR for the first half of this year is up by 18.9% at $18.6bn in comparison with the corresponding period last year.However, Japan is likely to provide a further challenge to Macau in the long run.Last month, law-makers in the country’s lower house passed an integrated resort implementation bill and extended the Diet’s session until July 22 in an effort to give the upper house a chance to sign off the legislation, which would open up the country to regulated casinos. Regions: China Macau Topics: Casino & games Finance 5th July 2018 | By contenteditorcenter_img Email Address AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Casino & gameslast_img read more

Nektan CEO hails Asia progress after record results

first_img Nektan’s full-year financials boosted by increasingly “sophisticated” Asian market Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Finance Topics: Finance Nektan CEO hails Asia progress after record results AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Tags: Online Gambling Email Address Regions: Asia Nektan is benefiting from Asia’s transition from a single-solution to “sophisticated” multi-vendor market for operators, according to the B2B and white label gaming software provider’s interim chief executive, Gary Shaw.In a trading update this (Wednesday) morning, Nektan confirmed that it had posted a sharp 48.1% increase in net gaming revenue for the 12 months through to June 30 to £19.4m (€22m/$25.7m) after an 18.5% rise in first-time depositors in the final quarter, with “rapidly accelerating demand… especially in Asia”.Shaw told iGamingBusiness.com that Nektan is building on the momentum of its record results by launching its bonus and CRM tools in Asia “in the next couple of weeks” and revealed that the company is targeting 16 site launches this quarter in its home market of the UK and internationally through existing and new partners.However, Nektan’s positive outlook for Asia contrasts with that of Playtech, which issued a profit warning on Monday after revealing that its full-year revenue from the continent is on course to be about €70m lower than expected due to an “increasingly competitive backdrop” and “a particularly aggressive pricing environment from new entrants” towards the end of the first half of the year.According to Shaw, operators in Asia are becoming less reliant on turnkey solutions, with other “sub-set” options now on the table.“There are new entrants in Asia and we are one of them, and our focus is on operators across Southeast Asia, where there are 650 million people,” Shaw (pictured) said.“As we are new to the market and the market is so large, it’s a fantastic opportunity for us. If you’ve already scaled your operation in Asia, it’s going to get harder.“Rather than just using turnkey solutions, as was the case for several years, operators are now interested in new entrants that are coming in with better sub-set products, so people with niche game content layers and data analytics tools are benefiting.“There are still turnkey solutions, but now there are also additional products and that’s why you’re seeing some margins drop away.“The market is shifting from a single-solution approach to a multi-vendor approach with most operators, who want to go with the best-in-class option. It’s just a sign of the market becoming more sophisticated.”Nektan’s bonus and CRM tools will be switched on in Asia imminently via “a couple of operators”, Shaw added. “We been testing with them for about a month,” he said. “That’s going to be very exciting for us in Asia.”In March, Nektan started offering its B2B gaming platform, Evolve Lite, in Asia for the first time through a partnership with Tyche Digital Malta Limited. Nektan said in its trading update that it is in talks with a number of industry partners to integrate the solution on a platform-to-platform basis in the next two quarters.Closer to home, Nektan is seeking expansion in Eastern Europe, as well as Scandinavia and, in particular, Germany.In May, Nektan announced that it had linked up with Metric Gaming to provide a racing and sportsbook offering in the US.Nektan is also in discussions with five studios with the aim of making its proprietary remote gaming server available to them. The studios are spread across Australia, Japan, India and the US.“We will make co-operation announcements in the next quarter,” Shaw said. “They will use our RGS solution in Europe and Asia in the first instance as those markets have scaled.” 4th July 2018 | By contenteditorlast_img read more

