Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. A range of financial updates across an array of industry incumbents were a key feature of this past week, with financial reports from Gambling.com, Codere and iGaming Ontario, as well as a first new Northern Nevada casino in over two decades.
A public tender offer of SEK 61 (£4.92) in cash per share was accepted by 96 per cent of LeoVegas shareholders as MGM Resorts International looks to finalise a purchase that “represents a major milestone”.
Settlement of the shares is expected to be initiated around September 7, 2022, and represent a total value of approximately $604m (£520.98m), which is a slight drop from the $607m expressed when the deal was first disclosed in early May.
To allow for those shareholders who have not yet accepted the offer to tender their shares to MGM, the acceptance period is extended until September 14, 2022 at 17:00 CEST. Settlement is expected to begin around 22 September 2022.
MGM has long since hailed the prospective purchase as “a unique opportunity for the company to create a scaled global online gaming business,” with the group also previously detailing a plan to execute on an expanded presence in Europe.
It is anticipated that LeoVegas’ online casino and sports betting foothold outside of the US will swell MGM’s presence in an array of global markets further still.
International Game Technology detailed an agreement to settle legal issues stemming from its DoubleDown Interactive litigation.
The lawsuit, Benson v DoubleDown Interactive, alleged that the offer of social casino games, including roulette and slots that can be played with virtual chips and with no cash prizes, within the state of Washington represents illegal gambling.
“The agreement in principle, entered into by certain subsidiaries of IGT and DoubleDown, remains contingent on final court approval by the US Federal District Court for the Western District of Washington,” an IGT update on the matter noted.
Under the terms of the settlement agreement, which will only take effect following final country approval, $415m will be paid into a settlement fund of which IGT’s subsidiaries will contribute $269.75m with DDI to provide $145.25m.
Gambling.com Group reported a total revenue of $15.92m through the second quarter, up from 53 per cent from 2021’s $10.39m.
Citing first quarter acquisitions in North America, which soared 342 per cent to $6.2m and also witnessed a successful Ontarian debut.
“We continued to execute on our strategy of rapidly growing our business in North America in the second quarter as the team delivered company-wide revenue growth of over 50 per cent and North American revenue growth over 300 per cent ,” said Charles Gillespie, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Gambling.com Group.
“The strength of our business model was also on display, as we continued to deliver strong adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow despite the second quarter being the seasonally weakest and while investing in the organisation to drive future growth
Gross profit through Q2 increased 48.47 per cent to $15.42m (2021: $10.39m), with operating loss closing the period at $2.24m compared to income of $3.15m one year earlier and adjusted EBITDA also falling 34 per cent to $3.61m (2021: $5.51m).
For the year-to-date, revenue increased 62 per cent to $35.5m (2021: $21.9m), with operating profit and EBITDA down 312.4 per cent and 15 per cent to $2m (2021: $8.36m) and $10.71m (2021: $12.63m). For Q2 and FY sales and marketing expenses came in at $8.45m (2021: $3.14m) and $15.81m (2021: $5.84m).
iGaming Ontario published its first quarter of gaming operations since the market launch.
Reporting a total revenue income at $162m, the first public report of the market performance saw total wagers at $4.076bn, which does not include promotion wagers.
Moreover, active player accounts in Ontario, ending June 30, was 492,000, with an average monthly spend per player account said to be $113.
“Our aim is to be the best gaming jurisdiction in the world and these positive results are an early sign that we’re on our way,” noted Dave Forestell, iGO’s Board Chair. “With a competitive revenue share rate and low barriers to entry, Ontario is an attractive igaming market with a strong player base.”
A third set of disciplinary proceedings was launched against Crown Melbourne by the Victorian gaming regulator over the property’s historical bank and blank practices.
The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission issued Crown with a notice that compels the operator to provide information relating to findings uncovered during the royal commission investigation.
This 2021 probe, said the VGCCC, uncovered practices that breached the Casino Control Act regarding the prohibition of extending credit to patrons in connection with any gaming or betting.
This includes the exchange of a bank cheque for gambling chips valued at the face value of the cheque, as well as permitting patrons to exchange blank cheques made payable to Crown in exchange for chips used to gamble at its Melbourne facility.
Actions available to the regulator include imposing a fine of up to A$100m, making alterations to the company’s casino licence and issuing a letter of censure and directing Crown to take certain steps.
Nueva Codere disclosed a second quarter revenue growth of 8.2 per cent quarter-on-quarter to close the period at €317.7m (2021: €293.7m).
However, despite this, adjusted EBITDA dropped 1.9 per cent from the first quarter’s €48.7m to close Q2 at €47.8m, with that figure representing 59.8 per cent of the €76.4m recorded in the same quarter three years earlier.
Delving deeper into the company’s main markets, revenue in Argentina reached €85.9m, up 17.34 per cent and 7.3 per cent from the €73.2m and €80m tracked that Q1 2022 and Q2 2019, respectively.
This revenue rise, said Codere, has been driven in the physical business by a strong performance across the country.
The Spelinspektionen issued a warning and penalty to ATG after it was discovered that a self-exclusion function was not accessible for those logged in with a mobile bank ID when using the group’s platforms.
The company, which notified the gaming authority of the issue on February 15, 2022, discovered that during the the January 13 to January 28 time frame it was not possible to reach the self-deactivation function.
It is said that the error, which saw a SEK 2m (£160,000) penalty fee issued, occurred following an update of the login system, with the problem discovered on January 27 and subsequently rectified the next day.
Furthermore, ATG noted that it has not been able to ascertain an exact number of users that had tried to utilise the feature, but estimates that 100 users “may have had problems”.
According to the group, the shortcoming identified has been remedied and new procedures have been introduced to prevent the error from being repeated.
After more than 20 years Legends Bay Casino opened its doors, marking the property as the first new gaming venue in Northern Nevada in over two decades.
The 80,000 square-foot casino welcomes guests from August 30 and will be operated by Olympia Companies’ Olympia Gaming division, which also includes Casino Fandango in Carson City.
“It has been a long road to reach this day and we couldn’t be prouder to be opening Legends Bay Casino in this great community,” noted Garry Goett, Chair and CEO of Olympia Companies.
“Our team worked incredibly hard, and we look forward to welcoming guests to the newest casino in the region in over 20 years.
“The outpouring of support and excitement to see Legends Bay Casino open has been incredible.
“From the gaming floor to our new restaurants, to the guest service, to the LB Rewards program, our goal has always been to ensure that we are offering a distinctive experience unlike any other.”
New South Wales’ freshly formed Independent Casino Commission gained its maiden appointments ahead of formally commencing operations next week.
The regulator, formed as one 19 recommendations of the Bergin inquiry into Crown Resorts’ Sydney property, is to be led by “five experienced casino commissioners” confirmed Kevin Anderson, Minister for Hospitality and Racing.
This saw Philip Crawford, the current Chair of the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority, take up the role of Chief Commissioner of the NICC ahead of getting kick-started on September 5.