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BREAKING NEWS: Lottomatica Group acquires SKS365

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BREAKING NEWS: Lottomatica Group acquires SKS365
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Lottomatica Group S.p.A. announces that GBO S.p.A., a wholly owned subsidiary of Lottomatica, has signed an agreement for the acquisition of 100% of the share capital of SKS365 Malta Holdings Limited (“SKS365”).

SKS365 is a leading omnichannel player in the Italian online and sports betting segments, counting on approximately 600k registered online users, highly recognised brands (“Planetwin365” and “PlanetPay365”) and a retail network of approximately 1,000 sports betting shops. SKS365 has a market share1 of 9.6% in iSports and 6.4% in iGaming and is expected to generate an EBITDA of approximately €74 million in FY2023, of which approximately 70% Online and 30% Sports Franchise.

With this acquisition, Lottomatica strengthens its leadership position in Italy with a proforma Online market share of 28.3%1, enriching its brand portfolio and accelerating its growth profile with a highly synergistic transaction. The Group estimates that it will achieve cash cost synergies of €60m2 and revenue synergies of at least €5m by 2026.

The transaction values SKS365 at an Enterprise Value of €639 million, equivalent to an EV/EBITDA FY2023 of 8.7x pre-synergies and 5.2x post-synergies.

The transaction is expected to complete in H1 2024, subject to customary competition and regulatory approvals, and will be financed with a combination of available cash and new debt, for which Lottomatica has already obtained a bridge debt facility of €500 million. Net leverage at closing3 is estimated to be approximately 2.8x pre-synergies and 2.6x post-synergies.

We are excited to welcome to our Group SKS365, a top performing player in the Italian gaming sector and led by one of the most respected management teams in the industry, under the leadership of Alexander Martin. We add to our portfolio strong and complementary brands, PlanetWin365 and PlanetPay365, and we look forward to working with Alexander and the team, and we are committed to provide all the support needed in the next phase of growth, leveraging the combined capabilities of the enlarged group”, said Guglielmo Angelozzi, CEO of Lottomatica Group.

At SKS365 we are proud to become part of the Lottomatica Group. We could not have found a better partner to continue our vision for SKS365 with the brands PlanetWin365 and PlanetPay365. Many thanks to our shareholders, all employees and partners developing under my leadership a highly successful omnichannel operator with a strong momentum in online sports betting and iGaming that is complementing our strong retail network. I am thankful to continue to lead the SKS365 team and I am looking forward to working closely with Guglielmo Angelozzi and our new colleagues at Lottomatica”, said Alexander Martin, CEO of SKS365.

Mediobanca acted as financial advisor to Lottomatica in the transaction.

Gaming

Application Start for Gamecity Hamburg Prototype Funding on March 7 – 400,000 Euros for Games from Hamburg and New Diversity Checklist

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“In the context of paused federal funding, we are pleased to reliably support game developers in Hamburg once again with up to 400,000 euros with the Prototype Funding 2024. In this funding round, we’re adding a diversity checklist to our application documents to encourage our applicants to examine their own structures and processes while developing. Games are the leading medium of our time and can showcase diverse voices, perspectives, and stories,” comments Dennis Schoubye, Head of Gamecity Hamburg.

Starting this year, answering the diversity checklist is mandatory when applying for Prototype Funding. Applicants’ answers can optionally be used by the awarding committee when evaluating projects. Applicants whose team and/or project enriches the diversity of Hamburg’s games landscape can receive a bonus in the evaluation by the awarding committee. On the contrary, applicants are not disadvantaged in the evaluation process if that is not the case for their team and/or project. The awarding committee consists of Nina Müller (Head of Publishing, Goodgame Studios), Jonas Hüsges (Publishing Director, Daedalic Entertainment), Valentina Birke (Director, Indie Arena Booth), Jens Unrau (Head of the Media and Digital Economy Department of the Hamburg Ministry of Culture and Media) and Dennis Schoubye (Head of Gamecity Hamburg). They will decide on the granted funding after the end of the application phase on the basis of the submitted projects and a subsequent pitch by the applicants.

The Application Process

Eligible to apply for Prototype Funding are: 

  • developers and developer groups
  • or small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), 
  • who are based in Hamburg
  • or which relocate their registered office to Hamburg
  • or open a branch office/business location in Hamburg

 A consultation with Gamecity Hamburg is mandatory and is recommended at least two weeks before the submission deadline on April 8, to prepare applicants optimally for their submission. Interested parties please contact [email protected] to arrange an appointment.

Projects funded through the Prototype Funding program

Since the start of the first funding round in 2020, the Prototype Funding has so far supported 26 games projects with more than 1,450,000 euros. Among the funding recipients are, for example, the indie studio Tiny Roar, which received prototype funding in 2022 for its dreamlike world-builder game “Wanderful”. The serious game “Mambio” by neurodactics, an educational game to make arithmetic understandable for primary school children, received the Prototype Funding in 2021 and was able to secure over 1,100,000 million euros in additional federal computer games funding in 2022. The virtual reality game “Crumbling”, in which your own controller becomes an action figure, was part of the first prototype funding round as well and found a strong partner alongside investors in Meta. Crumbling celebrated its successful release in February 2024.

