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Aspire Global: Interim Report First Quarter 2022

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Aspire Global: Interim Report First Quarter 2022
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RECORD HIGH REVENUES OF €46.3 MILLION IN Q1 2022

  • Revenues increased by 31.7% to €46.3 million (35.2).
  • EBITDA increased by 18.7 % to €8.2 million (6.9).
  • The EBITDA margin amounted to 17.8% (19.7%).
  • EBIT increased by 13.6% to € 5.6 million (4.9).
  • Earnings after tax increased by 4.7% to €4.8 million (4.5).
  • Earnings per share amounted to €0.10 (0.10)

*B2C as discontinued operations in Q1 2021 and based on net royalties during Q1 2022.

SIGNIFICANT EVENTS IN THE QUARTER AND AFTER THE END OF THE QUARTER

  • GLI-19 certification received for launch of Aspire Global’s broad offering in the US and Canada.
  • The complete offering licensed in the Netherlands.
  • Key platform and managed services deals with BoyleSports for the Netherlands, with ITSP for Germany and with esports operator WIN Group.
  • Pariplay gained license in Ontario and provisional license in Michigan.
  • Pariplay signed multi-state deal with US operator Golden Nugget and agreement to supply its content to Alberta Gaming.
  • Aspire Global awarded sports betting license in Denmark.

UPDATE ON THE PUBLIC TENDER OFFER MADE BY NEOGAMES

  • On 17 January 2022, a public tender offer was made by NeoGames to the shareholders of Aspire Global to tender all their shares in the Company to NeoGames. An offer document regarding the Offer was published on 26 April 2022. The acceptance period for the Offer commenced on 27 April 2022 and ends on 25 May 2022. The expected settlement date is around 14 June 2022.

KEY FIGURES

CEO COMMENTS

“ASPIRE GLOBAL HAS CLEARLY ESTABLISHED ITSELF AS A LEADING IGAMING SUPPLIER IN REGULATED MARKETS”

We have a continued strong business momentum and the quarterly performance once again demonstrates the strengths of our offering and the capabilities of our highly motivated team. Aspire Global has set new records in the quarter with revenues of €46.3 million and EBITDA of €8.2 million. I´m especially proud to see the progress we have made in the quarter in North America as well as in regulated European markets by adding tier 1-operators to our client list and being awarded additional certifications. Aspire Global has clearly established itself as a leading iGaming supplier in regulated markets.

Today, after the divestment of the B2C segment in December 2021, Aspire Global is a clearly focused B2B company. It should be noted, that the numbers we provide in this report have been calculated on a discontinued basis and the divested B2C operation is reported as a B2B partner and also based on proforma basis for the comparison period according to the agreed commercial terms. We hope this transparency will help to increase the understanding of the development of our B2B operation.

STRONG COMBINATION WITH NEOGAMES

A key event in the quarter is of course the offer by NeoGames to Aspire Global’s shareholders. Aspire Global’s entire operations will form a new iGaming division within NeoGames. Together, our companies will generate significant long-term value by creating synergies and capitalizing on the key strengths of the entities by positioning them for expansion in both new and existing markets. We look forward to being a part of NeoGames and I’m very excited about our promising growth opportunities in this new strong business combination.

With a revenue growth of 31.7% in the quarter, driven by the strong business momentum, we have further strengthened our market position. In the quarter, Aspire Global has made significant progress in key targeted markets by signing partnership agreements with tier 1 operators and entering new regulated markets. This is a confirmation that our growth strategy is effective.

With a total of five deals signed for our Core platform (PAM) in the period, we have gained clear proof that new tier 1 operators are choosing Aspire Global’s full suite of products covering the PAM, games, sports and managed services. Our complete offering is now licensed in the Netherlands and already in the first quarter, we signed three deals with tier 1 operators for their Dutch rollout. The two other turnkey platform deals relate to the newly regulated German market and the overall .com-market.

READY FOR BROAD NORTH AMERICAN LAUNCH

Aspire Global has also made key progress in North America by obtaining the Gaming Labs International certification standard, GLI, for our offering. This enables us to launch our platform, sportsbook and managed services to the US and Canadian markets. We are now in a strong position to establish Aspire Global as a leading iGaming provider also in North America.

It is worth mentioning that Aspire Global is already established in North America through Pariplay, the leading content and aggregator provider, whose games are licensed in Michigan, New Jersey, West Virginia and Ontario. Pariplay has recently signed a number of deals in the US with operators or distributors such as Rush Street Interactive (RSI), Golden Nugget Online Gaming, Inc., PlayUp Group, Amelco, BetMGM and GAN. Pariplay is live with BetMGM as of March 2022 and excited by the opportunities the two parties have identified.

