Evolution’s ‘crooked path’ on RNG
Evolution’s pathway, PlayUp shuts up NJ shop, 888’s share price spotlighted, sector watch – financial trading +More
Good morning. On the Weekender agenda:
Evolution says it sees progress in RNG despite YoY revenue drop.
ICYMI features Sharpr’s news on casino sites targeting Roblox users.
The troubled PlayUp’s New Jersey site is offline.
888’s share price reaction to the Alexander disappointment is spotlighted.
Marketing VP, head of marketing roles are available via BettingJobs.
No straight line
Evolution says it sees RNG progress, despite stalling revenues even while live casino continues to pull ahead.
Up the hill and down the slope: Evolution CEO Martin Carlesund said the "road to good growth in RNG is not a straight line" after the company saw a 4% decline in revenues for the segment. He insisted the unit was making progress and promoted the potential for new games launches in H2.
“We made a complete reorganization," he added. "We can do a lot of things better. We're not happy with Q2.”
“I'm a person that is never really happy. So I think that we can always be better.”
Total revenue rose 28% to €441m while adj. EBITDA was up 31% to €312m, meaning EBITDA margins were up to 71%.
Focus on the positives: Still, live casino continued on its inexorable growth path, up 34% YoY to €372m, with growth in Europe and, in particular, Asia. However, across the business, revenue from the US stalled at €55m, up 20% YoY but down 3% sequentially.
“I would focus on the year on year growth,” Carlesund suggested, adding that the company still believes it can grow market share in North America.
“The ambition is, of course, to take market share and to increase our footprint in the market.”
As with the RNG segment, he said quarterly performance “can be a bit up and down”.
Asked about recent competitor moves in the US live casino space, he said he welcomed the competition. “It makes you run faster,” he added.
M&Maybe: On Evolution’s capital structure and its increasing cash pile, Carlesund suggested that, besides the dividend, the money could go towards further M&A and that there “could be opportunities”.
Or not. “We could be here next year with no M&A and that would be fine,” he added.
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Sharpr this week puts Roblox in the spotlight as Cody Luongo uncovers a number of black market casino sites that are aggressively targeting an underage audience. In the spotlight are the predatory marketing practices of a site called Bloxflip, which Sharpr reveals pays creators regardless of age to promote the site.
“Bad actors make illegal use of Roblox’s intellectual property and branding to operate such sites in violation of our standards,” a spokesperson for Roblox told Sharpr.
LosIngresos+Mas this week reports on the news from Paraguay that the competition commission has decided to investigate the National Gambling Commission for allegedly having favored Daruma Sam in the 2022 tender for a further five years of its exclusive sports-betting franchise.
In Compliance+More this week, the news from Maine is that the state’s gambling board has submitted its final sports-betting regulations. Meanwhile, in the UK another regulatory settlement was announced, this time involving infractions at Betfred’s retail operation, which cost the company £3.25m.
The troubled operator’s New Jersey site is offline.
The end is nigh: Visitors to the PlayUp.nj site are being told that the “difficult decision to pause our operations temporarily has been taken”. It goes on to say that outstanding balances and pending bets will be honored.
The closure comes in the same week that reports in Australia suggested the company was seeking A$10m in order to shore the business up as it seeks a buyer for its US operations.
Earlier in the month, LegalSportsReport said PlayUp’s US operations had been scaled down to a skeleton staff ahead of a potential sale.
Late yesterday, the NJDGE issued a revocation notice after the company failed to reply to the authority regarding requests for further financial information.
M&A in brief
Interblock has acquired Aruze Gaming America’s electronic table game assets for an undisclosed sum. The news comes a day after it was announced that Play Synergy had snapped up Aruze’s US slot operation.
Caesars Entertainment: The launch of the new standalone iCasino app got the analysts excited at CBRE, who said it was a “key moment”. “The standalone iCasino app should serve as a much better direct customer acquisition tool for Caesars’ database of 65m+ brick-and-mortar customers,” they added.
They noted the app also comes with an improved bonus engine and jackpot capabilities plus customer segmentation potential enabling tailored offers.
The analysts also noted Caesars recently completed the migration to the Liberty platform in Nevada, the last state to switch.
CBRE added that Caesars’ path to ~$500m of digital EBITDA was “becoming clearer”.
Betsson analyst recall
In through the out door: On the call with analysts CEO Pontus Lindwall commented that despite withdrawing its license application in the Netherlands, the group “has not shut the door” on getting licensed there.
Lindwall added that the progress the company has made in neighboring Belgium, where it will operate through its acquisition of betFIRST and launch online casino for Groupe Partouche, was one of the contributing factors behind the withdrawal of the Dutch application process.
Betsson said it had been in the application process for over a year and wanted to re-allocate resources to “projects where we see higher growth potential”, notably via its partnership with Partouche.
The shares week
Relief, rally: After initially expressing their disappointment that the bid by FS Gaming to get Kenny Alexander installed as CEO at 888 was rejected, shareholders managed to see the bright side by the end of this week as the shares regained much of their initial 25% drop.
Your move: Having said the company was under a licensing review by the UK Gambling Commission, the first order of business for whoever does take up the currently vacant post is to steady that particular ship.
Recall, executive chair Lord Mendelsohn told the market last Friday the company was “finalizing” the details on an imminent appointment.
🎢 Oops upside your head
Sector watch – financial trading
Taste test: IG’s US subsidiary tastytrade undertook a national ad campaign for the first time this year as the options trading business also opened a tastycrypto digital asset wallet product.
Total revenue at tastytrade rose 52% to £170m, helping to push total revenue for the group up 5% to over the billion mark for the first time in the company’s history.
Acting IG CEO Charlie Rozes noted this was achieved despite “difficult” market conditions in the last 12 months.
The move into the US marked a move to diversify away from IG’s traditional base of UK spread betting and CFD trading. Core market revenues fell 1% to £816m while the share of revenue from the UK fell back to 33% from 42% in FY22.
Of interest: A notable development for IG was the rise in the amount of revenue it generated through interest income on client funds, which soared to £81m from just £0.8m in FY22.
The company said it had “capitalized on the interest rate cycle”.
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What we’re reading
The EKG Line says Circa Sports is looking to develop its own sportsbook platform and has acquired a copy of the Amelco’s Stadium source code to build upon.
Simplebet has rolled out Same-Inning-Parlays, which allow bettors to place pre-made, multiple leg parlay bets on individual instances of a MLB game.
LeoVegas’ sports-betting brand Nye Expekt has entered into a sponsorship agreement with Denmark's top soccer league.
GiG is to provide its online platform for Spanish betting operator GoldenPark in Portugal.
Jul 25: Kindred
Jul 26: Kambi, BetMGM, Churchill Downs (e), VICI (e)
Jul 27: Churchill Downs (call), VICI (call), Boyd Gaming, GLP (e)
Jul 28: PointsBet, GLP (call)
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