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Betsson Publishes its First Quarter 2023 Interim Report

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Betsson AB has published its interim report for the first quarter of 2023.

Highlights

  • Group revenue was EUR 221.9 (170.2) million, an increase of 30%. Organic increase of 38%.
  • Casino revenue increased by 37%. Sportsbook revenue increased by 19% and the sportsbook margin was 8.0% (8.3%).
  • EBITDA was EUR 54.3 (33.4) million, an increase of 62%. The EBITDA margin was 24.5% (19.6%).
  • Operating income (EBIT) was EUR 43.0 (23.6) million, an increase of 82%. The EBIT margin was 19.4% (13.9%).
  • Net income was EUR 36.6 (20.9) million, corresponding to EUR 0.28 (0.16) per share.
  • Operating cash flow was EUR 48.8 (26.9) million.
  • Net debt was EUR -104.5 (-16.9) million.
  • Active customers decreased by 11% to 1,115,641 (1,256,449).

CEO’s Comments

“Record-strong start to 2023 with positive developments in both sports betting and casino”

For 60 years we have been offering entertainment in the form of casino games, sports betting and other types of games. Having a long-term perspective is the key when it comes to Betsson’s view about how the business should be run and how value is created for shareholders. In the past years investments have been made to expand geographically to new markets and to strengthen the product offering and the competitive position. We can see that these efforts continue to pay off.

Betsson started 2023 with yet another strong quarter, again delivering record numbers for revenue and EBIT, even though the first quarter has historically often had less activity than other quarters. Revenue increased organically by 38 percent, with sustained positive developments in both sports betting and casino. Geographically, revenue increased in all regions except for the Nordics.

The new business in Argentina is developing well — revenue increased strongly during the quarter, and Betsson continues to invest in marketing to build brand awareness in this regulated market. In February, a third license in the country was obtained, in the province of Cordoba, where a launch will take place later this year. Revenue from B2B continues to increase, which is a sign of strength that reflects the investments made in the past years into product and tech development as well as M&A. Thanks to Betsson’s scalable business model, these investments can be absorbed with maintained or higher profitability over time. EBIT increased by 82 percent and the EBIT margin was 19.4 (13.9) percent during the quarter.

We are proud that Betsson’s involvement in sports is continuing together with clubs, fans and customers. During the quarter, Betsson was the main sponsor of the tennis tournament ATP 250 Chile Open, which took place in February and March in Santiago, Chile. The winner of the tournament was home-grown player Nicolas Jarry, who won his second ATP title this time, after having won the Swedish Open in Båstad in 2019.

Responsible gaming is an integrated part of Betsson’s strategy and a prerequisite for long-term success as a gaming operator. To increase transparency and raise awareness about risky gambling in Sweden and how proactive contacts can change player behaviour, in the first quarter Betsson started to report KPIs for risky gambling for the Swedish market.

To conclude, the year has started well for Betsson with continued profitable growth and strong cash flows. We can look ahead to the rest of the year with a solid financial position that enables continued investments in sustainable growth and value creation for our shareholders.

Industry News

IDnow Bridges the AI-human Divide with New Expert-led Video Verification Solution

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IDnow, a leading identity verification provider in Europe, has unveiled VideoIdent Flex, a new version of its expert-led video verification service that blends advanced AI technology with human interaction. The human-based video call solution, supported by AI, has been designed and built to boost customer conversion rates, reduce rising fraud attempts, increase inclusivity, and tackle an array of complex online verification scenarios, while offering a high-end service experience to end customers.

The company’s original expert-led product, VideoIdent, has been a cornerstone in identity verification for over a decade, serving the strictest requirements in highly regulated industries across Europe. VideoIdent Flex, re-engineered specifically for the UK market, represents a significant evolution, addressing the growing challenges of identity fraud, compliance related to Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) processes and ensuring fair access and inclusivity in today’s digital world outside of fully automated processes.

As remote identity verification becomes more crucial yet more challenging, VideoIdent Flex combines high-quality live video identity verification with hundreds of trained verification experts, thus ensuring that genuine customers gain equal access to digital services while effectively deterring fraudsters and money mules. Unlike fully automated solutions based on document liveness and biometric liveness features, this human-machine collaboration not only boosts onboarding rates and prevents fraud but also strengthens trust and confidence in both end users and organisations. VideoIdent Flex can also serve as a fallback service in case a fully automated solution fails.

Bertrand Bouteloup, Chief Commercial Officer at IDnow, said: “VideoIdent Flex marks a groundbreaking advancement in identity verification, merging AI-based technology with human intuition. In a landscape of evolving fraud tactics and steady UK bank branch closures, our solution draws on our decade’s worth of video verification experience and fraud insights, empowering UK businesses to maintain a competitive edge by offering a white glove service for VIP onboarding. With its unique combination of KYC-compliant identity verification, real-time fraud prevention solutions, and expert support, VideoIdent Flex is a powerful tool for the UK market.”

Whereas previously firms may have found video identification solutions to be excessive for their compliance requirement or out of reach due to costs, VideoIdent Flex opens up this option by customising checks as required by the respective regulatory bodies in financial services, mobility, telecommunications or gaming, to offer a streamlined solution fit for every industry and geography.

