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GVC Holdings Updates on Covid-19 Impact

Niji Narayan

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GVC Sets out plan to safely welcome customers back to betting shops
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GVC Holdings has provided an update on the impact of Covid-19 and the cancellation of sporting events.

On March 5, the Group updated the current trading for the period of January 1 to February 23 stating “Trading in the year to date was strong with Group NGR +5% cc and Online NGR +16% cc, both of which have benefitted from strong sports margins in the first two months.”

The company has enacted contingency plans to minimise disruption to the business amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The spread of the virus impacted several live sporting events. In FY 2019, approximately 45% of the Group NGR was generated from sporting events, with 43% of our online NGR generated from sports.

It is clear that the significant reduction in sporting events will have a material impact on EBITDA in the current financial year. So, to quantify an approximate impact on earnings, the company modelled a scenario based on some assumptions.

In the case of football, the assumption is that the Euros will be postponed until 2021 and all other football will be cancelled until July 2020. In Horse Racing, the assumption is that the major events such as Aintree and Royal Ascot will be cancelled and all other horse racing continues behind closed doors. In the case of retail, the assumption is that the retail estate in the UK will remain open for business and the stores in Italy and Belgium remain closed for three months.

These assumptions would mean that there will be substantially fewer sporting events through to August 2020 and that EBITDA for the financial year ending 31 December 2020 will be reduced by approximately £130m–£150m. If shops in the UK are closed, the company anticipates an incremental reduction in EBITDA by approximately £45m–£50m per month, which includes employment costs of approximately £20m per month.

“While we do not underestimate the challenge presented by Covid-19, GVC is in a robust position to manage the impact on our operations. We are a diverse global business, with an experienced and expert management team, which operates across multiple products and markets. Our priority is to protect our employees while maintaining our offer to our customers at this difficult time,” Kenneth Alexander, CEO of GVC, said.

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Kalamba Launches New “Bullseye” Brand

Niji Narayan

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Kalamba Launches New “Bullseye” Brand
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Kalamba Games has launched its new brand named “Bullseye.” The new brand incorporates Kalamba’s proprietary remote gaming server (RGS) and promotional tools product offerings.

The Bullseye launch cements the Malta-based firm’s position as a next-generation supplier as it continues to invest in creating a strong brand and further expanding the company.

The new brand incorporates a range of Kalamba’s new promotional tools, which will initially be made available to partners that are directly integrated via the Bullseye RGS. The roll out is set to begin in H2 2020 and gives direct access to over 35 unique Kalamba titles.

“We’re very excited to bring the Bullseye brand to market as it reflects the team’s hard work in bringing the company further towards maturity and underlines our commitment to supporting our partners’ success,” Steve Cutler, CEO and co-founder of Kalamba, said.

“Bullseye represents the next stage in the core strategy and vision we established back in 2016. Naturally we look forward to building further on our games portfolio, but making titles interconnected via meta features and layers will ensure we build a market leading slots experience for the ages,” Steve Cutler added.

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France’s ANJ Reveals New Leadership Team

Niji Narayan

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France’s ANJ Reveals New Leadership Team
Photo Source: lesechos.fr
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France’s new gambling regulator L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) has announced a number of new appointments to its senior leadership team.

Officially launched this June, the ANJ will serve as France’s “single regulatory agency” for gambling, replacing ARJEL and further industry oversight responsibilities of the French Treasury and the Department of Agriculture.

Led by Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, the current ANJ Chairman and former French State Counsellor for data protections, the ANJ has been tasked with developing two new frameworks to prioritise consumer protections and the prevention of financial crimes.

Joining Falque-Pierrotin’s executive team, the ANJ confirmed the appointment of former French Treasury counsellor Rémi Lataste as the Director-General who will oversee the agency’s budget responsibilities.

The ANJ’s day-to-day operations and resources will be led by Olivier Tournut as Secretary-General. Tournut is the former Chief Administrator for France’s CNIL IT and data protections agency, the federal department formerly led by Falque-Pierrotin.

Supporting ANJ’s new regulatory mandate, Falque-Pierrotin confirmed that former ARJEL executive Jean Baptiste Menguy will continue to hold the position of HR Director for the agency.

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Digitain Partners with GameArt

Niji Narayan

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Digitain Partners with GameArt
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Online casino platform provider Digitain has partnered with game developer GameArt to expand its slot games offering.

Digitain will provide its partners with GameArt’s portfolio of HTML5 slots, which will be managed via Digitain’s Casino Games Dashboard. The deal further expands Digitain’s offering, which was recently strengthened in the absence of live sport.

 “We are delighted to add GameArt and their excellent range of slots to our casino product portfolio. We are committed to continually improve the quality of the content we provide to our partners – GameArt’s multi-language slots, with their state-of-the-art graphics, are a welcome addition to our casino offering,” Samvel Mkrtumyan, head of external communication at Digitain, said.

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