PokerStars plots ‘unique’ VR offering

first_img21st September 2018 | By contenteditor Casino & games Commercial launch of new software in the pipeline Tags: Online Gambling AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter PokerStars plots ‘unique’ VR offeringcenter_img Topics: Casino & games Tech & innovation Social gaming The Stars Group has launched a preview of its new virtual reality online poker software on PokerStars, with a pledge to take the card game into the “next generation”.PokerStars VR is a free-to-play, social poker game that enables players to handle cards and chips as they would do in the real world. Punters can also pick up tells from other players, chat in real time and handle interactive props at the table.Other features include the option to play in five virtual reality settings: Macau 2050, The Macau Suite, The Showdown Saloon, Monte-Carlo Yacht and The Void.The initial service will be offered as a No-Limit Hold’em version for invitees. The multiplayer game is currently in a closed beta with 100 playing and testing the game via Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Steam.The Stars Group did not put a timeline on the commercial launch of the service.Severin Rasset, director of poker innovation and operations at PokerStars, said: “PokerStars VR is a chance for us to take this amazing technology and bring something totally unique to poker players.“Poker is about interaction. It’s been bringing people together for well over a century.“We’re really excited to invest in the next generation of the game and to give players the opportunity to meet in a brand-new virtual reality dimension.”A commercial launch would support Stars’ ongoing growth strategy, which also includes a focus on expanding the Sky Betting & Gaming (SBG) business.Earlier this week, Stars said that total revenue at SBG amounted to £670.5m (€746m/$876m), up 30% on the previous year. Gross profit was also up 33.2% to $500.1m. Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Email Addresslast_img read more

Acquisitions drive growth for Better Collective in Q3

first_img23rd November 2018 | By contenteditor iGaming affiliate marketing specialist Better Collective has credited its M&A activity as a key factor in its 68% year-on-year increase in revenue for the third quarter of the year.Revenue for the three months ended September 30th grew to €11.1m, driven primarily by acquisitions.During the quarter Better Collective finalised the acquisition of Austrian sports betting affiliate Bola Webinformation, strengthening its position in German-speaking markets. It also acquired Thessaloniki-based affiliate WBS and Malta-based KAPA, giving it a market-leading position in Greece.When acquisitions were stripped out, organic growth accounted for 15% of the quarterly increase in revenue.The bulk of revenue was generated from revenue share agreements with operators, accounting for 84% of the quarterly total. A further 10% came from cost-per-acquisition fees, and the final 6% from other sources.During the quarter Better Collective also saw a significant increase in new depositing customers, which jumped 102% year-on-year to 67,000. Better Collective chief executive Jesper Søgaard (pictured) noted that as the majority of these customers had been signed up on revenue share-based contracts, this would continue to drive revenue growth in future quarters.The quarter also saw the company generate its first US revenue streams, though did not break out numbers for the market.“In Better Collective, we have been preparing for entering the US market for quite some time and we already have US-focused products in place which generated the first revenue streams late in the quarter,” Søgaard  said. “While we do not expect organic growth to do it alone, we believe that Better Collective has a unique offering in terms of technology and know-how in order to find attractive business in this new and potentially very big market.“My expectation is that we will create new business organically as well as through collaborations and acquisitions.”The revenue growth led to increases in costs, in particular staff-related costs, which climbed 59% to €3.3m. Direct costs relating to revenue were up 50% year-on-year at €1.2m. Total costs jumped 81% to €7.4m.Operating profit for the quarter was up 58% from the prior year at €3.6m, with the profit for the period after taxes of €939,000 up 46% at €2.5m.For the nine months ended September 30, revenue was up 68% at €28.3m, though costs associated with acquisitions hit profitability. Profit for the first three quarters of 2018 was down 54% year-on-year at €2.3m.Looking ahead, the company is focusing efforts on growing its US affiliate business. It said that activities in the market began to generate revenue late in Q3, growing at high rates from a low base.While it is currently running all US activities from a dedicated team based in Denmark and Paris, it is exploring M&A opportunities to develop a greater presence in the market, and aims to establish a permanent US base next year.Image: Better Collective Acquisitions drive growth for Better Collective in Q3 Topics: Finance Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Affiliate looking at opportunities to grow US presence after generating first revenue from the market in Q3 Finance AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Email Addresslast_img read more

