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Polish sports betting market sums up 2020: STS named the market leader

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Polish sports betting market sums up 2020
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For another year in a row, STS was the largest bookmaking company with a year-over-year increase in shares. Fortuna, the runner-up, was in the decline. The third-best, forBet, is on the rise, as reported by “Stowarzyszenie Graj Legalnie” (Association for the Elimination of Black Economy Betting in Poland ‘Bet legally’). Revenues of licensed operators, as well as the amount of taxes contributed by the sector, would be higher if it were not for companies operating in the grey zone which are estimated by the “Graj Legalnie” association to account for several dozen per cent of the market.

STS is the largest sports betting company in Poland. The company managed by Mateusz Juroszek already controls 45.8 per cent of the licensed part of the sector, compared to its 45.1 per cent at the end of 2019. The sports betting company has also recorded an increase in revenues, from PLN 3.081 bn to PLN 3.319 bn.

According to the estimates of the “Graj Legalnie” association, the second-best, Fortuna, has recorded a decrease in revenues from over PLN 2.1 bn to ca. PLN 2 bn. The company has also lost its market share, from 30.9 per cent to 27.8 per cent. The third one on the podium is forBET (6.6 per cent of the market vs 6 per cent in 2019).

Other legal sports betting businesses in the ranking are Betclic (4.2 per cent of the market vs 1.7 per cent YoY), LV Bet (2.7 per cent vs 3.5 per cent YoY), Betfan (2.6 per cent vs 1.6 per cent YoY), Totolotek (2.3 per cent vs 4.5 per cent YoY), Totallbet (2.2. per cent vs 1.6 per cent YoY) and eToto (2 per cent vs 2.2 per cent YoY). Other players control the remaining 3.7 per cent of the market.

The full list:

Sports betting company

Market share in 2020

Market share in 2019

STS

45.8 %

45,1%

Fortuna

27.8 %

30.9 %

forBet

6.6 %

6%

Betclic*

4.2 %

1.7 %

LV Bet

2.7 %

3.5 %

Betfan*

2.6 %

1.6 %

Totolotek

2.3 %

4.6 %

Totalbet

2.2 %

1.6 %

eToto

2 %

2.2 %

Other

3.7 %

2.9 %

*It should, however, be noted that Betfan and Betclic were not operating from the beginning of 2019, therefore their results are not fully reliable.

COMMENTARY: Katarzyna Mikołajczyk, President of the “Graj Legalnie” association

The year 2020 was very subversive for the sports betting industry. After a promising beginning, the second quarter brought the lockdown of global sport. The most flexible companies with a diversified portfolio and well-developed produce and technology were able to make up for the losses incurred during those months. The best example of this is the market leader – STS. The company, despite a decline in revenues in the second quarter, achieved at the end of 2020 a result better than in the previous 12 months.

The pandemic has also affected its local betting shops, most of which have been closed during the lockdown. After reopening, traffic at many of these locations did not return to pre-pandemic levels, and some customers moved to the online channel. Totolotek did not manage to cope in this difficult situation – it has recently announced the closing of all of its local betting shops. It was the leaders who made it.

Graj Legalnie

The mission of the Graj Legalnie association is to improve the situation of legal sports betting businesses in Poland. Its goal is to protect the sector from illegal and unfair competition. The organisation was founded in 2016 to support operators licensed by the Minister of Finance in their functioning in a complex legal and competitive environment. Challenges facing both the association and the Polish authorities include the grey economy accounting for several dozen per cent of the market and losses incurred by the state budget for unpaid taxes worth several billion zloty.

Moreover, the task of the association is to create a positive image of the sports betting industry, to shape and to disseminate the principles of ethics in business operations and share best practices, as well as information between its membrs. Since its foundation, the association has been focussed on providing reliable information and data concerning the Polish sports betting industry.

Central Europe

German games market in 2023: strong development in turbulent times

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The German games market once again grew significantly overall in 2023: sales of games, games hardware and gaming online services rose by 6 per cent to around 9.97 billion euros. This is a significant increase after sales had only risen by 1 per cent in the previous year. The biggest growth drivers include games consoles and their accessories as well as in-game and in-app purchases. Despite the large number of top-class titles, which increased sales of games purchases by 4 per cent, the number of games sold fell by 8 per cent at the same time. There were also significant declines in some cases for gaming PCs and laptops. The data on the German games market is based on surveys conducted by the consumer panel services GfK and data.ai. The different developments in the individual market segments also show that 2023 was a year of contrasts for the games industry as a whole: on the one hand, more high-calibre titles were released within twelve months than ever before. On the other hand, some sales expectations were not met, particularly due to this abundance of outstanding games. Combined with generally high interest rates and a slowdown in the investment market, a wave of consolidation began worldwide, as a result of which developer studios are still being downsized or even closed and jobs are being cut.

‘The German games market continues to grow, but a close look at the data shows just how challenging these times are for game companies,’ says Felix Falk, Managing Director of game. ‘This is particularly true for small to medium-sized companies in Germany, most of which have only thin capital cover and therefore feel the impact of the tougher investment climate especially quickly. In such turbulent times reliable and internationally competitive political solutions are needed more than ever.’

 

Major differences between categories of games hardware

Sales revenues from various categories of games hardware developed very differently last year. Game consoles were among the most important growth drivers, posting a revenue increase of 44 per cent to break the billion-euro threshold, with total revenues of 1.1 billion euros. Demand for game console accessories was similarly robust, if at a slightly lower level. Sales revenues in this area jumped 32 per cent, to 374 million euros. In stark contrast, gaming PCs registered a clear decline as revenues from PCs and laptops marketed specially for games dropped by 17 per cent, to 547 million euros. Accessories for gaming PCs – including special input devices, graphic cards, etc. – fared only slightly better, with revenues falling by 7 per cent, to just under 1.3 billion euros.

