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Entain: Strong 2021 performance demonstrating strength of our diversified growth model and global platform

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Entain: Strong 2021 performance demonstrating strength of our diversified growth model and global platform
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Entain plc, the global sports betting, gaming and interactive entertainment Group, is pleased to announce its results for the year ended 31 December 2021. The strong performance reflects the capabilities and diversification provided by the Group’s industry leading platform in driving growth.

Operational Highlights:

  • Strong growth across the Group with NGR up 7% (8%cc) in the year
    • Online NGR up 12% (13%cc) in 2021, the ninth consecutive year of double-digit online growth
    • Growth in actives of 25% in the year as we expand our appeal to a broader audience
    • Good performance in Retail as year end volumes returned to over 90% of pre-Covid levels
  • BetMGM continues to go from strength to strength as a leader in the fast growing US market
    • Established as the number two operator for sports betting and iGaming with a 23% market share in the fourth quarter across the markets in which it operates
    • Market leader in iGaming with 29% market share in Q4 2021 in the markets in which it operates
    • Live in 21 markets, reaching over 37% of the U.S. adult population, with launches in Illinois and Ontario planned for the coming months
    • Upgraded expectations for net revenue from operations of over $1.3bn in 2022 and anticipates reaching positive EBITDA in 2023
  • Continued execution of growth strategy into new markets
    • Completed acquisitions of Bet.pt in Portugal and Enlabs AB in the Baltics as well as UNIKRN to drive access to the esports skill based wagering market
    • Further growth secured since the start of the new financial year with three transactions, including the acquisition of Avid Gaming to drive growth across Canada
    • Launch of the Ennovate hub to explore use of innovative technologies, products and services to further enhance the customer experience
  • Further progress under the Group’s Sustainability Charter delivering industry leading ESG
    • ARCTM (“Advanced Responsibility & Care”) programme continues to progress well, with real-time customer interaction trials underway, along with initial stages of international rollout
    • A number of initiatives launched across the year, including a commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2035, and EnTrain to benefit the lives of 1m people through access to technology
    • Named EGR Operator of the Year, as well as Socially Responsible Operator of the Year at the SBC Awards North America
    • Entain continues to be the only online-led gaming company included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, in addition to its continued inclusion in the FTSE4Good index

Financial Highlights:

  • Strong financial performance; Group Underlying EBITDA1,4 up +5% at £881.7m at the upper end of guidance
    • Online Underlying EBITDA1,4 up +12% at £899.0m reflecting the double digit growth in all key markets excluding Germany and the Netherlands (excluding Germany and the Netherlands online NGR was +21cc%)
    • Total Retail NGR -7%cc (-3%cc9) and Underlying EBITDA1,4 of £66.9m was £31.4m behind the prior year
    • Total Group Revenue of £3,830.0m up +8% (+9%cc) in 2021
    • Including 50% share of BetMGM joint venture, Group FY21 NGR was up 14% (15% cc)
  • BetMGM (the Group’s joint venture in the US) continues to perform strongly, with FY21 NGR of approximately $850m7, up nearly 5 times versus the prior year
  • To repay £44m received under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“furlough scheme”) in FY21
  • Group profit after tax1 was £275.6m, up 142% compared to 2020
  • Underlying free cashflow8, before the investment into BetMGM and acquisitions/disposals, of £537.3m
  • Year end net debt of £2,086.4m with leverage at 2.4x ensuring balance sheet flexibility to support our growth strategy

Jette Nygaard-Andersen, CEO of Entain, commented:

“Our Full Year results demonstrate yet again that Entain is a business with growth built into its business model. Our strong performance is underpinned by the Entain platform which encompasses the compelling combination of our proprietary technology, our outstanding people around the world, and our industry-leading operational capabilities.  It is this unique platform that enables us to deliver an ever-improving customer experience, to embrace emerging consumer and technological trends, and to grow into new markets and product areas.

All of our major markets have performed well.  In particular, BetMGM in the US has delivered a five times increase in net gaming revenue versus the previous year, and is ready to challenge for the number one position across the markets in which it operates.  Elsewhere, our retail business has recovered strongly and volumes have now returned to 90% of pre-Covid levels as restrictions have eased and customers have returned to our shops.

