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FDJ Reports 5.2% Rise in Revenue in Q1 2021

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FDJ Reports 5.2% Rise in Revenue in Q1 2021
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French gaming giant La Française des Jeux (FDJ) has reported a year-on-year rise in revenue and stakes during its first quarter, despite continuing restrictions on retail activity related to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Total revenue for the three months to March 31 amounted €537.6m, up 5.2% from €511.2m in the same period last year. Gross gaming revenue was up by 5.1% year-on-year to €525.9m, while revenue from other activities jumped 10.7% from €10.6m to €11.8m.

FDJ said the rise in revenue was driven by an increase in stakes, with players spending a total of €4.6bn, up 11.8% from €4.11bn in Q1 of last year, despite the operator facing longer restrictions related to the pandemic than the same period in 2020.

However, despite the limitations, player spending was up across all areas of the group, most notably in sports betting, where stakes hiked 46.1% to €1.1bn, helped by the return of the traditional sports calendar after disruption in the latter part of Q1 2020.

Lottery remained FDJ’s main source of income with stakes here rising 3.8% to €3.46bn, or 10.0% when excluding the Amigo game, which is offered in bars. FDJ said the closure of bars and other Covid-19 measures had a significant impact on Amigo, with stakes down 50%.

Draw-based game stakes were up 2.6% year-on-year to €1.3bn, while instant games stakes also increase 4.6% to €2.1bn

In terms of where customers were gambling, land-based operations remained the most popular source, with stakes here rising 5.7% to €4.0bn, despite the restrictions. Digital stakes jumped 64.7% to €1.4bn as more players turned to online during the quarter.

Players won a total of €3.20bn gambling with FDJ during the quarter, up 13.7% from €2.81bn in the same period last year. This left €1.40bn in gross gaming revenue and after paying €915.7m in public levies, revenue stood at €537.6m.

“Despite the enduring impact of the health situation on the environment, the first quarter confirmed the good trends in our business, with stakes exceeding the levels recorded before the crisis,” FDJ chairwoman and chief executive Stéphane Pallez said.

“After reaching almost 10% of our global stakes in 2020, digital stakes continue to grow at a strong rate whereas our network activity is maintained. The events program for lottery and a busy sporting calendar, including Euro 2021 in football, should allow this momentum to continue in the months to come.”

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Hensel Grad Law Firm Joins All-in Diversity Project as Strategic Partner

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The All-in Diversity Project has strengthened its network by signing the Hensel Grad Law Firm as its first strategic partner of 2022.

With more than 20 years of experience as gaming regulators and a thorough comprehension of how gaming laws are implemented and enforced, Hensel Grad is a gaming law and advisory firm positioned to serve an explosive gaming and sports betting industry in the US. Susan Hensel, one of the firm’s founders, is also a long-standing member of the All-in Diversity Project Advisory Board.

As the central global resource for diversity, equality and inclusion, the All-in Diversity Project is a nonprofit committed to helping businesses around the world to become better companies through their DEI efforts.

“2022 is a key year for All-in. Not only does it mark the release of the third All-Index, which this year will include early insights into the impact of COVID and includes more big names than ever before, it is also the year that we start to step out of betting, gambling and gaming through our partnership with the British Standards Institute and launch of the first ever formally recognised Code of Practice for Diversity, Equality and Inclusion in the Workplace. At a time when the industry faces greater pressures than ever before, this offers us a unique opportunity to position the sector as a global leader in DEI. Our success has, and continues to be, driven by organizations and individuals committed to change. In Hensel Grad we get both,” Christina Thakor-Rankin, co-founder of All-in Diversity Project, said.

“Hensel Grad is honored to join All-in as a strategic partner. What All-in has been able to accomplish in its first three years is impressive, and we look forward to being at the organization’s side as it continues trailblazing for diversity, equality and inclusion in an industry where such growth is not only under a spotlight but also overdue. We are excited to help the organization reach even greater heights in the years ahead,” Susan Hensel said.

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WorldMatch Strengthens Partnership with Cristaltec

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WorldMatch Strengthens Partnership with Cristaltec
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WorldMatch has strengthened its partnership with Cristaltec by agreeing to distribute Cristaltec’s newest games to the Italian market.

WorldMatch is a pioneer and leader in the online market, an ever-expanding B2B provider who has provided for over twenty years what customers and players value the most: security, creative content, operational efficiency and innovative technology.

In addition to self-made slots, known and appreciated by operators around the world, WorldMatch will now also distribute products developed by third parties on the market.

After porting the most popular AWP / VLT Cristaltec games for the online market, WorldMatch will distribute Gallina d’Egitto Classic, Ghost Castle Classic, Blackout Classic, Egyptian Mythology, Vampire, Arizona, 7 Diamonds and Genius, for key customers in the Italian market.

“Cristaltec is a very important partner for us. We are excited to continue working together towards new goals. We are ready to enrich our gaming offer with these titles and we are honored to be able to present the new Cristaltec products to our customers. With this agreement we will further improve both the variety and the quality of our portfolio,” Andrea Boratto, CEO of WorldMatch, said.

“We intended to invest and capitalize on our experience and ability to diversify and expand the gaming offer that has seen us and sees us as leaders in the AWP sector. After the acquisition of the Italian branch of the Inspired multinational for the VLT market, we are strongly committed to the online to bring our gaming philosophy to customers in this sector as well. The collaboration with WorldMatch, leader in the reference market, constitutes an important step for Cristaltec to carry out its goals of growth and consolidation to the online,” Giovanni Agliata, CEO of Cristaltec, said.

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888 Reports Record Revenues in 2021

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888, one of the world’s leading online betting and gaming companies, has announced “another record year”, with revenue growth of 14% driven by expansion in regulated markets.

In its post-close trading update, the betting giant reported growth driven by regulated and taxed markets, which contributed 74% of revenue, with strong performances in the UK, Italy, Romania and Portugal, partially offset by a decline in Germany.

B2C revenue increased 15% to $934 million, led by casino (up 24%), with sports growth of (up 4%) reflecting the greater impact of regulatory changes on the sport business, in particular the exit from the Netherlands.

Fourth quarter revenue hit $214m, down 16% from 2020 in-line with 888 expectations.

The update also highlighted the acquisition of William Hill International, which is expected to complete in the second quarter of 2022.

During the period, 888 also made a “strategic” sale of B2C and B2B bingo business for up to $50m, increasing the focus on core B2C platform and US growth strategies.

Itai Pazner, Chief Executive Officer at 888 Holdings, said: “2021 was a year of outstanding strategic progress for 888 as we announced the transformational acquisition of William Hill International, and reached an agreement to sell our bingo business to increase our focus on our B2C and US growth plans, as we continue to execute our plan to build a global online betting and gaming leader.”

“In addition, we successfully launched SI Sportsbook in the US shortly after signing a long-term brand partnership and began operating 888sport under a new licence in Germany, all using our in house sports platform.”

“I am pleased to report another year of record revenues alongside these important strategic milestones, delivering double-digit revenue growth despite a very tough comparative period. This performance reflects the continued success of our data-driven investments and execution against our product-leadership focus that delivers ongoing improvements in the usability, quality and safety of our sports betting and gaming products.”

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