‘Last year was the first year in a long time in which all current game consoles were easily available on the market,’ says Felix Falk. ‘The huge revenue gain in this category in 2023 shows how great the pent-up demand was among players. On the other hand, there was a clear drop in sales revenues from gaming PCs. After investing in PCs and laptops during the Covid-19 pandemic, a lot of video game players seem to be well-equipped for the moment.’

Sales revenue from games rises and gaming online services stabilise at a high level

Sales revenue from games developed positively overall in 2023. Across all platforms, purchases of PC and console games generated 4 per cent more revenue than in the year before. Total sales revenues in this area increased to around 1.1 billion euros. Considering the many high-quality game releases, however, this rise seems rather low. Indeed, the number of games sold actually dropped by 8 per cent. This reveals that the growth in revenue here is attributable exclusively to higher average prices. Last year, many video game players appear to have purchased high-quality titles shortly after their release and not waited for discounts. Also, because many of the top titles of 2023 are especially time-intensive, they didn’t leave room for players to acquire a larger number of games. In contrast, the market development for in-game and in-app purchases was significantly more positive, showing a revenue increase of about 6 per cent, to 4.7 billion euros. From an upgrade in a player character’s armour, to a season pass with a lot of additional content, to completely new campaigns, it has become ever more common for the playing time of a game to be extended or individualised through additional content. This trend continued in 2023. In-game sales revenues contribute significantly to covering continuously rising game development costs.

After a number of years of strong growth, sales revenues from online gaming services stabilised at a high level. Among the categories in this segment are fee-based subscription services that provide access to a large selection of games, cloud-based gaming, online multiplayer functions and the ability to save game progress in the cloud. Examples of these services include EA Play, Nintendo Switch Online, PlayStation Plus, Xbox Game Pass and Ubisoft+. Revenue from these services fell by 1 per cent in 2023, to 860 million euros.

 

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Central Europe

PRAGMATIC PLAY SLOTS LIVE VIA FEG IN CZECH REPUBLIC AND SLOVAKIA

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PRAGMATIC PLAY SLOTS LIVE VIA FEG IN CZECH REPUBLIC AND SLOVAKIA
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The provider extends current agreement with Fortuna Entertainment Group (FEG) to supply online slots in Czech Republic and Slovakia

Pragmatic Play, a leading content supplier to the iGaming industry, has extended its agreement with Fortuna Entertainment Group (FEG) to supply premium Slots to the operator in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

FEG’s players in its home market of the Czech Republic, along with neighbouring Slovakia, can now experience a selection of iconic Slots from Pragmatic Play, including Gates of Olympus, Big Bass Bonanza, and Sweet Bonanza.

One of the largest and most successful omni-channel betting and gaming operators in Central and Eastern Europe, FEG also provides access to online casino games in Croatia, Poland, and Romania.

The agreement marks a further strengthening of Pragmatic Play’s product offering in regulated markets throughout Europe.

Irina Cornides, Chief Operating Officer at Pragmatic Play, said: “It’s fantastic to see Pragmatic Play Slots go live with Fortuna in their own backyard, where our games have already proved popular with players. Our product offering is now available to the operator across a number of key European regulated markets.”

Myke Foster, Group Head of Gaming & Commercial Strategy at Fortuna Entertainment Group, added: “Having already taken Pragmatic Play’s games live in Romania and Croatia, we’re obviously pleased to now bring them to our entire gaming customer base across the FEG estate with the addition of Czech Republic & Slovakia. Both us and our customers know the games well, so it’s a delight to expand our relationship across Central Europe with the incredible team at Pragmatic Play.”

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Central Europe

12 years of LOTTO24: German market leader for online lotteries presents record figures

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12 years of LOTTO24: German market leader for online lotteries presents record figures
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  • Market leader for online lotteries in Germany celebrates its twelfth anniversary
  • More than 1.7 billion euros in winnings paid out and over 5.3 million customers
  • In addition, more than 1.5 billion euros raised for society

Twelve years of LOTTO24: the leading provider of online lotteries in Germany is celebrating its birthday today. In 2012, LOTTO24 was the first German company to bring lotteries to the Internet. Just one year later, LOTTO24 had established itself as the online market leader in the lottery sector in Germany. Another three years later, in 2016, one million loyal customers were playing regularly at LOTTO24. Since 2019, the company has officially been part of the ZEAL Group and not only allows participation in state lotteries via its web stores, but also in a continuously growing portfolio of online games. In addition, LOTTO24 also offers two charity lotteries of its own, freiheit+ and Deutsche Traumhauslotterie.

Twelve-year success story “Made in Germany”

In twelve years of company history, LOTTO24 has already made more than 5.3 million customers dream and paid out a record total winning amount of more than 1.7 billion euros. Last year alone, LOTTO24 produced more record winners than any other lottery provider in Germany. The last big winner was just a few weeks ago: In February, a 49-year-old LOTTO24 player from Bavaria hit the 62 million euro jackpot.

Twelve years of commitment for society

What many people don’t know: Every ticket submitted to LOTTO24 over the past twelve years has been used to support society in the areas of education, health, culture and family. In addition, a large proportion of the proceedings from the company’s own charity lotteries freiheit+ and Deutsche Traumhauslotterie are also used to support educational projects. In total, LOTTO24 has raised more than 1.5 billion euros for society over the past twelve years.

“We are proud of twelve extremely successful years of LOTTO24,” says Andrea Behrendt, CFO of LOTTO24. “The density of winners among our customers is exceptionally high and we are delighted that we have made more than 5.3 million players dream in recent years. We will continue to keep our fingers crossed for all our customers and define the future of the lottery with new products.” 

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