As ever, I would like to thank each and every one of our colleagues for their dedication, hard work and professionalism in helping to achieve these results. Given the quality of our people, the ongoing broad-based growth of the business, its continuing momentum, and the investments that we are making in innovation to support our future expansion, we remain confident in our financial performance for FY22 and beyond.”

Group Reported1,2
Year ended 31 December 2021 2020 Change CC3
£m £m % %
Net gaming revenue (NGR) 3,886.3 3,628.5 7% 8%
Revenue 3,830.0 3,561.6 8% 9%
Gross profit 2,435.8 2,308.6 6%
Underlying EBITDAR4 898.8 862.1 4%
Underlying EBITDA4 881.7 843.1 5%
Underlying operating profit5 484.1 529.5 (9%)
Underlying profit before tax5 527.3 350.6
Profit after tax 275.6 113.8
Diluted EPS (p) 44.7 15.6
Continuing adjusted diluted EPS(p) 53.8 62.8
Continuing adjusted diluted EPS excl US(p) 81.1 73.1
Dividend per share (p)

Dividend
The Board has not proposed a final dividend for FY2021.  Recognising the importance of dividends to shareholders alongside our capital allocation priorities in supporting the Group’s growth strategy, the Board continue to keep the recommencement of the payment of dividends under on-going review.

Outlook
The Group has delivered strong results in FY2021, reflecting both the diversified nature of our business model, the strength of our platform and the quality of our people.  As we start 2022 we see retail heading towards pre-Covid levels and online performing inline with expectations against tough prior year comparables.  As global economies steadily emerge from the impact of the pandemic, we continue to provide our customers with great products and experiences.  As a result, we remain confident in our financial performance for 2022 as well as our long-term prospects.

Notes

  • 2021 and 2020 reported results are audited and relate to continuing operations
  • Reported results are provided on a post IFRS 16 implementation basis
  • Growth on a constant currency basis is calculated by translating both current and prior year performance at the 2021 exchange rates
  • EBITDAR is defined as earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, rent and associated costs, share based payments and share of JV income. EBITDA is defined as EBITDAR after charging rent and associated costs. Both EBITDAR and EBITDA are stated pre separately disclosed items
  • Stated pre separately disclosed items
  • Adjusted for the impact of separately disclosed items, foreign exchange movements on financial indebtedness and losses/gains on derivative financial instruments (see note 10 in the financial statements. EPS is also disclosed excluding BetMGM as this gives a better view of the EPS attributable to the Entain trading businesses)
  • BetMGM revenues comprise of sports (Online and Retail) and iGaming revenues
  • Underlying free cashflow is EBITDA less working capital, capital expenditure, finance lease, corporate taxes and before the investment in BetMGM and acquisitions/disposals
  • Retail numbers are quoted on a LFL basis. During 2021 there was an average of 4,540 shops in the estate, compared to an average of 4,727 in the same period last year

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Week 31/2022 slot games releases

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Week 31/2022 slot games releases
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Here are this weeks latest slots releases compiled by European Gaming!

Yggdrasil and ReelPlay have joined forces to launch the latest release by Hot Rise Games, Monsters VS Gigablox™. The title sees an epic battle of monstrous proportions taking place across a devastated city and features huge creatures fighting across the 6×6, 50-payline grid. As with all games incorporating the popular Gigablox™ Game Engagement Mechanic (GEM), an oversized symbol will land on every spin, which can be anything from 2×2 to 6×6 in size.

Yggdrasil and ReelPlay collaborate for Hot Rise Games launch Monsters VS Gigablox™

 

Franco Digital is challenging players to capture the beauty of nature in Wild Shot, a new online slot adventure that combines risk-taking and photography in a safari setting. Players aim to survive the wild animals of the savannah to take striking images in this five-reel, three-row and 20-line game that has been designed to keep intrepid explorers on the edge of their seats.

R. Franco Digital takes to the savannah for snappy new slot Wild Shot

 

Swintt, are inviting players to soar above the clouds in their latest Win Eagle slot – a brand-new Premium release that features max wins of 800x the selected stake and a Wheel of Fortune bonus that can pay out MAXI jackpot prizes. Played out on a traditional 3×3 reel matrix, Win Eagle draws on the iconic design elements of classic land-based slots and gives them a modern twist with the help of state-of-the-art visuals and innovative features.

