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David Barwick to Step Down from Jumbo Interactive

Niji Narayan

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David Barwick to Step Down from Jumbo Interactive
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Jumbo Interactive, a major operator of internet services for lotteries in Australia, has confirmed that David Barwick will step down as a director and non-executive chairman later this year.

He will continue as a director and non-executive chairman until a suitable replacement is found by the company’s 2020 Annual General Meeting.

He was appointed as a director of Jumbo Interactive in 2006 and subsequently as non-executive chairman in 2007.

“David has played a key role in Jumbo’s success over the past 14 years by providing a guiding light through the early days of the Company’s development. On behalf of the rest of the board I thank David for his efforts and wish him well in future endeavours,” Mike Veverka, CEO and founder of Jumbo Interactive, said.

Australia

Tabcorp to Sell its 11.6% Stake in Jumbo Interactive

Niji Narayan

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Tabcorp to Sell its 11.6% Stake in Jumbo Interactive
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Tabcorp Holdings Limited has entered into an agreement with Stockbroker UBS to sell its 11.6% stake in lottery company Jumbo Interactive.

Tabcorp will sell 7,234,178 shares in Jumbo at a price of AU$13.52 (US$9.69) per share for gross proceeds of approximately AU$98m (US$70.24m). Profits after taxes are expected to reach AU$69m (US$49.46m).

“Following the recent extension of our long-standing commercial distribution relationship with Jumbo for a ten-year term to August 2030, there is no longer a strategic rationale for Tabcorp’s shareholding in Jumbo,” David Attenborough, MD and CEO of Tabcorp, said in a release to the Australian Securities Exchange.

She said the company had decided to monetise its participation in the online lottery operator and use the profits to boost financial results in the first half of 2021 and strengthen its balance sheet.

Proceeds will also support Tabcorp’s move towards a “recently revised target gearing range.”

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Australia

Inspired Announces Virtual Lexus Melbourne Cup

George Miller

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Inspired Announces Virtual Lexus Melbourne Cup
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Inspired to create the inaugural Lexus Melbourne Cup The Race of Dreams to be Televised across Australia Tuesday, November 3, 2020 

Commemorating 160 years of Australia’s greatest race, Inspired Entertainment, Inc. (“Inspired”) (NASDAQ: INSE) announced today that it has created ‘Lexus Melbourne Cup The Race of Dreams’, a thrilling virtual race pitting 24 past champions of the Cup against each other, for the Victoria Racing Club (“VRC”).  Lexus Melbourne Cup The Race of Dreams will be shown live across Australia on Network 10 on Lexus Melbourne Cup Day, Tuesday, November 3, 2020.  Viewers will get to experience the magic with a computer-simulated version of the Lexus Melbourne Cup incorporating a stunning, fully accurate re-creation of the Flemington Racecourse and the atmosphere of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

During the broadcast, Lexus Melbourne Cup fans will witness Inspired’s ultra-realistic 3D CGI representation of the Cup featuring 24 past champions as selected by a panel of experts from more than 100 past Cup stars.  Historical information about these horses and their racing records has been built into the software, which helps to determine the probability of their potential finishing positions.  This probability is based on their past form and performance in other races. With the outcome already known in advance by a select few creating the race, punters will not be able to place a bet on the great race.

VRC Chairman Amanda Elliott said the virtual race will unite and excite Australians in the lead-up to the 2020 Lexus Melbourne Cup. “Lexus Melbourne Cup The Race of Dreams will reignite time-old debates about Australia’s greatest stayer. We want everyone to embrace the concept, whether that be running a traditional Cup Day sweep with family and friends for the virtual race, or posting who you think will win on social media tagging @FlemingtonVRC, which will ensure bragging rights are yours should your tip take out Lexus Melbourne Cup The Race of Dreams.”

As the pioneer of Virtual Sports, Inspired has re-created the action of the world’s most popular sports for more than a decade.  Inspired has famously created virtual versions of the Kentucky Derby in the U.S. and the Grand National in the UK.  Both of these were broadcast on national television with millions of viewers, proving Virtual Sports are realistic enough to take center stage.

