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Better Collective completes acquisition of remaining shareholding in RotoGrinders Network

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Better Collective establishes new Long Term Incentive Plan for key employees in the Better Collective group
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Driven by significant potential synergy upside and strong US business growth, Better Collective, a leading global sports betting media group, has decided to complete the acquisition of the remaining 40% share stake in the US based RotoGrinders Network at a total price of 33 mEUR. Better Collective acquired its original 60% share stake in Rotogrinders Network in 2019.

The Transaction
The acquisition of the remaining 40% of the shares will be paid through a 22 mEUR cash consideration and the remaining part in shares or cash. Both components will be transferred no later than December 31, 2021. This brings the expected transaction price for 100% of the shares in RotoGrinders Network to a total of 51 mEUR, equivalent to 7.5x the expected 2021 EBITDA. The purchase price of the remaining shares is dependent on financial performance in 2021 and the final price will be adjusted accordingly once financial results for 2021 have been announced. Better Collective and the selling shareholders had mutual options to buy and sell the shares in the period 2022-2024, however the decision has now been made to accelerate the purchase and complete it in one transaction.

Better Collective US will be further strengthened
The decision to accelerate the remaining share purchase is fuelled by the strong growth in RotoGrinders and the entire US business. The full acquisition will provide a strong platform for future growth, supported by underlying US market growth and synergies between RotoGrinders and the other BC US assets that now can be fully realised. Since Better Collective acquired the initial 60% in May 2019, RotoGrinders has seen significant growth within sports betting as well as daily fantasy sports (DFS). Sports betting is driven by sportshandle.com and the usbets.com network, whereas DFS is driven through the leading US DFS brand, RotoGrinders.com. Since the initial share acquisition, the following growth rates have been recorded:

  • 2021 revenue more than doubled since 2019 (2.2x), based on a 47% compound annual growth rate
  • 2021 EBITDA is 4.4x higher than 2019, growing at a 109% compound annual growth rate

The strong growth is expected to be accelerated further, both as a consequence of more states regulating online sports betting and due to synergies between the RotoGrinders Network and other Better Collective assets, such as Fantasy Labs (DFS), Action Network, vegasinsider.com and Scores And Odds. Synergies are of both product and commercial nature. The DFS and other subscription based assets (such as Action Network and VegasInsider) will continue to be key revenue generators throughout the US, also in states where sports betting remains to be regulated.  The US sports betting market is, according to Vixio, expected to grow from a Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) of ~$2.5bn in 2021 to ~$5.8bn by 2023. By 2030 the market is expected to exceed $40bn GGR. Five of seven of the original founders and shareholders of the RotoGrinders Network, will remain employed in Better Collective and two will continue in advisory roles.

Financial Reporting
The difference between the new estimated purchase price of the shares and the contingent liability recorded in the balance sheet as of June 30, 2021 is  11.5 mEUR and will be disclosed under Special Items in the Profit and Loss account in the Q3 2021 report in accordance with IFRS. The transaction has no impact on the financial guidance for 2021.

Marc Pedersen, CEO of Better Collective US, says:
“We are pleased to settle the full acquisition of the RotoGrinders Network earlier than originally planned. Since the initial acquisition, we have been impressed with the RotoGrinders team and we are excited to now welcome them to the broader Better Collective family and pursue all synergies to the fullest. Furthermore, we are pleased to keep the now previous shareholders in Rotogrinders engaged in Better Collective with the opportunity to benefit from their competences more widely in the organisation.”

Cal Spears, CEO of Rotogrinders, says:
“Joining Better Collective a few years back helped us fully unlock the potential of the RotoGrinders network. We’re proud to announce that our significant growth has led to an accelerated acquisition and that our team of 50+ will be fully integrated into Better Collective US going forward. All seven of the original RotoGrinders network shareholders and co-founders are now assuming full time or advisory roles. Better Collective is perfectly positioned for US growth and we’re excited to help realise its potential.“

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PayPal Introduces New Software to Help Block Gambling Transactions

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PayPal Introduces New Software to Help Block Gambling Transactions
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PayPal, one of the largest and most popular online payments services, has recently adopted new software to help give customers better control over their gambling habits. The software, developed by Gamban, allows users to set up a block to prevent their accounts from being used for gambling transactions. This move comes not long after the UK banned gambling sites from accepting credit card payments.

PayPal is widely used around the world, processing over 3 billion transactions a year, with a value of $311 billion US dollars. While the majority of these are for online shopping and other online purchases, the service is also used on gambling platforms. PayPal has become a popular way of making deposits and withdrawals at online gambling sites, as it’s fast, safe and easy to use. Users can create an account, add funds from their bank or card and then make simple online payments.