Swintt soars to new heights in Win Eagle

 

 

Relax Gaming, has lit the fuse on its most recent game to feature its progressive jackpots, Wild Chapo Dream Drop. In a slot that is as volatile as the titular character’s stash of explosives, Expanding TNT Wilds, Sticky Wild Re-Spins and Bonus Bomb symbols bring blazing win potential to the base game. Three bonus symbols earn players a drink inside Chapo’s bar where bombs are stored until the very last free spin.

Wild Chapo Dream Drop ignites Relax Gaming’s latest jackpot explosion

 

Wizard Games is presenting players with a rare opportunity to experience the most sacred of temples in its epic new adventure Amun Ra – King of the Gods. The 5-reel, 4-row slot is centred around the mythical figure of Amun Ra, the Egyptian god of the sun and air, who challenges players to prove they are worthy of being in his presence. Rich rewards are possible within a slot that is packed with bonus features, with split symbols that can deliver huge payouts up to 40.000 ways.

Wizard Games unlocks elemental power with Amun Ra – King of the Gods

 

Blue Guru Games presents Treasure of Tengshe, a game with expanding wilds, fizzing firecrackers and an ancient serpent sky-dancing and devouring fireworks. This high-volatility, 50 payline slot will be leaping and twisting onto the Oryx Hub Platform. Blue Guru has been making a bang in the gaming space with a series of highly engaging slots with cinematic audio-visuals.

 

iSoftBet,  welcomes players back to the stunning African Savanna in classic cascading experience, Majestic Megaways Extreme 4™. The action-packed title sees a top-performing game given the Quad Action treatment, meaning that four reel sets are in play on every spin, multiplying the excitement and payouts considerably.

iSoftBet explores the plains of Africa in Majestic Megaways Extreme 4™

 

Play’n GO call in the luck of the Irish in the latest addition to their popular series of leprechaun titles, Leprechaun’s Vault. Larkin the Lucky Leprechaun – although his luck seems to have run out in this story – has had the keys to his magical vault stolen by the mischievous fairies of the fen.  A classic 5×3 reel online slot with the potential to award players x9000 their total bet is clear, fun and easy to understand from the first spin.

Play'n GO's Leprechaun's Vault is OUT NOW

 

Can you handle the heat? That is the question being asked of players in Hot Chilliways, the latest slot to be developed in partnership with Hurricane Games via Stakelogic’s innovative Greenlogic® Programme. This is a video slot that turns up the heat and with players encouraged to experiment with some seriously spicy win combinations.

Things are getting spicy in Stakelogic’s latest slot release Hot Chilliways

 

Evoplay casino games provider has announced a new video slots game release, inviting players to run with the pack in search of tasty wins in its latest release, Wolf Hiding. Players will need to search for hidden riches revealed by the moonlight in the enigmatic woods, and to heighten the excitement, the title features a Mystery symbol, allowing players to clear the clouds and open up the starry night sky, triggering the Full Moon feature that delivers impressive wins.

Evoplay slots provider delivers thrilling new title Wolf Hiding

 

Playson, the fast-growing digital entertainment supplier, has enhanced its Timeless Fruit Slot collection with Ruby Hit: Hold and Win, an immersive slot that offers a fresh take on the supplier’s popular Bonus Game. The 3×3 slot encompasses eye-catching visuals with a range of beautiful fruit and gem-stoned symbols, while the title’s Wild appears as the iconic Red Sevens.

Search for crown jewels in Playson’s Ruby Hit: Hold and Win

 

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BGaming announces a competition for streamers with a $15 000 prize pool

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BGaming announces a competition for streamers with a $15 000 prize pool
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BGaming launches its first competition for online slots streamers with a $15 000 prize pool. The competition will be held online between August 10-31, challenging participants to collect particular winning combinations and emotional moments while streaming BGaming slots on Twitch and Youtube.

To enter the BGaming Streamers Race, a participant should have a Twitch or Youtube account and stream any of the three following BGaming slots: Bonanza Billion, Lucky Lady Moon Megaways, and Aztec Magic Bonanza between August 10-31. There are no limitations on which online casino to choose for streams, and no pre-registration is needed. 

