Decreasing German and UK activity leads to a Q3 dip for Betsson

Betsson has maintained growth against record 2020 comparatives, despite its business undertaking significant operating adjustments in the re-regulated markets of the Netherlands and Germany.    

The company’s casino revenue in the third quarter witnessed a slight decrease of two per cent to SEK 1,275.7m (2020: 1,306.5m) compared to Q2, a dip the firm notes was “largely driven by” decreased activity in Germany following regulation changes. 

Publishing its Q3 trading update, Betsson also highlighted the decreased activity in the UK as a result of the firm’s consolidation and focus on only one brand whilst casino represented 74 per cent of the group’s revenue.

Moreover, mobile casino revenue came in at SEK 1,046.9m (£984.1m) and accounted for 82 per cent of the total casino revenue.

Commenting on the report, Pontus Lindwall, president and CEO of Betsson AB, noted: “Against the background of strong development this year, it was unfortunate that the Dutch Gaming Authority unexpectedly published a new policy at the end of September that entails a deviation from the previously communicated guidelines during the cooling off period. 

“The new policy implies that operators who are waiting out the cooling off period is forced to cease operations completely, pending an obtained licence. Based on the new policy, Betsson decided to temporarily stop accepting Dutch customers on international websites in order to create good conditions for the upcoming licensing process. 

“Betsson continues to have strong faith in the Dutch market and an ambition to be able to conduct business in the future in accordance with the new regulations. The efforts to prepare the licence applications and preparations for certifying our technical platform in the Dutch market are ongoing.”

During the quarter, Betsson released 294 new casino games, 16 of which came with a period of exclusivity for Betsson’s brands. This corresponds to an average of four new games per day and an increase of 54 games compared with the previous quarter.

At the beginning of the third quarter Betsson had a total of 3,300 games available; taking into account variations connected to regions, markets and brands this means that the company manages over 5,600 game titles on Techsson including 145 poker games and 300 live casino games. 

Alongside the slight decline in casino revenue, the Nasdaq Stockholm registered group reported overall revenue of SEK 1,733.3m, representing a three per cent increase on the corresponding quarter in 2020 (2020: 1,676.7m).

Meanwhile, the firm increased both its number of active customers by seven per cent to 986,429 (2020: 920,045) and net income from SEK 290.6m Q3 2020 to SEK 287.4m, although group EBIT experienced a decline to SEK 323.6m (2020: 329.1m), a drop of 17 per cent on the previous year.

Of the group’s divisions, sportsbook revenue increased by 24 per cent to SEK 435.7m (2020: 352.6m) of which 81 per cent came via mobile verticals. Success in sports betting operations was further bolstered by revenues of SEK 21.9m (2020: 17.6m) from poker, bingo and other products, a rise of 24 per cent.

“After several records during the previous quarter, we managed to increase revenue by just over three per cent during the third quarter, compared with the corresponding quarter last year, which was a very strong quarter,” Lindwall explained.

“At that time, the strong increase in revenue was driven by a surge in demand for digital entertainment. The further increase in revenue is explained by the successes with our sportsbook in combination with good results in the ending rounds of the Euro 2020 and Conmebol Copa América and the return of the domestic football leagues from mid-August. 

“All in all, this has resulted in sportsbook revenue increasing by approximately 24 per cent year-on-year. The increase in revenue has also benefited from successes in new markets such as LatAm, Croatia and Greece.”