Horse racing’s innovation challenge

first_img Cyril Casanova is the CEO of Honoré Gaming, a supplier of turnkey technological solutions for sports betting and horseracing operators and member associate of the WLAIn the increasingly competitive sports betting landscape, horse racing operators are in danger of being left behind in the innovation stakes unless they call on the expertise of proactive technology providers.That is the view of Cyril Casanova, head of business development of Honoré Gaming, a Paris-based software supplier that works closely with horseracing operators in emerging markets worldwide.According to Cyril Casanova, horseracing is being stifled by a traditional outlook that is commonplace throughout the sector – even though the core product is a “very good source of entertainment”.He adds: “The sports betting industry has been constantly innovating for several years. However, horseracing is seeing a decrease in market share due to a lack of innovation.“Horseracing is attracting less talent and the focus of fewer start-ups – partly because it has an image of being more popular with older people. Additionally, in some markets, horseracing operators in some countries are monopolies. In some cases, that isn’t the best recipe for innovation.“As a result, we have seen considerably more innovations in sports betting – such as cash-out functionalities, new bonuses, esports and in-play betting offer – as well as stronger links between media companies and bookmakers, especially in football, establishing interdependent ecosystems.” Changing mindsetThe challenge facing horseracing, Cyril Casanova says, is to seize the initiative. However, that will involve a change of mindset for many operators who are reluctant to try new approaches, even though there is a significant untapped opportunity at their disposal.“We are talking about a very large market,” he adds. “If you look at the figures, there is an imbalance between the size of the horseracing market and the attractiveness of the product.“The trend can be balanced by fuelling more innovation and encouraging more horseracing companies to modernise their betting infrastructures, perhaps through outsourcing certain elements.”Cyril Casanova, who refers to a “technological debt at many old-school players”, says that investing in the right technology can kick-start a virtuous circle, helping to attract the most talented individuals.“The biggest challenge in our industry is to recruit the right people, because there are so many start-ups wanting to bring in the best candidates,” he adds. “However, if you make the right choices in terms of technology, then you can attract people who want to work with the best platforms – and learn from others.“In the horseracing industry you will find the same players who don’t have the best platform architecture and are not open to considering new hardware. That explains why those companies are struggling – and the industry is suffering.” Start-up spiritHonoré Gaming itself is underpinned by a start-up mindset that prioritises innovation, says Casanova. Unlike many companies in the sector, it is based in Paris, which the company feels is major pull for ambitious young professionals.Unlike companies with multi-tier hierarchies, Cyril Casanova believes that Honoré Gaming’s focus on individual responsibility, flexibility and adapting quickly to client requirements has helped to establish a niche in the market.“If you are small, then you don’t have the politics of a larger operation that can slow things down,” he says.“We have that start-up spirit and a young team that is highly incentivised and our philosophy is to be as close as possible to our clients so we can understand them and can adapt quickly to their needs.”Room to growFrom Honoré Gaming’s perspective, the company believes there is room to grow in the horseracing sector, and the company has struck up a number of relationships since it was established in 2013.In horseracing, for example, PMU in France has worked with Honoré Gaming since 2016 to tap into opportunities in various places, such as Africa and the Caribbean.“The platform we have developed to offer French horseracing in emerging markets has been a major success,” Cyril Casanova says.“Eight countries have joined the portal and many more will join in the coming months. Technological scalabilityHonoré Gaming’s cloud-based approach allows clients to manage thousands of transactions simultaneously – vital for horseracing operators in immature betting markets, where average tickets are very small.Honoré Gaming is also able to apply creative CRM and mobile strategies that are adaptable to the needs of clients.“Clients are looking for agility, flexibility and capacity,” he says. “The idea is to create a very light solution that can be adapted for their needs.”Looking forward, Cyril Casanova believes that such adaptability will be vital as horseracing operators are forced to consider opportunities with new technology providers like Honoré Gaming, especially given the potential threats on the horizon.“The sector must meet the challenge of innovation and attract young talent, with hundreds of thousands of jobs at stake,” he adds. “Huge new events need to be created to fuel growth in certain markets, and effective data feeds need to be created to exploit future opportunities.” Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Email Address 24th June 2019 | By Josephine Watson Horse racing’s innovation challenge Topics: Sports betting Horse racing Horse racing Innovation is front and centre of many igaming businesses minds. Honoré Gaming discusses how horse racing can keep up to speedlast_img read more

