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Aristocrat post 220% revenue growth on digital growth

Niji Narayan

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Photo credits: http://spotlightgrowth.com
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Aristocrat, the largest pokies manufacturer in Australia, has amassed $55m million revenue – a 220% increase – on the wings of an unprecedented digital growth.

The company has traditionally been the business of supplying electronic gaming machines for casinos, pubs and clubs. But it has recently focused more on online gaming market, by acquiring two digital gaming companies: digital gaming companies, the US-based Big Fish Games and Israel’s Plarium.

The acquisitions seem to be paying off, as revenues from digital front are soaring, as its digital earnings grew more than $84 million.

The $18 billion company’s overall after-tax profit rose 2.8 per cent to $256.5 million, the company said, weighed down by one-off legal, consulting and restructuring expenses related to its recent acquisitions.

Trevor Croker, Aristocrat’s chief executive, partly attributed the company’s performance to growth in North America, and the strength of its digital gaming division, where online daily active users have increased almost sixfold to 8.3 million.

“Aristocrat will continue to push for growth by increasing our strategic investment in design and development in order to protect and extend market leading positions,” he said.

“The group expects further growth in its social casino and social games business, with increased investment in user acquisition associated with the launch of new apps across all business units.”

Following the results on Thursday morning, Aristocrat’s share price soared more than 8 per cent, or $2.23, to end the day trading at $30.04.

Aristocrat in January completed a $1.3 billion takeover of the US-based online gaming business Big Fish to become the world’s second-largest provider of online casino games.

Seattle’s Big Fish Games is the creator of several hugely popular mobile and desktop games played by more than 12.4 million active users every month. Among its catalogue of gaming titles are Big Fish Casino, Gummy Drop! and Fairway Solitaire.

Mr Croker said Aristocrat’s half-year results reflected the “soundness of our strategy whilst highlighting our broadening ambition as we make substantial progress in expanding our addressable market across both digital and land-based segments.” He said Aristocrat anticipated investing more in designing and developing new land-based and digital gaming products in the coming year, in order to “defend and grow” the company’s leadership positions.

Baillieu Holst analyst Nick Caley on Thursday said Aristocrat’s digital division had “clearly assumed the mantle” as the company’s growth driver.

Aristocrat declared a fully franked dividend of 19¢ to be paid on July 3.

Source: smh.com.au

Australia

Tabcorp Updates COVID-19 Impact

Niji Narayan

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Tabcorp Updates COVID-19 Impact
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Tabcorp Holdings Limited (Tabcorp) has provided an update on the impact of COVID-19 on its operations.

Tabcorp has temporarily closed its Australian licensed venues and TAB agencies which offer Tabcorp’s Wagering & Media, Keno and Gaming Services products. The closure follows the Prime Minister’s announcement to close certain types of venues to combat the spread of coronavirus.

The convenience stores and other such outlets, which distribute Tabcorp’s Lottery products, are not covered by the measures and will remain open. It is expected that newsagencies, which also distribute Tabcorp’s Lottery products, will remain open but is not yet confirmed.

Tabcorp notes that many national governments and sporting bodies have announced the cancellation and/or postponement of major sports events. Thoroughbred, harness and greyhound race meetings in Australia are currently still being conducted with restrictions on public attendance and otherwise in accordance with social distancing rules.

David Attenborough, Tabcorp’s Managing Director and CEO, said:

“The health and safety of our people, our partners and the community are our priority at this point in time.”

“We are working with governments, regulators, and our venue and racing industry partners to manage the impact on them, our customers and our businesses during this unprecedented period.”

“We recognise how difficult this situation is for our people, our industry partners and the community, and we are committed to using the strength of our business model and our enduring partnerships to come through this stronger, together.”

“We have implemented our business continuity plans and have maintained continuity of service, even with the vast majority of our employees now operating remotely.”

“Despite the impact of these changes in licensed venues and, potentially, TAB agencies, we continue to offer customers Wagering & Media and Keno products through our digital channels.”

In 1H20, revenue from Australian licensed venues, TAB agencies and on-course outlets accounted for 28% of Tabcorp Group revenues and Sports betting revenues accounted for 4% of Tabcorp Group revenues.

Given this evolving situation, and the high level of uncertainty regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the Group in FY20 and, likely, FY21, Tabcorp is not currently in a position to provide specific guidance on earnings or financial impacts.

Tabcorp is seeking to partially mitigate the impact of these changes by reducing operating and capital expenditure where it reasonably can, encouraging retail customers to use digital alternatives and actively promoting remaining available products.

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Australia

Australian Communications and Media Authority takes action against 9Now for State of Origin gambling ads

George Miller

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Australian Communications and Media Authority takes action against 9Now for State of Origin gambling ads
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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has taken action against Nine for breaching gambling advertising rules during online streams of the 2019 NRL State of Origin.

An ACMA investigation found Nine aired gambling advertisements during the pre-game programming for State of Origin Games 1 and 2 on its streaming platform 9Now.

Under gambling advertising rules, restrictions start five minutes before ‘kick-off’ if the broadcaster lets viewers know when the game starts at least 24 hours in advance. In this case, Nine did not do this, so the rules applied five minutes before the pre-game coverage.

ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said the rules prohibit all gambling advertising during live sport streamed online between 5.00 am and 8.30 pm.

“I hope this sends a message to all streaming services that this is something they need to get right,” Ms O’Loughlin said.

“One of the reasons these rules are in place is to allow families to watch live sport without exposing children to gambling.”

The ACMA has issued Nine with a remedial direction requiring it to conduct staff training on the rules for gambling advertising on online platforms, and to submit two written reports showing compliance with the rules over the next 12 months.

In the event that Nine does not comply with the remedial direction, the ACMA may seek penalties of up to $420,000.

 

Source: acma.gov.au

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Australia

ACMA Warns Public About Online Gambling Scams

Niji Narayan

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ACMA Warns Public About Online Gambling Scams
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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has warned the public to be wary of suspicious messages pretending to be from online gambling websites and not to disclose personal information to potential scammers offering credit or free spins.

ACMA spokeswoman Fiona Cameron says people should delete the emails if they receive any, and do not respond or click on any links.

“There’s no such thing as free money. Don’t let yourself be conned into believing you have any credit or bonuses with these casinos – you don’t,” she said.

“This is just a phishing expedition to steal your identity or infect your computer with malicious malware. Remember if it looks too good to be true, it probably is,” she added.

More than 6000 online gambling scams have been reported since the start of the year. The most common websites the scams claim to be from are Roo Casino, Pokie Spins, Bonza Spins and Syndicate Casino.

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