Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. In this latest edition we take a look at Sightline Payments’ unicorn achievement, financial performance, and a £4m GambleAware commitment.
GambleAware commenced an eight-month grant award process to establish the first academic research hub in Great Britain specialising in gambling harms research.
This will see the charity commit £4m to a hub which it hopes will “have a significant impact” on the whole gambling research landscape, both within Great Britain and across the globe, through the inclusion of new and diverse areas of research.
The successful institution, says GambleAware, will dictate its own research focus and will support and inform the wider system of treatment providers, organisations, and agencies working to prevent and reduce gambling harms.
The research hub will determine its own research focus, taking a public health lens, and is expected to secure other funding sources to continue growth and development beyond the initial grant award.
Cannae Holdings led Sightline Payments’ second funding round of the year, which has seen the digital payments provider and mobile app developer become “Nevada’s first fintech unicorn”.
The completion of the $244m funding round has propelled the group to a valuation of over $1bn, which it says ensures that it becomes “one of roughly 700 startups worldwide” to reach such a figure as a private company.
“The Sightline team has reached new heights to provide innovative solutions to drive our industry forward,” said Sightline CEO Joe Pappano.
“Our investors’ continued faith in our business will enable us to execute our vision of transforming payments in the casino gaming and hospitality industry.”
Gopher Investments said that it welcomes the result of a shareholder vote at a Playtech general meeting, which saw a resolution regarding the potential sale of the gambling tech firm’s Finalto financial services division voted down.
This saw shareholders vote against the offer for Finalto, which would’ve brought a $210m divestment to a consortium led by Barinboim Group, and backed by Leumi Partners and Menora Mivtachim Insurance.
Subsequently, Gopher says that it “looks forward to engaging” with the board of Playtech regarding its own $250m for Finalto, and will work to complete the acquisition “in an expedient and transparent manner”.
Earlier in the year Gopher, a 4.97 per cent shareholder in Playtech, issued an indicative non-binding conditional offer to acquire Finalto for $250m, with the inclusion of a reverse break fee of $10m, in response to a prior agreement inked alongside the aforementioned consortium.
New Jersey sportsbooks failed to buck a national trend through July, however the Garden State’s online casinos and poker rooms continued to side-step any summer slowdown.
The region’s igaming ecosystem generated $118.7m in gross gaming revenue during the month, which is up 35.7 per cent from $87.5m in July 2020 and 10.9 per cent from $107.1m month-on-month. This also exceeded the previous revenue high of $113.7m set in March.
Online casino games alone generated $115.6m in July, pushing lifetime revenue to $3bn since online gambling launched in November 2013.
Through seven months of 2021, online casino games and poker have generated $752.9m in revenue, up 47.6 per cent from $510.2m during the same period one year earlier.
“We are very pleased with the progress we have and continue to make, however we continue to dedicate our work and consistent approach towards capturing long term growth which lies ahead of us,” noted Richard Brown, CEO of Gaming Innovation Group, upon reflection of the group’s second quarter performance.
This comes as the firm once again expresses disappointment at ongoing negative impacts within the German market, despite asserting that the year’s second quarter has “proved another success”.
As the group marked the 12-month mark since becoming a pure B2B offering, revenue during the year’s second quarter came in at €16.2m, which represents a 23 per cent increase from €13.2m year-on-year.
Platform services delivered Q2 revenue of €5.1m (2020: €4.7m), closing at a nine per cent increase. Excluding white labels revenue rose 37 per cent, however, this further increases to 81 per cent when adjusted for Germany declines.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled the introduction of a ‘Key to NYC’ mandate, which will require proof of vaccination to enter the region’s casinos.
Beginning this week, with enforcement to begin, with a multi-agency coalition, on Monday 13 September, the introduction will be accompanied by the city conducting an “aggressive outreach and education campaign”, including a $10m multi-platform paid media push.
The campaign will include radio, TV, digital, social, and subway live boards. Approximately 600 canvassers will also be going door to door for affected businesses, with the goal of reaching every postcode in the city during the next three weeks.
The National Indian Gaming Commission detailed the impact of the coronavirus health pandemic upon its operations, although it is acknowledged that revenue decreases were expected.
The NIGC reported revenue for the full year of $27.8bn, a decrease of 19.5 per cent over FY2019’s $34.6bn due to the pandemic’s impact on its regions.
The commission’s ‘Sacramento’ segment (California and Nevada) suffered the smallest decline in GGR of 13.2 per cent during the year to $8.4bn (FY2019: $9.7bn), narrowly ahead of Tulsa (Oklahoma and Kansas) which dropped 14.7 per cento to $2.1bn (2020: $2.46bn).
The ‘Rapid City’ region (Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming) experienced the largest GGR decrease of 36.6 per cent to $238.6m (FY2019: $376.5m).
This closed some distance ahead of the Phoenix division, made up of Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico, which dropped 28 per cent from $3.27bn to $2.35bn.
The Dutch gaming authority, Kansspelautoriteit, issued a €100,000 fine to the Nederlandse Loterij’s Lotto subsidiary for breaching protocols which are aimed at protecting minors.
The regulator says that it had identified advertisements for EuroJackpot on girlscene.nl, a website that it says focuses on minors. The law prohibits the targeting of games of chance advertising at minors.
It is added that the Nederlandse Loterij also failed to comply with a cease and desist order, which also tasked Lotto with taking “appropriate measures to prevent a recurrence in the future”.