Is too much regulation stifling innovation?

first_img Is too much regulation stifling innovation? While a limited understanding of the underlying tech and the consequences of their actions are undoubtedly stifling innovation and forcing operators to rethink entering some dot.country markets, not all the blame can be laid at the regulators’ door, argues Phil Parry of IforiumWhen it comes to Europe’s patchwork regulatory environment, it goes without saying that we’re a million miles away from what has been described as the wild west of the early 2000s.Regulatory bodies such as the GB Gambling Commission, Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission and the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), to name just a few, have developed gold standards – and are proving to be excellent examples for other regulators to follow. What we’ve seen in the last 10 years in terms of regulatory developments in Europe has been transformational, with an increasingly secure regulatory environment boding well for the future.However, within both this developed and developing environment, the challenge for today’s operators is to identify the markets that are still profitable while finding ways to negotiate the complex web of rules and specifications required of them.Put simply, the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to European markets can no longer be applied. Developed markets are proving to be an increasingly varied patchwork of regulatory requirements – with those that fall short facing the increasingly big stick of regulators.In less than a year, we’ve seen millions doled out in fines to gaming operators because their catalogues of games, along with bonusing platforms and AML procedures simply haven’t met their myriad requirements. Of course, ensuring stringent regulatory compliance while delivering a seamless player experience has always been a balancing act, but looking to 2020, it is the speed of regulatory change that is going to leave operators out of pocket when they fail to keep up.Sweden’s regulatory fallout is a potential sign of things to come if operators cannot tailor their offering to a market’s regulatory needs, and it’s a good time to ask at what point regulation begins to stifle industry innovation. We’ve strived hard as an industry over the last decade to begin putting together the foundations of a fully globalised operation. None more so than on the supplier side, but a pressing concern is beginning to emerge, and the point at which suppliers and operators start actively avoiding markets that are deemed ‘over-regulated’ is going to become a real issue. The consequence of suppliers starting to localise their operations and develop games targeted only towards specific markets to avoid the regulatory stick may come sooner than you think. We’ve already seen this happen outside of our industry in the energy and banking sectors, which are now moving at a glacial pace.In a corporate world of limited talent and resources, strict regulations mean resource allocation to integration and the status quo rather than innovation and creation, which risks setting us back years.The Flutter Entertainment and the Stars Group merger provides the perfect example of this. Tightening gambling regulation contributed to resource allocation towards consolidation rather than innovation, with both looking to hedge their exposure via a co-opted offering. Of course, regulation is certainly necessary when it comes to player protection and fair competition.  However, beyond this, the detrimental effects of over-zealous regulators who have very little understanding of the technology and the consequences of their actions are a problem that looks to be very real.We’ve seen very little real innovation in recent years since the days of mobile in-play betting and ‘cash-out’, and if current trends continue, the majority of ‘industry innovation’ we currently see occupy the headlines risks being little more than window dressing. So, where do we go from here? For a start, we need to see better communicative efforts coming from newly regulated markets. Sweden illustrates this point well. In six months, we went from Sweden’s re-regulated market being prophesised by many to be the highlight of 2019 to a very different outlook.While it may seem obvious that the Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA) needed to create a marketplace of trust in a newly regulated territory, in hindsight they have arguably done the opposite due to a lack of clarity on regulations.This trend needs to change, and fast. If regulators want to ensure that operators and suppliers can keep up with their ever-changing rulebook, they need to provide more clarity and ensure that lessons are learned.The SGA would do well to take a look at regulators who have taken a pragmatic and transparent stance with operators. Providing clear guidelines and sensible tax levels, such as their neighbours in Denmark have done, would be a very good start. However, the industry itself cannot simply lay fault at the regulators’ door, we must also look at ourselves as the balance is wrong. Communication works in two ways, and it’s imperative we come together as an industry in a more collaborative and organised fashion to pro-actively work with regulators to build the right frameworks.At this point in time, we lack an industry body that can actively contribute to the regulatory process, and we’d do well to have one. Not only when it comes to communicating constructively, but also by contributing to building a consistent regulatory foundation for operators and suppliers alike.Get it right, and we’ll be able to free up far more resources towards developing what this industry needs rather than maintaining the status quo. Innovation comes when you have the freedom to focus on it, and in my view – change can’t come fast enough. While a limited understanding of the underlying tech and the consequences of their actions are undoubtedly stifling innovation and forcing operators to rethink entering some dot.country markets, not all the blame can be laid at the regulators’ door, argues Phil Parry of Iforium Strategy AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter 28th October 2019 | By Stephen Carter Topics: Strategy Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Email Addresslast_img read more

