Weekend Edition #72
Genius Sports’ NFL in-play bounce, Endeavor open for business, NeoGames’ iLottery hopes, sector watch – crypto exchanges +More
Good morning. In today’s weekend edition:
Genius Sports says it has seen an in-play bounce from the NFL.
Endeavor is all set to combine OpenBet with IMG Arena.
NeoGames talks up the hopes of further US iLottery legislation.
MGM makes a $750m loan to its Macau subsidiary to tide it over.
Sector watch looks at how the implosion at FTX impacts the gambling space.
The NFL data provider sees in-play bounce as revenues rise 13.8% YoY to $78.7m while adj. EBITDA moves into positive territory at $7.7m.
Rising tide: A significant improvement from in-play handle (up 70% YoY) and GGR (up 200%) in the first three weeks of the NFL season helped contribute to a 70% YoY improvement in US revenues and towards a 12.6% rise in betting tech and content revenues to $49.2m.
CCO Jack Davison said the start of the season was “slightly ahead” from Genius’ point of view.
But he cautioned this was still early days, with Q3 containing only three weeks of the regular season.
He also said the market should be “cognizant that while the NFL is important, it isn’t our whole betting business”.
Hold that thought: Over the period Genius also signed a deal with Amazon to provide video and data technology to Amazon for its Monday Night Football streamed broadcasts. Taken together with a recent exploratory deal with bet365 for AV tech, CEO Mark Locke said the task of both deals was to make sports more engaging for the fans.
“We think the future of sports betting is going to be based around having further products cross-sold, whether betting products or other products,” Locke added.
No change: Genius recently reached a settlement with Sportradar over English and Scottish football data, which will see Genius sell a secondary highlights package to its rival. The agreement is confidential, but Locke did add that “for us, it doesn’t change how we operate”.
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Endeavor open for business
Having completed its acquisition of OpenBet during the quarter, Endeavor CEO says he sees ‘secular tailwinds’ in the sports-betting sector.
Getting it on: CEO Ari Emanuel said he expected to see “meaningful synergies” from adding OpenBet to its existing IMG Arena business as of next year. He said that both businesses were profitable and noted the tailwinds of further regulation of sports betting, both in the US and internationally.
Note, Endeavor will report both OpenBet and IMG Arena as a new segment “going into 2023”.
NeoGames opening doors
In its first full quarter incorporating Aspire Global, NeoGames says it sees early signs of iLottery, iCasino and OSB providing the gateway for each other with regulators.
Winner, winner: On its Q3 earnings call yesterday, CEO Moti Malul said the company was already seeing the benefit of offering an end–to-end solution from iLottery to iCasino and sports betting, and suggested it had already seen instances of its iLottery helping it win new iGaming contracts.
“In every jurisdiction, one segment runs faster than the others because of how regulation progresses and opens the door for others to follow,” Malul added.
Analysts at Macquarie noted that, while US iLottery legislation has been slow, they believed “a period of tighter state budgets” would encourage legislative movement.
Jefferies said NeoGames could turn “macro headwinds into a tailwind”.
NeoGames announced a deal with the Georgia lottery to offer games studio content.
Recall: NeoGames said on Wednesday revenues rose 262% to $73.3m, while adj. EBITDA more than doubled to $17.6m. The existing lottery business saw revenues climb 22%, while sports betting and iGaming was up 8%.
MGM’s Macau loan
Handout: MGM has announced it has made available a $750m revolving credit facility to majority-owned subsidiary MGM Macau. MGM said the loan reflected its “confidence in the long-term growth potential of Macau and bolstered MGM Macau’s “already strong financial position”.
Recall, over the summer Las Vegas Sands made a $1bn loan to its Sands China subsidiary.
Earnings in brief
Galaxy Entertainment: Staying with Macau, GGR for Q3 fell by 75% YoY to HK$918m and adj. EBITDA fell into negative territory at minus HK$581m as restrictions continued to bite; Galaxy Macau revenues fell 62% YoY, with StarWorld Macau down 76%.
Genting Singapore: In contrast, revenues at Genting rose over 100% to SG$520m, driven by the continued recovery at its Resorts World Sentosa property in Singapore. Adj. EBITDA rose over 140% to SG$294m.