Leaders of the Streamers Race will be determined according to the submitted results in the following nominations: Multiplier Hero, Scatters Champion, and the Greatest Showman. The Multiplier Hero category will reward streamers with the biggest sum of submitted multipliers collected on streams during the race period. The Scatters Champion category will challenge streamers to collect six scatters in the slots and be the first to submit the result. The Greatest Showman category will allocate submissions of the most exciting video moments captured during the streams. 

Participants of the Streamers Race will be able to submit results in multiple categories and track their leaderboard positions in real-time on the official website of the Streamers Race. Leaders of the Race will raffle off the prize fund of $15 000.

Kate Puteiko, Product Marketing Lead at BGaming, commented: “We see significant changes in our player’s persona: the average age of our players is shifting from thirty to twenty years old. This new generation of slots fans is pushing the development of the streaming community, making streamers trusted influencers in the industry. We see a growing interest in our games from streamers, and of course, we are interested in encouraging them to play our games more. Support and development of the streamers community are among our priorities, and you’ll see even more events for streamers powered by BGaming.”

 

BGaming is a fast-growing game provider converting gambling into gaming. Thanks to an expert team and a player-driven approach, the studio creates innovative and engaging products featured on reputable platforms and 700+ online casinos worldwide. BGaming is the world’s first to support cryptocurrencies and offer Provably Fair games. Today the brand’s portfolio includes 90+ products with HD graphics and a clear user interface for every device.

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Online Casino Regulation

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Photo credit: pixabay.com
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In Great Britain, the Gambling Commission issues gambling licenses, regulates, advises and guides players and gambling businesses. There are three licensing objectives set out in the Gambling Act 2005.

  • To prevent gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder or being used to support crime.
  • To ensure that gambling is conducted fairly and openly by operators
  • To protect vulnerable people, including children, from exposure to gambling.

The UK Gambling Commission is responsible for all licensing applications meeting the above objectives. 

How The UK Gambling Commission Regulates

  • By licensing gambling businesses 
  • By licensing those who work in the gambling industry in specific roles
  • The UK Gambling Commission sets out Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice
  • The UK Gambling Commission carries out enforcement action and prosecution work if an individual of a business breaches tier licence conditions.
  • By working closely with the gambling industry to raise standards 
  • The UK Gambling Commission provides advice to players and the public.

Why Regulation is Important

The UK Gambling Commission aim to make gambling safer. A spokesman from NewCasinoSites.me.uk stated, “vulnerable people in our society must have protection from those sites that did not responsibly operate gambling businesses. However, all gambling businesses must now sign up to GAMTOP (the self-exclusion scheme,) allowing consumers to exclude themselves from all online gambling for some time has helped raise the standard of UK online casinos”.

How to Find a Responsible Online Casino

Before you decide to transfer any money into an online casino account, there are some things you should check.

  • The online casino should hold a British Gambling Commission licence displayed on the website. The license number should be clickable and links you to the UK Gambling Commission public register. Make sure that the details of the licence match the public register
  • You should be aware of restrictions on bonuses or promotional offers like a minimum spend level (before you can withdraw winnings.) 
  • You should be able to find the online casinos’ addresses, all trading names, current licence status and website domain names easily.
  • Each game has its terms and conditions. These will help you understand what you are betting on before making an informed choice.

How The Gambling Commission Can Enforce its’ Regulations

On the 3rd August 2022, the Gambling Commission fined LeoVegas £1.2m after finding the operator guilty of anti-money laundering and social responsibility failures in the UK.

LeoVegas is also subject to an audit and handed an official warning to ensure that it is administering social responsibility and anti-money laundering protocols.

LeoVegas failed on several points to meet the UK Gambling Commissions Regulations.

  • The operator set six hours as the point at which customers were made to take a 45-minute cool-off period without explaining how playing for six hours was the point at which harm may occur. 
  • Leo Vegas relies too heavily on ineffective threshold triggers and inadequate information regarding how much a customer should be allowed to spend (based on income, wealth or any other risk factor.)
  • The inappropriate controls allowed significant amounts of spending to take place within a short time without LeoVegas knowing anything about their customer’s financial situations.
  • The financial triggers for anti-money laundering reviews were set too high to effectively manage money laundering (or terrorist financing risks.)
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