Australian ISPs to begin blocking illegal gambling websites

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Regions: Oceania Australia Email Address The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is to begin using its powers to order internet service providers (ISPs) to block access to illegal offshore gambling websites. Australian ISPs to begin blocking illegal gambling websites Topics: Legal & compliance The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is to enforce its powers so that internet service providers (ISPs) in the country can begin blocking illegal offshore gambling websites.The authority will instruct ISPs to target sites which continue to target consumers in the country, despite offering products such as online casino and poker, or operating without a gambling licence, in breach of the 2001 Interactive Gambling Act.The ACMA was granted the site-blocking powers in 2017, following the O’Farrell Review into Illegal Offshore Wagering. This was conducted by former New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell, and has seen the ACMA’s enforcement powers significantly improved, with the authority now able to impose civil penalties against offenders, and the National Consumer Protection Framework for Online Wagering launched in November 2018. In addition, bookmakers are now prohibited from offering lines of credit to customers, and a loophole allowing in-play bets to be placed over the telephone closed.“The ability to have ISPs block illegal websites will be a valuable additional weapon in the ACMA’s arsenal in the fight against illegal online gambling,” ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin commented.“In many cases these sites refuse to pay significant winnings, or only a small portion,” O’Loughlin explained. “Customers had also experienced illegal operators continuing to withdraw funds from their bank account without authorisation.“There is little to no recourse for consumers engaging with these unscrupulous operators.”The ACMA publishes a register of licensed interactive betting services so players can be sure services are legal in Australia. For consumers that have an account with an operator not on the register, the ACMA said that they should withdraw any funds before their ISP blocks the site.The blocking initiative will build on previous efforts by the ACMA to clamp down on illegal online gambling in Australia. Since the authority begin to enforce new offshore gaming rules in 2017, it said more than 65 illegal operators have pulled out of the country. “We have achieved this through working with other regulatory agencies, placing directors of these gambling sites on the Department of Home Affairs Movement Alert List and notifying regulators in the home countries of the sites,” O’Loughlin said.“Public education is also crucial in deterring Australians from using these sites, given many illegal offshore gambling websites target Australians by using Australian themes and images, such as the Australian flag and native animals.”Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts Paul Fletcher said that Australians wagerign up to $400m via illegal sites each year, resulting in around $100m in lost tax revenue.“Too often these offshore operators are defrauding Australians – and their websites typically provide very few – if any – harm minimisation controls,” Fletcher said. “While ACMA has a range of powers to protect Australians from illegal gambling services – including issuing formal warnings and seeking civil penalty orders – it can be difficult to take direct action against faceless companies with no legal presence on our shores.”“This is an important partnership with the Communications Alliance, and I want to acknowledge industry’s support. Working with ACMA, these additional measures give ISPs the ability to block illegal websites, protecting Australians and contributing to a safer online gambling environment.”Image: Max Pixel Tags: Online Gambling 11th November 2019 | By contenteditor Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Legal & compliancelast_img read more