Bragg Gaming: Q3 revenues rose 62.3% to €20.9m while adj. EBITDA was up 51.6% to €2.2m. In September, Bragg raised $8.4m in convertible debt via investment from Lind Global Fund.
Wynn Resorts: The team at CBRE noted the share price rally after news broke of Tilmann Fertitta’s 6% stake in Wynn and suggested some of this enthusiasm represented “broader speculation of further activity from Fertitta”.
They added that further price action would likely be driven by signs of strategic interest in the company or “real progress” in the reopening of Macau.
Sector watch – crypto exchanges
Crypto exchange FTX’s near-death experience this week has implications for some names in the betting sector.
Going down: With troubled crypto exchange FTX apparently on the verge of collapse and founder Sam Bankman-Fried having issued a public apology via a Twitter thread, the potential for wider contagion from the latest crypto crisis will be furrowing brows in the betting space.
OSB impact? FTX was directly invested in the decentralized betting exchange startup BetDEX, which at the start of this month announced it had received a license from the Isle of Man and was set to launch in the coming months.
When BetDEX raised $21m of Seed funding in October last year, Bankman-Fried was on the cap table with an unspecified investment. He offered a quote for the press release.
“It is mind-boggling that more sports wagering does not occur on exchanges,” he eulogized.
Potentially more worrying for BetDEX is the potential for wider contagion in the world of crypto currencies.
BetDEX is set to use the stablecoin USDT (also known as Tether) and CEO Varun Sudhakar said he expected “very limited impact”. However, since the article was published Tether has also come under selling pressure.
The bright side: Also likely to suffer FTX fallout is PlayUp. The Australian-based betting operator might be said to have had a close shave after a legal dispute with former CEO Laila Mintas blew up a takeover attempt. FTX is thought to still be an investor in the company, which has since sought to pursue a merger with the IG Acquisition Corp SPAC.
Crystal clear: The FT has reproduced a graphic of the Bankman-Fried empire and, well, best of luck anyone untangling this lot.
This week on E+M
A busy week started last weekend with the breaking news regarding the judgment of the arbitration panel in New York on the valuation of FOX’s stake in FanDuel.
That edition of Deal Talk also looked at the prospects of MGM Resorts and Entain getting around to discussing a potential takeover – with the consensus being that, again, the market will have to wait.
Missouri: GGR hit $154.4m in October, down 4.7% YoY, while visitation was down 8.6%. The figure represented a 9.1% uplift on Oct19. Penn’s Missouri properties led the market with GGR of $54.7m, down 1.3% YoY.
Indiana: GGR was down 3.2% YoY at $207.6m. Sports-betting GGR was up 69.5% to $46.9m, while handle dropped 3.2% to $446.2m.
Iowa: Casino GGR was down 3.9% YoY to $145.8m, Caesars led in GGR market share with 26%. Sports-betting GGR rose 192% YoY to $19m from a handle of $238.8m, down 15% YoY. Online margins were 7.7%, retail hold came in at 10.5%, said Wells Fargo.
Leaders: DraftKings and FanDuel were tied for share of GGR at 30%, Caesars was third with 19%, followed by BetMGM with 11.5%.
Sightline Payments has launched its mobile loyalty platform Mobile+ at the Talking Stick Resort and Casino Arizona venues in Scottsdale.
Battles hardened: Lottery.com has announced Matthew McGahan as its new chairman and two new board appointees, Barney Battles, a former senior advisor at Rank, and Naila Chowdhury.
The UK Gambling Commission’s ‘Young People and Gambling 2022’ report has found that 3% or respondents had gambled on fruit or slot machines, 2% on eSports and 1% on RMG websites (1%). The study found that 0.9% of 11-16 year-olds are classed as problem gamblers.
What we’re writing
NIESR to see you: Scott Longley on the UK Gambling Commission’s use of settlement funds, for iGB.
What we’re reading
China Pivot: Beijing appears to have signaled a Covid measures pullback.
Nov 14: GAN
Nov 16: Sportradar, Flutter Investor Day
Nov 17: Catena Media, Gambling.com
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