Pariplay will also together with NeoPollard Interactive LLC offer a wealth of gaming content on Play Alberta, the only regulated gambling website in Canadian Alberta. In total, Pariplay signed 17 new customers in the quarter, among all with operators in our targeted markets in North America and Latin America, an impressive advancement. Pariplay reported revenue growth of 39.0% in the quarter.

BtoBet, our proprietary sportsbook provider, also made significant progress in the quarter by being awarded certification in Denmark along with the GLI-certification for the North American market. In the quarter, BtoBet reported revenue growth of 88.3% and five new brands were launched on BtoBet’s sportsbook platform.

SAFEGUARDING OUR EMPLOYEES IN UKRAINE

With 118 employees in Kiev in Ukraine, the war has come very close to us. Our Ukrainian employees have all been part of our team for a long time and we have fortunately been able to ensure their and their families’ safety. In the quarter, we chose to terminate our contract with the National Russian Lottery’s operator Sports Lotteries LLC. The contract was announced in October 2020 and the termination have had immediate effect.

NEXT STEPS

Aspire Global was introduced on Nasdaq First North Growth Market in July 2017 and the offer by NeoGames proves the value the company has created over these four and half years. NeoGames’ bid of SEK 111 per share means that Aspire Global’s share has increased by 270% since the introduction on Nasdaq First North Growth Market. The offer by NeoGames, a technology-driven provider of end-to-end iLottery solutions, is a natural step for Aspire Global and a strategic fit.

Aspire Global is today clearly positioned as a leading iGaming supplier in regulated markets. As part of the NeoGame’s Group, Aspire Global will continue to take advantage of its key strengths. Beside the cutting-edge, technology advanced offering, and skilled teams, Aspire Global’s foremost asset is the long-term commitment to its partners. On top of our agenda is always the success of our partners and our ability to support in the fulfilment of their potential. Through our strong partnerships with leading operators and distributors, we will continue to build long-term value.

Tsachi Maimon, CEO.

Gaming

Best Games to Come In 2022

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There is a common quip in the gaming and game development world that new games’ release dates are more of suggestions than a sure thing. This is because no game ever makes its initial release date. But gamers have come to terms with delays and understand that it’s part of the game development process. However, this does not keep us from getting excited about the new titles slated to be released later this year.

This piece will look at the best games you should expect before the year ends. So if you’re ready to possibly get your hopes up for no reason, keep reading to learn more.

1. God of War

God of war is a quirky game set in a world inspired by the Norse mythology and was initially released in 2005. The game has gone through a few iterations over the years, which has only improved its gameplay. The current title does an excellent job at developing its characters and establishing their backstories, pulling you into the game and engaging you even more.

In addition, the musical score does an even better job at accentuating important moments in the game. That’s why we are so excited about the new revamp slated for later on this year. We are sure the stories and music will only get better, and we don’t even need to mention the gameplay. Sony always kills it.

2. Call of Duty

When duty calls, you have to answer. This is one that never disappoints. Its action sequences are as engaging as ever, and the graphics are every graphics designer’s envy. Betway also found that playing COD helps you burn as much calories as a long walk, with a 90 minute gaming session elevating your heart rate to 90+ beats per minute and helping you burn up to 180 calories.

So you can now enjoy your gaming sessions and don’t have to worry about missing the gym. And with a new release this year, we have more than one thing to be excited about.

3. Last of Us

Another title that is excellent to play is Last of Us. It’s set in a decaying post-apocalyptic world and stars two characters—a child accompanied by an adult. However, the story is not about the dilapidated world but about these two characters and their struggle to survive this world.

This is one we hope the development gods here us and release as expected. We cross our fingers and hope it makes its release date this year.

4. A Plague’s Tale

Set in a corps-ridden world, plague-infested rats and inquisition soldiers who have it out for the two orphaned sibling protagonists. The game’s setting does an excellent job of making the main characters empathetic as you witness their struggle from a third-person perspective.

However, the gameplay is not that engaging, and the obstacles are neither challenging nor compelling. We are glad the makers are revamping this one and getting a second chance at taking another crack later this year.

5. FIFA 23

FIFA is a classic game that never disappoints. It has been a favorite for many, and FIFA 23 is expected to be the most popular iteration of the francise yet.

