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LEOVEGAS AB Q3: QUARTERLY REPORT 1 JULY – 30 SEPTEMBER 2021

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Invitation: LeoVegas Group fourth quarter 2021 results presentation
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

“Record quarter in Sweden!” – Gustaf Hagman, Group CEO

THIRD QUARTER 2021: 1 JULY – 30 SEPTEMBER

  • Revenue increased by 12% to EUR 99.4 m (88.9). Organic growth in local currencies was 8%.
  • Excluding Germany, growth was positive 31%.
  • EBITDA was EUR 11.5 m (11.9), corresponding to an EBITDA margin of 11.6% (13.4%).
  • The number of depositing customers was 469,721 (438,691), an increase of 7%.
  • Adjusted earnings per share were EUR 0.07 (0.08).

EVENTS DURING THE QUARTER

  • LeoVegas repurchased shares for EUR 2.5 m and paid out the second dividend (EUR 3.9 m) of a total of four quarterly dividends to the Parent Company’s shareholders.
  • LeoVegas expanded its existing bond issue by SEK 200 m.
  • LeoVegas launched new AI-powered functionality to scale up the Group’s efforts surrounding responsible gaming. Customers in the UK were the first to receive product-integrated and personalised messages based on their own behaviours and gaming history.
  • Following recent policy changes in the Netherlands, LeoVegas decided to stop providing its services in the country as from 30 September 2021. The Netherlands accounted for 6% of the Group’s total revenue during the third quarter, with higher profitability than for the Group average. LeoVegas will apply for a licence in the Netherlands during the fourth quarter.

EVENTS AFTER THE END OF THE QUARTER

  • Preliminary revenue in October amounted to EUR 31.1 m (32.8), corresponding to negative growth of 5%. Excluding Germany and the Netherlands, revenue increased by 21%. The sportsbook margin was abnormally low in October, which had a negative impact on revenue, while underlying customer activity has remained strong.
  • The Swedish government has confirmed that the restrictions for online casino remain in effect through 14 November 2021 and will not be extended thereafter.

COMMENT FROM GUSTAF HAGMAN – GROUP CEO

THIRD QUARTER
We are satisfied with our performance during the third quarter and increased our revenue by 12% compared with the same period a year ago. Excluding Germany, which has been dramatically affected by the ongoing re-regulation, consolidated revenue increased by 31%.

All key markets performed well during the quarter, where our home market in Sweden was the brightest star. The favourable revenue growth for the Group confirms that the strategy to simultaneously scale up a number of markets and relaunch the Expekt brand has been a success. The company today is more diversified than ever, and we have succeeded in compensating for the sharp drop in revenue in Germany.

During the quarter we delivered a stable operating profit compared with a year ago, despite a sharp increase in paid gaming taxes and higher marketing investments in relation to revenue compared with a year ago. In pace with growing revenue, the share of marketing investment is expected to gradually decrease from the current levels. At the same time, we have continued to invest in product and technology ahead of forthcoming market expansions, including the upcoming US launch. We are seeing some normalisation of office and travel-related costs as the pandemic is hopefully nearing its end, while general cost control in the Group continues to be good. All in all, we expect – through the economies of scale provided by a larger revenue base – to be able to deliver good earnings growth going forward.

MARKETS
Sweden had a good quarter in which both revenue and the customer base reached new, record levels. The acquisition of Expekt has exceeded our expectations, and the strong growth since its re-launch at the end of May confirms that the brand’s sport profile is appreciated by customers. The LeoVegas brand has also performed well, which shows the power of well-known brands combined with a competitive product. It is positive that the company can show strong performance in one of the world’s most competitive and strictly regulated gaming markets. Other markets that performed extra well during the quarter included Italy, Spain and Canada, all of which grew between 40% -70% during the third quarter.

REGULATION
It is an intensive re-regulation period with simultaneous implementation of local regulations in the Netherlands, Germany, and the Canadian province of Ontario. Internal preparation work is going full throttle to make us ready for the new regulations. In parallel we are conducting development work to adapt our proprietary technical platform ahead of our expansion to the USA next year.

Re-regulation processes can be turbulent and arbitrary. Such has been the case in the Netherlands, when the authorities changed their policies with short notice at the end of September, entailing that all gaming operators that had not yet been granted a gaming licence were forced to stop providing their services in the country. The company’s sales and earnings will thus be negatively affected starting with the month of October. The Netherlands accounted for 6% of the Group’s total revenue during the third quarter, with higher profitability than the Group’s average. LeoVegas will apply for a licence in the Netherlands later this year.

Developments in the market, with numerous re-regulation processes in progress and a number of regulated markets that are implementing new laws and new interpretations of regulations, are creating a somewhat turbulent and difficult to navigate current situation in the gaming industry. However, as the conditions gradually clear, we have a firm positive view on the outlook, as regulated markets create a more sustainable environment to work in, while the long-term growth potential in the online segment of the industry is enormous. The new regulatory environment favours established and well-invested operators like LeoVegas with competitive products, well-known brands and focus on responsible gaming.

COMMENTS ON THE FOURTH QUARTER
Revenue for the month of October amounted to EUR 31.1 m (32.8), representing negative growth of 5%. Excluding Germany and the Netherlands, revenue increased by 21%. The sportsbook margin was abnormally low in October, which had a negative impact on revenue, while underlying customer activity has remained solid.

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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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