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Better Collective increases organic revenue by 29 percent; strong growth across US assets and media partnerships

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Better Collective establishes new Long Term Incentive Plan for key employees in the Better Collective group
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Interim report January 1 – September 30, 2021

Highlights third quarter 2021

  • Group Revenue grew by 148% to 45,413 tEUR (Q3 2020: 18,298 tEUR). Organic revenue growth was 29%. September reached a new monthly revenue record of 20,285 tEUR, equal to 45% of the total quarterly revenue.
    • The quarter showed strong underlying growth on all major KPIs, however, revenue was impacted downwards by very low sports win margins in July and August. The sports win margins were negatively affected by larger operators accelerating marketing campaigns (free-bets, retention-bonuses etc.), as well as continued strong NDC performance, where new depositors receive sign-up bonuses.
    • The US business performed strongly with Q3 2021 revenue of >5x compared to Q3 2020 revenue. Revenue for September jumped to 8.9 mEUR (>10 mUSD) reflecting a strong start of the high season for US sports and the state of Arizona opening for online sports betting. Strong performance across all US assets including the newly acquired Action Network.
    • In Germany, a long-awaited new gambling regulation came into force from July 1. The market development has been in line with our expectations; for Better Collective, September revenue from the German market was on par with the monthly average in H1. Based on the current performance in Germany, revenue for the full year 2021 is expected to exceed prior years 2019 and 2020, respectively, with expected continued revenue growth in 2022.
    • Media partnerships continued with strong performance with almost 45,000 NDCs. More media partnerships are expected to be established in various countries.
  • Group EBITDA before special items increased 63% to 13,583 tEUR (Q3 2020: 8,326 tEUR). The EBITDA-margin before special items was 30% (Publishing 40% and Paid Media 9%).
  • Special Items in Q3 2021 amounted to a cost of 11,588 tEUR vs. an income of 44 tEUR in Q3 2020. It includes an 11,487 tEUR adjustment of the contingent liability related to the 2019 acquisition of Rical LLC, treated as a P/L item under IFRS.
  • EBITDA after special items amounted to 1,995 tEUR, a decrease of 6,375 tEUR vs. 8,370 tEUR in Q3 2020.
  • Cash Flow from operations before special items was 10,498 tEUR (Q3 2020: 8,359 tEUR), an increase of 26%. The cash conversion was 76%, and was impacted by a significant increase in revenue for September vs. June driving increased trade receivables from Q2 2021. End of Q3, capital reserves stood at 64.1 mEUR including cash of 35.4 mEUR and unused bank credit facilities of 28.7 mEUR.
  • New Depositing Customers (NDCs) were >200,000 in the quarter with an implied growth of 110% and a new quarterly record despite July and August being the low season for major sports.
  • Better Collective acquired Soccernews.nl and Voetbalwedden.net for total 5.9 mEUR upfront payments plus deferred and earn-out payments of up to 3.75 mEUR, to gain a leading position in the newly regulated Dutch online sports betting market.
  • Better Collective resolved on a directed share issue of 6.9 million shares, raising proceeds of 145 mEUR to maintain financial flexibility.
  • For the fourth consecutive year, Better Collective topped the prestigious EGR Global’s Power Affiliates 2021 ranking.

Financial highlights first nine months 2021

  • In the first nine months of 2021, revenue grew by 128% to 124,257 tEUR (YTD 2020: 54,472 tEUR).
  • In the first nine months of 2021, EBITDA before special items increased 64% to 39,439 tEUR (YTD 2020: 24,044 tEUR). The EBITDA-margin before special items was 32%.
  • Special Items amounted to a cost of 17,006 tEUR vs. an income of 252 tEUR YTD 2020. It includes an 11,487 tEUR adjustment of the contingent liability related to the 2019 acquisition of Rical LLC, treated as a P/L item under IFRS, in addition to 5,784 tEUR related to M&A transactions, primarily the acquisition of Action Network in May, 2021.
  • EBITDA after special items amounted to 22,433 tEUR YTD, a decrease of 1,863 tEUR vs. 24,296 tEUR YTD 2020.
  • Cash Flow from operations before special items was 37,670 tEUR (YTD 2020: 28,173 tEUR), an increase of 34%. The cash conversion rate before special items was 97%. End of Q3 2021, cash and unused credit facilities amounted to 64.1 mEUR.
  • New Depositing Customers exceeded 575,000 in the first nine months of 2021 (growth of 103%).
  • Better Collective acquired leading US sports betting media platform, Action Network, for 196 mEUR (240 mUSD), gaining market leadership within sports betting media in the US.
  • On May 26, 2021, the Board of Directors resolved on a directed share issue of 6.9 million shares, raising proceeds of 145 mEUR to maintain financial flexibility.

Significant events after the closure of the period

  • October revenue reached 16.8 mEUR, with organic growth of 17% and a total growth of 34% vs. last year. The growth is achieved despite an all time low sports win margin in October.
  • On November 4, the completion of the acquisition of the remaining 40% of Rotogrinders Network was announced. Since the initial share acquisition Rotogrinders has shown strong performance with expected 2021 revenue more than doubling since 2019, with a 47% compound annual growth rate. Expected 2021 EBITDA is 4.4x higher than 2019, growing at a 109% compound annual growth rate.
  • In the state of New York, nine operators were recently awarded sports betting licenses. Projected to become the single largest online betting market in the US, New York presents a big opportunity for Better Collective and for our operator partners now licensed. Betting is expected to commence in January 2022, in time for the Super Bowl.
  • Better Collective received an award for its efforts within compliance at the Vixio Global Regulatory Award. At the same show, Better Collective’s subsidiary, Mindway AI, received two awards for its efforts within responsible gambling.

Financial targets
The full-year financial targets for 2021 for the group remain unchanged. Growth in the Publishing business exceeds prior expectations whereas Paid Media sees lower growth than anticipated, which is reflected in an adjustment of the detailed segment targets.

Jesper Søgaard, Co-founder & CEO of Better Collective, commented:
Q3 was a great quarter closing with an all time high monthly revenue in September. This was partially the result of strong performance across all our US assets, including our recent acquisition, Action Network. September was also the beginning of the high season for US sports, which is expected to fully materialise in the Q4 results. “

Conference call
A telephone conference will be held at 10.00 a.m. CET today by CEO Jesper Søgaard and CFO Flemming Pedersen. The presentation will simultaneously be webcasted, and both the telephone conference and the webcast offer an opportunity to ask questions.

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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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