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2022 World Series of Poker® Hall of Fame Finalists Announced

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Following a two-week nomination period, the World Series of Poker (WSOP) has announced the highly anticipated list of ten Poker Hall of Fame nominees. Inducting one new member annually, the ten nominees will be considered by 32 living members who will allocate a ballot of ten total points to determine the 2022 Hall-of-Famer. The finalists are as follows:

 

  • Josh Arieh
  • Layne Flack
  • Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier
  • Kathy Liebert
  • Mike Matusow
  • Lon McEachern & Norman Chad
  • Michael Mizrachi
  • Brian Rast
  • Matt Savage
  • Isai Scheinberg

 

There are three new finalists in the 2022 class including four-time WSOP bracelet winner, Josh Arieh, and Las Vegas residents Kathy Liebert and Brian Rast.

 

The induction ceremony will be held on Sunday, July 10 in tandem with the final table of the Main Event at Bally’s & Paris Las Vegas. All living Poker Hall of Fame members are invited to freeroll into the $1,979 No-Limit Hold’em tournament, with the buy-in priced in honor of the Hall of Fame’s founding year. This event will be open to all players. Each participating Hall of Famer will have a bounty corresponding to the year they were inducted into poker’s most exclusive club. The 2022 inductee will be announced during the event.

 

For more information on the Poker Hall of Fame, visit http://www.wsop.com/pokerhalloffame/.

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QTech Games bolsters its offering with CQ9 Gaming integration

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Emerging-markets leader extends its premier portfolio with more top slots from an emerging Asian force in multiplayer video content

QTech Games, the number-one games distributor across all emerging markets, has announced its latest premium partnership with Asian video content and slots supplier, CQ9 Gaming.

Under the terms of the new agreement, CQ9 Gaming’s GLI-certified portfolio – comprising top-quality slots, arcade, and table casino games – has been integrated for QTech Games clients and their players, providing another cutting edge to a powerhouse platform recognised for bringing the finest online games to market across developing territories.

Popular CQ9 titles include Good Fortune, 1945, Kronos, Zeus, Lucky Fishing, and many others which harness the appeal of multiplayer fish games, arcade games, not to mention multiplayer online board and card games. This ever-evolving production line will help QTech Games strengthen its comprehensive spread of gaming verticals, central to QTech ONE™, its definitive one-stop shop for global operators.

The deal organically broadens CQ9 Gaming’s global footprint, accessing a fresh scope of growth markets for accelerated expansion. As the fastest-growing distributor over the past few years, QTech’s platform is localised for each region with native mobile apps, robust reporting and marketing tools, and 24/7 local-language support.

Ulf Norder, CCO at QTech Games, said: “We’re excited to be teaming up with CQ9 Gaming whose stunning graphics and gameplay chart near the pinnacle of the marketplace. The QTech Games platform is equipped with the best games from the world’s leading suppliers – and CQ9 now joins this branching tree.

“CQ9 Gaming may only be a young company, but they’ve already managed to build a strong fan-base in Asia and are moving on to conquer previously untapped markets in Europe and LatAm. Their titles run off an agile HTML5 gaming engine, meaning that you can access them either via desktop or mobile devices, even if the casino doesn’t currently offer a dedicated mobile app.

“Wherever you set your scene in this ever-changing landscape, our platform champions a mobile-first mantra, packed with all the best localised games that cater to varied cultural tastes. By way of instructive example, if you don’t offer the fish game in China, there’s no chance of becoming successful. And it’s a similar story with the Andar Bahar in India. CQ9 understand the demand for regional specificity throughout Asia and beyond, making them a logical and long-term ally with which to team up.”

A CQ9 spokesperson added: “This deal significantly broadens CQ9 Gaming’s international influence, opening up ‘margin’ markets from Eastern Europe and Latin America for diversified growth.

“CQ9 is one of the leading video slot suppliers in the Asian market with more than 100 titles under our belt. We’re steadily working on extending that reach and establishing ourselves in Europe and CIS-facing territories, and QTech’s broad spread of emerging-markets access means we can achieve this with dexterity while also consolidating our existing Asia-facing audience.

“Our goal has always been to design intuitive and interactive live-dealer experiences that are customised for every generation of mobile end-user. Since QTech Games is a defining distributor across Asia and other unexploited regions, we can’t wait to see how our games connect with different and diverse player profiles.

“At a time of refined localization techniques, QTech Games is really delivering on their brand promise of customising high-class content for varied cultures. This is what keeps them at the forefront of relevance for all kinds of players in the bubbling melting-pot of emerging markets.”

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