Every week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most fascinating stories. As seven US regulators joined forces to combat illicit operations, GAMSTOP reacted to the UK government’s Gambling Act white paper and PENN Entertainment recorded improved revenue.
DraftKings has suggested it is “positioned for sustained success” following the first quarter of 2023 in which the company was able to produce robust revenue growth. As a result, the operator is increasing the midpoint of its 2023 revenue and adjusted EBITDA guidance.
Publishing its Q1 financial report, DraftKings declared revenue of $770m, an 84 per cent increase year-over-year (Q1 2022: $417m) thanks to “efficient acquisition of new customers, product innovation driving higher hold percentage, decreased promotional intensity in more mature states and continued healthy customer retention”.
Monthly unique players for the operator also increased to an average of 2.8 million, a 39 per cent uptick YoY due to a “strong unique player retention and acquisition across DraftKings’ sportsbook and igaming products” and an expansion of products across all segments in new jurisdictions.
Commenting on the firm’s performance, CEO Jason Robins stated: “Looking at the remainder of 2023, I am confident DraftKings is well-positioned to achieve profitability on an adjusted EBITDA basis in the near term and deliver long-term value for our shareholders.”
In response to the UK government’s white paper for the Gambling Act review, GAMSTOP, the UK industry’s most prominent self-exclusion scheme, expressed a need for the review to prioritise player protection as its number of users reached 365,000.
While agreeing with the government’s notion to bring UK gambling regulation into the ‘smartphone age’, the self-exclusion organisation’s CEO Fiona Palmer also detailed a concern that at-risk gamblers face from illicit services.
“We are particularly concerned about the targeting of vulnerable individuals by illegal sites not registered with GAMSTOP,” Palmer added.
“More than 365,000 people have excluded themselves from online gambling and it is worrying that they are being deliberately targeted when they are at their most vulnerable.
Recording its 13th straight quarter of growth, Gaming Innovation Group disclosed a best revenue performance of €28.4m in its Q1 financial update, up 49 per cent year-on-year from €19.1m.
In addition to the company reporting all-time high revenue, the period also saw GiG “successfully” commence a strategic review that could split the group into two independent publicly listed companies.
The group also finalised the acquisition of AskGamblers during the period, with CEO Richard Brown outlining that the business is back to month-on-month growth.
“The post-merger integration started at pace with a number of short-term initiatives already in place with the long-term execution plan taking shape,” he said.
“We are also pleased with the initial results of our first media partnership and look to expand this internationally. Year-on-year, the business excluding AskGamblers hit revenue growth of 13 per cent as the positive development and efforts from last year continue to deliver.
“Both the publishing and paid segments continued with force, delivering year-on-year growth respectively. The business launched multiple new assets and markets furthering diversification of future earnings and potential.”
Casino operator Merkur Casino Almere became the latest to face action from the KSA, receiving a €45,000 fine for failure to comply with exclusion measures.
This comes after the casino was found to have failed to comply with statutory audit obligations after giving access to an individual that was registered with the Central Register of Exclusion of Games of Chance (Cruks).
Gambling providers with a licence in the Netherlands are compelled to check whether players are listed in Cruks and ensure that those that are cannot access such facilities.
However, in the instance, between February 17, 2022, and March 2, 2022, the person in question managed to gain access to Merkur Casino’s Almere location nine times despite being registered.
“When checking the data in Cruks of the person in question, employees of the casino received an error message and were therefore unable to verify whether the person was registered in the register,” the regulator noted.
“On that basis, the person should have been denied access to the casino. Because the casino failed to do so nine times within the aforementioned period, the Gaming Authority has imposed a fine of €45,000.”
Following the acquisition of Barstool Sports and a strong start to the year, PENN Entertainment has improved its 2023 revenue guidance to the range of $6.37bn to $6.81m.
The guidance change follows a 7 per cent increase in Q1 revenue compared to the previous year to $1.67bn (Q1 2022: $1.56bn) with $1.32bn in gaming revenue (2022: $1.29bn).
Jay Snowden, CEO and President, stated: “We are pleased to report that PENN delivered another solid quarter in what remains an uncertain macroeconomic environment.
“PENN generated first quarter revenues of $1.67bn and Adjusted EBITDAR of $478.2m as strong performance in the Northeast mostly offset softer year-over-year results in the South. In addition, our proprietary sports betting and icasino technology platform, which is live in Ontario, continues to drive compelling results and market share.”
Rush Street Interactive CEO Richard Schwartz has called the operator’s Q1 results “excellent” after revenues rose across several areas during the period, including significant growth in Latin America.
More than 100 per cent growth occurred in Latin America, contributing towards a Q1 revenue for RSI of $162.4m, up 20 per cent year-over-year (Q1 2022: $134.9m).
Schwartz commented: “We are pleased with our first quarter results as we made great strides towards profitability with much improved adjusted EBITDA performance.
“Revenues grew 20 per cent compared to last year, propelled by more than 100 per cent growth in Latin America and new markets launched in North America after 2020. Results were strong across our business lines with revenue growth in both online casino and online sportsbook.”
A coalition of seven US gaming regulators have sent a letter to the US Department of Justice calling for more action against illegal offshore operators.
In a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, regulators from Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey and Nevada stated they believe the DoJ should be prioritising combating the offshore market through leadership in enforcement action.
Michigan Gaming Control Board Executive Director Henry Williams commented: “In Michigan, strict laws and rules govern internet gaming and sports betting and provide consumer protections, promote confidence and ensure fair and honest gaming.
“We are willing to help the US Department of Justice in any way we can as it pursues enforcement of US laws against offshore illegal gaming enterprises that take advantage of our citizens.”
Codere reported that all of its main markets in 2022 achieved growth as group revenue rose by more than 67.5 per cent compared to the previous year.
The group noted that €1.31bn in 2022 revenue was earned after COVID restrictions were lifted and a strong recovery in all markets, especially in Argentina and Italy.
Argentina operations were up by 135.6 per cent YoY to €346.9m, Italy grew by 85.6 per cent to €283.4m, Mexico rose by 45.7 per cent to €233m, while Spain improved by 18.8 per cent to €172.9m.
Codere’s adjusted EBITDA was €133m higher than the previous year at €231.9m, with a margin of 17.6 per cent, up five percentage points YoY.