SunCity to preview new Vietnam integrated resort

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter SunCity to preview new Vietnam integrated resort Email Address Macau casino junket operator the SunCity Group has announced it is to preview the Hoiana, a new Vietnamese integrated resort project in which it holds 34% an indirect equity interest, this weekend ahead of its grand opening next year.Work on the resort began in 2016 and a number of operational facilities have now been completed, with attendees at the preview event on 28 June able to experience some of the on-site amenities.Among the facilities that will be open is the Hoiana SunCity entertainment and gaming venue, as well as the Hoiana Shores Golf Club and the Hoiana Hotel & Suites, the first of four luxurious hotels that will be built at the resort.“I am delighted to see that our projects continue to grow as they all undergo transformation; the metamorphosis of SunCity never stops,” SunCity chairman Chau Cheok Wa said.The preview event comes after SunCity earlier this month announced a 23.5% decline in revenue for 2019 to RMB611.8m (£69.5m/€77.1m/$86.4m), while losses increased to RMB1.50bn due to another year of rising financial costs.The business – which arranges the travel and accommodation of high-roller customers – made RMB572.3m in revenue through contracts with customers, down 23.5%. Regions: Asia Vietnam Casino & gamescenter_img Topics: Casino & games Macau casino junket operator the SunCity Group has announced it is to preview the Hoiana, a new Vietnamese integrated resort project in which it holds 34% an indirect equity interest, this weekend ahead of its grand opening next year. Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter 25th June 2020 | By contenteditorlast_img read more