Further funding programs for Hamburg games industry by Gamecity Hamburg

Every year, the Games Lift Incubator supports five teams, developers and start-ups in the development of digital games and projects. In addition to 15,000 euros in start-up funding, the recipients receive a comprehensive coaching and mentoring program featuring international experts as well as workshops and subsequent individual support. The application phase for this year’s Games Lift runs from May 2 to June 10, 2024.

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Gaming

The 2024 BAFTA Games Nominations Host and Panel have been announced!

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BAFTA’s team of panellists will announce and discuss the nominations live, give their opinions on the outstanding games we’ve seen from the industry in 2023 and recognise the creative talent who made them.

Lucy James said: “I’m so excited to be returning to host the BAFTA Games Awards nominations stream for the 2024 Games Awards. BAFTA’s commitment to uplifting and celebrating the people who make the games we love is an incredibly important endeavour: now more than ever. 2023 will go down in history as one of the greatest years for video game releases ever, but also for being one of the worst for the industry. Sadly, 2024 looks to be continuing this trend with multiple project cancellations, studio closures, and mass layoffs. It’s important for us to take a moment to band together to recognise the contributions and achievements of our hard-working and talented peers.”

Luke Hebblethwaite, Head of Games at BAFTA, said: “We’re hugely excited to be revealing the nominees for this year’s BAFTA Games Awards and couldn’t be happier than to have five such energetic and knowledgeable voices to lead us through the big moment. I’m looking forward to their lively and insightful reactions and a great conversation as we celebrate the amazing talent, creativity and hard work behind the best games of the year.”

The world’s most prestigious annual celebration of excellence and creative achievement in games, the 20th BAFTA Games Awards, will take place on Thursday 11 April at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, London and will be livestreamed on BAFTA’s YouTube, Twitch and X channels at 19.00 BST / 14.00 ET / 11.00 PT.

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Latest News

Sportradar publishes third annual integrity report

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Sportradar Integrity Services, a unit of Sportradar (NASDAQ: SRAD), today published its annual report, ‘Betting Corruption and Match-fixing in 2023’, detailing the company’s findings into suspicious betting on global sport. Based on the monitoring of approximately 850,000 events and matches across 70 sports, the report highlights a total of 1,329 suspicious matches in 2023, occurring in 11 sports in 105 countries.

Compared to 2022, the data indicates the suspected manipulation rate in all sports remained steady at 0.21%, or one in every 467 matches in 2023. Similarly, the analysis has marked no single sport having a suspicious match ratio greater than 1%, confirming that 99.5% of sporting events monitored had no suspicious betting detected.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) assisted in detecting almost three quarters (73% or 977 instances) of all suspicious matches in 2023, representing a 123% increase when compared to 2022. While AI integration into Sportradar’s Universal Fraud Detection System (UFDS) has boosted detection rates, analysis by our integrity experts is essential to ensure accurate interpretation of data. Sportradar is committed to advancing both AI capabilities and human oversight to protect the integrity of sports.

Key findings in 2023:

· As the world’s most popular sport for betting, soccer continued to be the most affected by match fixing with 880 suspicious matches, followed by basketball with 205 matches, then table tennis with 70 matches.

· Account-level betting data was used to detect 85% of suspicious matches in volleyball, and 100% of suspicious matches in tennis and table tennis, underscoring the importance of collaborating closely with the sports betting industry to combat match-fixing and integrity threats.

· Europe had the highest number of suspicious matches (667 vs 630 in 2022), followed by Asia (302 vs 240 in 2022) and South America (217 vs 225 in 2022).

· 1,295 suspicious matches came from men’s sporting events, while 34 came from women’s sporting events.

Data and reporting from Sportradar Integrity Services last year contributed to a total of 147 sporting and criminal sanctions, spanning 10 sports in 23 countries across 39 cases, underlining the company’s credentials as the established market leader in integrity services. By supporting over 220 partners globally including sports organisations, state authorities, national platforms and law enforcement agencies, Sportradar is committed to keeping sport clean from threats such as match-fixing, doping and other forms of fraud and corruption.

Andreas Krannich, EVP, Integrity, Rights Protection and Regulatory Services, said: “Continued investment in the development of technology is key to detecting otherwise hard-to-find occurrences of match-fixing. In combination with access to account-level data, collaboration across the industry and human experts, we have a suite of powerful tools to help both prevent and detect risks to sports integrity. Further advancements in the fight against match-fixing will be possible as the AI models continue to learn and we will keep honing our expertise to protect sport from manipulation.”

Sportradar takes a holistic, multi-faceted approach to match-fixing detection, powered by its market-leading technology and expert Integrity Services unit. As well as account-level data, the UFDS analyses 30 billion odds changes across 600 global betting operators in real-time and uses advanced AI to detect and flag suspicious matches to Sportradar’s global team of integrity analysts. Supporting this effort is also the Sportradar Integrity Exchange (SIE), where more than 70 betting operators proactively submit suspicious betting information, using account-level betting data to detect and flag suspicious matches.

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