“We could not be more excited about working with the VRC and its media partners to create this celebration of Australian racing history,” said Steve Rogers, Inspired Chief Commercial Officer for Virtual Sports.  “The Lexus Melbourne Cup is one of the world’s greatest horse races, and its winners include a roll call of some of the sport’s biggest icons.  Bringing 24 of those icons back to the turf is every racing fan’s dream come true. It’s an honor to have this role in Lexus Melbourne Cup Day, and we can’t wait to show Australia the quality of our state-of-art virtual sports.”

Inspired’s award-winning Virtual Sports are popular worldwide, appealing to a wide variety of players through more than 40,000 retail channels and 100+ websites in 35 countries.  Trailers and demos of the latest Virtual Sports offerings are available at www.inseinc.com/virtuals/.

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Australia

Jumbo Interactive Announces FY2020 Results

Niji Narayan

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Australian online lottery retailer Jumbo Interactive has announced its FY2020 results. The company has reported an 8.7% year-on-year growth in revenue and is now targeting growth in markets such as the UK, US and Canada as it aims to increase sales to AU$1bn. Total sales for the 12 months to 30 June amounted to AU$348.6m ($251.0m), with revenue rising from $65.2m to $71.2m.

Its core Australia Lotteries saw revenue increase 6.9% year-on-year to $68.7m, aided by a $260,000 contribution from its burgeoning software-as-a-service business, as well as large jackpots driving customer activity.

In terms of spending for the year, costs of sales were up 5.1% to $5.3m, while administrative expenses also increased 46.5% to $23.6m. However, Jumbo was able to reduce marketing costs by 19.9% to $5.6m, while occupancy expenses were cut by 86.0% to $104,000 for the year.

After taking into account $222,000 in finance costs and $176,000 in fair value movement on financial liabilities, this left Jumbo with a $37.4m profit before tax, down slightly from $38.2m at the end of its 2019 financial year.

Jumbo paid $11.5m in tax during the year, and after also including a $676,000 negative impact from foreign currency translation, this meant comprehensive profit for the year amounted to $25.2m, down 4.6% from $26.4m in 2019. However, in terms of underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, this increased by 7.7% to $43.2m.

“The online lottery industry has experienced further growth and this is expected to continue, especially as we broaden the charity lottery tickets we are now selling through our Powered by Jumbo software, which we feel will not only assist our profitability but also the deserving charities we are focusing on. We have often been asked if the Covid-19 pandemic has had an effect on our operation. With the experience of our major shareholder and CEO Mike Veverka and his very skilled staff, we have been able to continue to work both within the office and from the staffs’ respective homes,” David Barwick, chairman of Jumbo Interactive, said.

Veverka said that with online sales of lottery tickets accounting for 28% of Australian sales, the industry “clearly has a lot of growth ahead.”

“Lotteries are perfect for the internet and customers enjoy a top quality experience whether they play on OzLottries.com or another lottery using the Jumbo platform. Continual innovation is driving the customer experience even higher and is ensuring lotteries continue to remain popular into the future.”

Veverka also highlighted Jumbo signing a long-term extension to its reseller agreement with Australian lotteries and gaming operator Tabcorp, saying this will help to support its growth plans moving forward.

“The recent 10-year agreement with Tabcorp is an important milestone as it gives Jumbo certainty and the ability to plan long term. The next 10 years will be exciting as the internet share of ticket sales race up as players, young and old, enjoy the experience of playing online,” he said.

“From humble beginnings with a single computer in 1995, Jumbo has navigated many challenges and is ready for the growth that lies ahead. Our staff and partners over the years deserve enormous credit for this growth due to their efforts and trust in the vision to grow through technology,” he added.

Jumbo’s international lottery advisor Richard Bateson said that the retailer has identified opportunities for its iLottery and iRetailer solutions in the US, as more states move lotteries online.

“The iLottery proposition provides lotteries with an integrated digital lottery channel that is more efficient and effective than its industry competitors. The iRetailer proposition provides lotteries with a standalone digital channel that is self-sufficient and does not require operating cost or marketing budget to be diverted from the lottery’s main operations,” Bateson said.

“Once there is an established foothold in Canada, management believes the model can be exported to other parts of the North American region, using the expertise of the local market in adjacent markets. The international ambition is to drive sustainable businesses in the UK, the US and Canada that will be used as a beachhead in each region to grow into other markets and sectors,” Bateson added.

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