Gaming Realms grows revenue 65.9% in strong first half

first_imgCasino & games Gaming Realms grows revenue 65.9% in strong first half Igaming content developer and distributor Gaming Realms has reported a 65.9% year-on-year rise in revenue for the first half of 2020, which in turn helped the business report positive earnings for the period.Ig Topics: Casino & games Finance Slots Social gaming Tags: Mobile Online Gambling Slot Machines Igaming content developer and distributor Gaming Realms has reported a 65.9% year-on-year rise in revenue for the first half of 2020, which in turn helped the business report positive earnings for the period.Revenue for the six months to 30 June climbed to £5.2m (€5.8m/$6.8m), of which £3.4 came from licensing its content to third party partners – up 103.5% – while social gaming revenue rose 29.4% to £1.8m.Growth was driven by new client roll-outs during the period, with five top-tier operators launching Gaming Realms content by 30 June.In the UK, this saw Gamesys, Sky Betting & Gaming, 888 Casino go live; DraftKings add games to its New Jersey online casino, and Caliente roll them out in the Mexican market.The supplier also launched four new games during the reporting period, including Slingo Centurion in partnership with Inspired Entertainment, taking its portfolio to 40 titles.As outlined in a trading update last month, the business benefitted from increased online casino play as countries went into lockdown as a result of novel coronavirus (Covid-19). Growth was also aided by the reach of Slingo, which has been licensed for use in verticals outside of online casino such as lottery and social.With £2.9m of the half year total generated in the US, that market accounted for 56.1% of Gaming Realms’ revenue. This comes entirely from New Jersey, where the supplier has grown its market share to 3.5%. Subject to regulatory approval, it plans to expand into Pennsylvania, where it has applied for a gaming content supplier licence, early in 2021, followed by Michigan.However, the supplier is also diversifying, with contrinutions from other markets growing signficiantly. Gaming Realms saw revenue from Isle of Man licensed partners grow 115.2% to £1.3m, followed by a £753,269 contribution from the rest of the world (up 154.9%). Revenue from Great Britain, meanwhile jumped from £28,540 in H1 2019 to £226,376.Looking at outgoings for the period, marketing expenses declined to £101,408. This, however, was offset by increased operating expenses of £1.0m (up 45.5%), and administrative outgoings of £3.0m (up 6.8%), while the supplier made £40,075 in share-based payments in H1.These outgoings included £250,881 in costs related to redundancies, consultancy and relocation fees, after which Gaming Realms posted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of £988,186, compared to a £522,994 in the prior year.After finance costs, amortisation and deprecation, Gaming Realms’ pre-tax loss was significantly reduced, falling 72.0% to £692,578. After a £62,881 tax credit, the supplier’s net loss for the period was cut 80.3% year-on-year to £629,697.“Our exceptional performance in the first half of this year is testament to the strength of the company’s strategy of developing and licensing games to market-leading brands and gaming operators using our Slingo IP, which continues to deliver high margin revenues,” Gaming Realms executive chairman Michael Buckley said. “Whilst our results were enhanced during the Covid-19 period of self-isolation, I am pleased to say revenues in the second half are holding onto levels achieved during the first six months.“We are delighted to report that our innovative Slingo Originals content continues to gain momentum, reaching new international audiences thanks to our global network of distribution partners,” Buckley continued. “We remain committed to building on this, and growing our global reach during the second half of the year by investing in our unique content and securing further strategic partnership deals.“Our planned expansion into Pennsylvania and Michigan is hugely exciting and is set to significantly increase our foothold in the US, whilst reducing our dependency on the UK market.”Since the end of the reporting period, Gaming Realms said, licensing revenue was up 140% year-on-year over July and August, with social revenue increasing 56%. This, means the supplier’s board expects to generate positive cashflow for 2020, with high margin growth offsetting development costs for new games and a remote games server.This development has seen two new Slingo titles released, with three new operators – Jumpman Gaming, White Hat Gaming and MrQ – rolling out its content. Its reach has been expanded further in Europe through a distribution deal with Bragg Gaming Group-owned Oryx Gaming, and in the US through a direct integration and expanded deal with Rush Street Interactive.“The group is currently performing in line with market expectations and, with a number of new commercial developments in the pipeline, the board is confident in the future performance of the business,” Buckley added. Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Email Address Regions: UK & Ireland US Michigan New Jersey Pennsylvania AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter 8th September 2020 | By contenteditorlast_img read more