Because of how popular it is all over the world, most online gambling services accept payments made using PayPal. It’s used international, so a wide range of the best online casinos and sports betting sites offer support for PayPal payments. Most iGaming platforms advertise this fact to their users, letting them know they can sign up and easily make a deposit to start playing.

Why Does PayPal Allow Users to Block Gambling Transactions?

Although gambling is fun for most people, it can become a habit and even an addiction. There has been a strong push lately for iGaming sites to encourage responsible gaming, as well as offering support for those with a problem. Most iGaming licence providers will only offer licences to sites that protect players and encourage them to gamble responsibly.

One of the most effective ways of encouraging responsible gambling is giving users the ability to block transactions. Most sites will offer deposit limits that allow players to set how much they’re allowed to deposit each week or month. In addition, the UK recently banned all gambling sites from accepting payments from credit cards.

In 2019, PayPal reviewed its services and found that a significant percentage of transactions were used for online gambling. While this wouldn’t normally be an issue, the review also found that a lot of these transactions were linked to problem gambling. As such, it partnered with Gamban, a software provider, to introduce an automatic blocking system.

PayPal users can now go into their settings and set the service to automatically block all payments made to an iGaming site. This allows anyone with a gambling problem to easily refrain from adding funds to a gambling site if they’re trying to recover. In a statement, Gamban announced that the move was a welcome one that, along with self-exclusion and support, would give players a better chance of recovery.

What Does This Mean for the Future of iGaming Payments?

With gambling authorities such as the UK Gambling Commission now paying close attention to responsible gambling, iGaming sites need to be more mindful of what payments they offer and how they treat players. Additionally, payment services themselves need to consider the impact of allowing unrestricted gambling payments.

As software solutions improve, payment providers have more options that allow them to give players control over their spending habits. This software can automatically detect if a payment is made at any kind of gambling site, including those that are gambling-related. Users can set it to block transactions at gambling tip sites or other sites involved in iGaming.

Other payment services may also follow suit over the coming months and years, with most payment providers also wary about being associated with problem gambling. The more payment services that get on board, the better, as problem gamblers will be able to control their habits more easily and avoid falling into debt. 

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OKTO joins bacta

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OKTO joins bacta
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OKTO, the award-winning fintech specialist, has strengthened further its relationship with the UK market by joining the domestic trade association bacta. The announcement follows the appointment of experienced gaming industry senior executive Rob Peché to the position of UK Country Manager.

Simon Dorsen, CCO of OKTO, believes joining bacta reflects OKTO’s commitment to the UK industry and is indicative of the brand’s strategy moving forward. He explained: “Rather than being an arms-length technology provider OKTO’s approach is to immerse itself in the markets where it is active. The UK is one of the most important jurisdictions internationally and one in which the brand has rapidly achieved considerable success partnering with leading brands.

“Being a member of bacta places OKTO where we want to be, which is at the centre of all of the key discussions and debates surrounding payments in the UK gaming industry, across AGC, Bingo, Casino, LBO, Pub and Bar sectors.”

Simon added: “This is another example of our company showcasing its ongoing commitment to work with the local industry in order to provide safe, secure, and responsible payment solutions in the gaming, leisure and entertainment sectors.”

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Bali Confirmed as Host of the 2022 World Esports Championships Finals

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Bali Confirmed as Host of the 2022 World Esports Championships Finals
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Indonesia looks to set new standard of Esports competition at the 14th WE Championships

 The International Esports Federation (IESF) has confirmed that Bali, Indonesia will be the host of the 2022 World Esports Championships Finals. Bali was handed over the honors during a special ceremony following the conclusion of the 13th World Esports Championships in Eilat, Israel.

The 14th edition of the WE Championships Finals is slated for 27 November to 8 December 2022 and will feature the world’s best Esports athletes competing across multiple games on the beautiful island of Bali. Over 120 countries are expected to compete in the regional and national qualifiers for a coveted spot in the Finals. 

IESF President Vlad Marinescu congratulated host city Bali and said: “Big thank you to the President of the Indonesian Olympic Committee and to the entire Indonesian team here with us. We appreciate your support and we look forward to seeing the biggest and most inclusive World Esports Championships in history! We are bringing the largest and freshest sport to this beautiful tropical destination for the first time.”

IESF has staged the WE Championships every year since 2009, and it remains the sole international Esports event where athletes represent their countries. After a successful 2021 edition, the World Esports community looks to come back even stronger and generate more international opportunities and media exposure for the sport in the lead-up-to and during Bali 2022. 

Indonesian Olympic Committee Commission Chairman Desra Firza Ghazfan said during the press conference: “Bali is the island of GOD, it’s always been the melting pot of rich traditional and modern culture. Now with the 14th World Esports Championships happening in Bali, Bali is the melting pot of the past, the present and the future. I would like to welcome you all to Bali 2022 and to meet with our 45 million players in Indonesia. Be prepared and let the best win!”

 

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