Bouteloup added: “Identity verification is incredibly nuanced; it’s as intricate as we are as human beings. This really compounds the importance of adopting a hybrid approach to identity – capitalising on the dual benefits of advanced technology when combined with human knowledge and awareness of social cues. With bank branches in the UK closing down, especially in the countryside, and interactions becoming more and more digital, our solution offers a means to maintain a human relationship between businesses and their end customers, no matter their age, disability or neurodiversity.

“VideoIdent Flex is designed from the ground up for organisations that cannot depend on a one-size-fits-all approach to ensuring their customers are who they say they are. In a world where fraud is consistently increasing, our video capability paired with our experts adds a powerful layer of security, especially for those businesses and customers that require a face-to-face interaction.”

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Industry News

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Strive Gaming, the award-winning real money gaming platform provider for North America, is pleased to announce the appointment of Ian Smith as its new Chief Technology Officer (CTO). With an illustrious career spanning over two decades in the gaming industry, Smith brings a wealth of experience and expertise to Strive.

Smith’s impressive career includes significant leadership roles at William Hill, Rank Group, Flutter Entertainment (owners of FanDuel) and Game Play Network. He has been instrumental in the technical development and growth of these businesses, each at varying levels of maturity and size.

At Rank Group, one of the UK’s leading land-based casino and bingo businesses, Smith oversaw the company-wide expansion of their Player Account Management (PAM) and Omni-Channel experience, demonstrating his ability to drive innovation and scalability within complex environments. This experience is extremely valid to tribal and commercial casinos alike who are figuring out how to create an ideal connection between land based and digital experiences.

With additional experience across Class III and Class II gaming, and a deep understanding of US regulatory and technical complexities, Smith brings a unique perspective to Strive Gaming. Known for his hands-on approach to technical leadership, Smith is committed to driving innovation and excellence within the organization.

“I’m thrilled to join the talented team at Strive Gaming,” said Smith. “Having worked with their PAM product from a customer perspective, I have firsthand experience of its quality and potential. I am confident that together, we can further evolve the company and achieve our vision of becoming the number one PAM provider in North America.”

Smith’s appointment underscores Strive Gaming’s commitment to fostering innovation and delivering cutting-edge solutions to its clients. His vast experience and proven track record make him an invaluable addition to the leadership team.

“We are delighted to welcome Ian Smith to Strive Gaming as our new CTO,” said Max Meltzer, CEO of Strive Gaming. “Ian has rare characteristics; exceptional hands-on skill, experience and yet a sense of calm, humility and above all a desire to help talent around him flourish. This coupled with his extensive industry experience in the gaming industry make him the right person to lead our technical initiatives and helping the business achieve its goals”

 

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Industry News

Golden Matrix Acquisition of MeridianBet Group Receives High Praise from IPO Edge

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Esteemed financial analysts at IPO Edge recognize the merged Golden Matrix and MeridianBet Group entity as a burgeoning global gaming leader with a promising financial outlook and innovation

Golden Matrix Group Incorporated (NASDAQ:GMGI) (Golden Matrix) and MeridianBet Group, the newly-consolidated entity in the online gaming world, are honored to receive positive analysis from IPO Edge, a leading portal known for its insightful and credible financial analyses.

The distinguished coverage highlighted the Golden Matrix acquisition of MeridianBet Group as having a significant potential to reshape the gaming landscape, focusing on the combined entity’s strategic positioning for expansive growth and technological innovation.

The entire analysis can be found at: https:/ /IPO-Edge. com/strike-gold-with-gmgi-and-meridianbets-global-gaming-powerhouse/

IPO Edge Insights

The recent article by IPO Edge analysts casts a spotlight on the strategic merits of the $300 million acquisition of MeridianBet Group by Golden Matrix. According to the portal, this bold move is poised to establish a global gaming juggernaut with projected sales reaching $182 million by 2025. The merger not only signifies a monumental leap in market expansion, spanning over 15 markets including Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia but also underscores the entity’s prowess in emerging markets such as Mexico, Tanzania and Peru.

A Story of Strategic Growth and Innovation

At the heart of the Golden Matrix acquisition of MeridianBet Group lies a shared commitment to innovation and customer satisfaction as the combined group owns a scalable tech platform that leverages machine learning for continuous improvement, alongside unique betting features like Empty Bet, which empowers players to craft their own bets. This synergy of technological advancement and market intelligence sets the stage for an unprecedented growth trajectory in the online gaming sector.

Financial Prudence and Future Prospects

Underscoring the merger’s financial strategy, IPO Edge commends the conservative financing approach, with an anticipated 2x leverage post-merger. This prudent fiscal management, coupled with the leadership of Chief Executive Officer Brian Goodman, enhances the company’s capacity for further strategic mergers and acquisitions.

The CSR Segment

The merger’s dedication to corporate social responsibility, with initiatives aimed at converting players into patrons of meaningful CSR programs, distinguishes it beyond financials and market expansion. This commitment reflects a broader vision of achieving profitability while fostering a positive social impact.

The Market Potential Not Yet Anticipated

As pointed out by this analysis, the market may not fully recognize Golden Matrix’s potential yet. The company’s enterprise value is close to $400 million. That compares with multiples of eight times for Caesar’s Entertainment and a whopping 22 times for DraftKings, according to Sentieo, an AI-enabled research platform.

For more information about the Golden Matrix, please visit https:/ /GoldenMatrix. com/company/ or https:/ /ir.MeridianBet. com/.

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