The future of payments

first_img Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Email Address The future of payments AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Tech & innovation From the ruins of Wirecard emerges an opportunity for an innovative and agile payment provider to replace it as the market leading payment provider, writes Julian Buhagiar. Unfortunately, no provider seems to be stepping up.At some point in the near future Netflix will almost definitely commission a documentary about the rise and fall of Wirecard. Possibly even a miniseries; there’s enough juicy stuff in there to fill seasons’ worth of jaw-dropping material.It may not be at Elisabeth (Theranos) Holmes-esque levels of entertainment yet, but we’re getting there. Marcus Braun and Jan Marsalek had built enough notoriety between them (and quirkiness; black turtle-necks a la Steve Jobs – check, deeper voice in meetings – check, supporting rebel uprisings – check) to contribute to one of the fastest imploding verticals in the industry.The truth is that – alongside the distractions of the ongoing pandemic – the fuller, wider impact of Wirecard’s collapse is yet to be fully understood by the world.It’s hard to fully comprehend the damage unleashed by the collapse of a single payment solution provider on the fintech, e-commerce and – especially – gambling industries. In many ways, we’re yet to even feel the impact.The situation was already pretty dire before June this year. For a start, it was becoming increasingly harder to manage any form of payments and reconciliation in most European territories.This is partly because of increasing legislation, but also down to the payment providers themselves. Scrambling and fighting to claim an ever-shrinking size of an over-regulated market, PSPs have largely let their customers, and the industry they serve – down. And it’s gotten even worse from there.Since June, one enterprising PSP has rapidly capitalised on the demise of their competitor by pushing up prices for a good portion of the customer base, for example.Elsewhere on the credit card front, conversion rates of 7995-based cards are now at an all-time low. This, in a year which is supposed to facilitate as much remote commerce as possible to prop up rapidly deteriorating economies, does not bode well.Whatever future economists make of the financial effects wrought by the pandemic, it’s clear that as 2020 came to a close the future of payments was also looking pretty dire.Specifically, for the gambling industry, this is an even more serious issue than the prospect of socialist levels of regulation. Whilst there are still some forms of payment providers around, the solutions are immensely fragmented per territory, slow to respond, and the on/off-ramp costs incurred – ludicrous.Of course, that’s also assuming they’re working most of the time, as in recent years even their uptime availabilities have started to falter.Moreover, the choices themselves are decreasing, and it’s only going to take a tighter form of legislation here, or a platform-wobble there, to freeze an entire territory’s takings for a weekend, or a quarter, or perhaps indefinitely.So, what does the landscape look like for gambling payments, and indeed the rest of the e-commerce industry?Clearly something radical needs to be introduced, it cannot be a YAP (short form for Yet Another PSP – yes, there’s even an acronym). Such a solution needs to finally acknowledge – nay embrace – the use of cryptocurrency for internal/external transactions.In 2020 there’s now sufficient crypto-adoption by gambling operators to support mainstream usage and use as a store/hold currency for spot transactions. Furthermore, the solution needs to be able to integrate into any existing PSPs to facilitate adoption, or a meta-PSP aggregator.Think Curve, but on a PSP level. Only by combing the best of localised solutions, and injecting a bit of crypto and aggregator magic, can the revolution truly happen.Whilst it’s hard to pinpoint exactly where (or from who) it will come, we know it will need to have at least the following features:First off, there would need to be a seamless e-wallet experience that integrates multiple endpoints. This wallet would need to support numerous territories upon launch and will gradually increase over time, putting pressure on local banks and legislation in turn to adopt or at least endorse them as preferred solutions. This is less of a legal, and more of a sales and marketing point. Demand creating supply, if you will.Secondly, the solution would need to be cryptocurrency-led, with localised support for a blend of coins and currencies, to encourage fluid intra-wallet exchanges or spot payments depending on currency movements.Additionally, and more pertinently, there would need to be an immersive UX with intuitive workflow for all on/off-ramp activities. This is where the magic should happen. A user should be able to seamlessly open their wallet in any territory, connect to a local exchange and buy/sell coins or currency respectively.Furthermore, the need for seamless deposit into operators using multiple merchant gateways. This is where the use of stablecoins and QR codes becomes prevalent; a user should be able to easily deposit in this form, such as CNY with an (Asian) operator.This can be as easy as scanning a QR code using either a pegged currency or a blend of crypto-currencies in their wallet, whichever they prefer as it means they don’t lose out on spot rates.Finally, and perhaps most significantly, we need to think about the use of own-named accounts to facilitate withdrawals irrespective of territories. In other words, a unique IBAN for each user, which will also enable daily use of funds as per any normal bank account.Sounds too ambitious or lofty to properly pull off? Possibly not – at least one major player is already working on such a solution, and a first global release is slated for later this year.Such a solution honestly can’t come soon enough – operators have had their margins eroded and/or revenues slashed by inadequate PSPs for far too long now. Something truly radical needs to reshape gambling payments, or else we risk seeing the rapid implosion of a once opulent industry.The (billion dollar) question is, who will be the one to usher in a new chapter for gambling payments?Co-founder of RB Capital, Julian Buhagiar is an investor, CEO and board director to multiple ventures in gaming, fintech and media markets. He has led investments, M&As and exits to date in excess of $370m.center_img Tags: Payments Topics: Tech & innovation From the ruins of Wirecard emerges an opportunity for an innovative and agile payment provider to replace it as the market leading payment provider, writes Julian Buhagiar. Unfortunately, no provider seems to be stepping up. 10th September 2020 | By contenteditorlast_img read more