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Kindred Group update on the initial impact of COVID-19

George Miller

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Kindred Group plc - Interim report January – March 2020 (unaudited)
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In light of the exceptional circumstances caused by COVID-19, Kindred is providing the following updates.

Trading update

Kindred has had a good start to the year with gross winning revenue for the first quarter of 2020 estimated to be in the range of GBP 247-252 million (Q1-2019: GBP 224.4 million) unaudited. The gross winning revenue was positively impacted by strong sports betting margins in the period up the disruption of sports in the middle of March 2020. Despite this, the margin before free bets was 12.2 per cent for the quarter, compared to 9.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2019.

The full impact of cancelled sports events was largely effective from 16 March 2020, which resulted in lower sports book turnover, however partially compensated by solid growth in revenues from other products. As a very short-term indication, during the period 16 March to 31 March 2020, the daily average gross winnings revenue was GBP 2.2 million, which was 10 per cent lower than the average for the full year in 2019 (11 per cent in constant currency).

Update on dividend for 2019

Kindred has a good financial position with strong liquidity and low leverage. However, due to the uncertainty caused by COVID-19 and to ensure that Kindred is well capitalized for future investment opportunities, the Board has decided to change the previously communicated proposal on the 2019 dividend and will recommend to the AGM that no dividend is paid.

Operational update

Kindred has taken steps to protect employees and to ensure continuity of operations by adjusting ways of working so that, wherever possible, employees work from home. As a modern technology-based company, this has been achieved with minimum disruption to the business. Kindred is also working closely with all its partners to continue to provide an attractive sports and racing offer where possible and to be ready for normalized levels of sport activity.

Henrik Tjärnström, CEO, comments:

“We expect the impact of the coronavirus on our business to be temporary, with sports activities gradually resuming during or after the summer. In order to reduce the earnings impact of temporarily lower sports revenues, we will adapt our cost base through reduced levels of marketing spend, lower operating costs and delaying certain investments.

While the current situation presents several challenges, I remain very positive about Kindred’s future outlook. Kindred will continue to benefit from a wide geographical reach and a broad product mix as well as a business model which has been resilient during previous times of economic downturns. I also believe that the social and behavioural changes that are already happening will accelerate the migration from offline to online, which will benefit digital operators like Kindred. Our focus on player safety and care for our customers will naturally continue with the same dedication.”

Quarterly Results Presentations

Kindred will publish results for the first quarter on 24 April 2020. The results presentation and Q&A session will be available through webcast as usual. The previously planned physical meeting at Regeringsgatan 25 in Stockholm will not take place. The arrangements for the results announcements for subsequent quarters will depend on the relevant advice from public authorities.

 

About Kindred Group:

Kindred Group is one of the world’s leading online gambling operators with business across Europe and Australia, offering over 26 million customers across 11 brands a great form of entertainment in a safe, fair and sustainable environment. The company, which employs about 1,600 people, is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm Large Cap and is a founding member of the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) and founding member of IBIA (International Betting Integrity Association). Kindred Group is audited and certified by eCOGRA for compliance with the 2014 EU Recommendation on Consumer Protection and Responsible Gambling (2014/478/EU).

Industry News

Singular extends casino offering with Booming Games

George Miller

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Singular extends casino offering with Booming Games
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Singular and Booming Games have sealed a distribution agreement to target Tier 1 operators via Singular’s iGaming platform. Booming Games’ full slot portfolio is now available on Singular’s platform with more than 60 HTML5 slot games including popular titles like Booming Seven Deluxe, VIP Filthy Riches, Gold Vein and latest release Gunspinner. Booming Games release up to two new games per month. Soon to be released are Danger Zone, Show Master and Burning Classics.

“We are delighted to partner with a leading platform and distribution partner like Singular to further extend the reach of our content to regulated and new markets. We are looking forward to a fruitful partnership” said Frederik Niehusen, Chief Commercial Officer at Booming Games.

Booming Games have just recently announced a successful start to 2020 after being recognised as Rising Star of the Year at the International Gaming Awards and launching their slot portfolio with Leo Vegas, Gamesys Group, Microgame, Gaming1 and Hero Gaming.

“Having Booming Games on our portfolio goes hand in hand with our dedication to delivering versatile, high-quality gaming content. Moreover, Booming games innovative features guarantee engaging gameplay which translates into increasing LTV of players.” – Robert Dowling, Chief Commercial Officer at Singular.

Singular has 10+ years of experience working with Tier 1 iGaming operators. Singular Product Portfolio includes a comprehensive and flexible iGaming platform, Sports Betting Platform with market leading features alongside a Retail solution and a Casino Core with 7000+ casino games. We aim to empower operators to be ready for any breadth and magnitude of their growth, to be bespoke in their respective markets, and to be ahead of their competition. This complies with the three pillars of the company: reliability, flexibility and innovation which are the founding blocks of the company’s way of work reflected in the corporate slogan BE OUTSTANDING. For more information visit singular.uk.

 

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Industry News

IAGR POSTPONES DISRUPTING THE REGULATOR

George Miller

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IAGR POSTPONES DISRUPTING THE REGULATOR
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The International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR) today announced the postponement of its annual conference: Disrupting the Regulator: Sparking innovation in regulatory practice #IAGR2020 Boston until 12-17 September 2021.

After monitoring governmental public health advice and associated jurisdictional developments regarding the COVID-19 pandemic over recent months, the Board of Trustees determined it was in the best interests of the association and its members to postpone its annual conference until 2021.

In making the announcement Mr Paul Newson, IAGR President, said: ‘It’s profoundly disappointing to delay this exciting event, but I’m confident our focus on innovation in regulatory policy and practice will be increasingly important as we transition out of lockdowns towards normality.

‘The decisive public health response to the pandemic has saved lives. I think we also need to acknowledge that the abrupt shutdown of economic activity and social interaction has devastated many businesses and livelihoods, but I think it also presents tremendous opportunity for bold innovation to overcome previous policy and regulatory inertia.

‘We have assembled an impressive line-up of leading speakers to share insights, challenge thinking and spark a contest and ideas and new ways of working at #IAGR2021. We will be liaising with each of our speakers to ensure we build on the program to best capture lessons from the pandemic that can help advance efficient and effective gambling regulation.’

The conference will still be held at the Boston Marriott, hosted by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission and in partnership with the International Masters of Gaming Law we will be offering back to back conferences including a joint conference day and networking events.

‘We had an extraordinary response to our call for speakers and I wish to thank all those individuals for their patience while a decision on the timing of the conference has been pending’ Mr Newson said.

IAGR is exploring a number of options for webinars and virtual events for its members and industry stakeholders in the lead up to #IAGR2021. We also invite expressions of interest from regulators and industry stakeholders to contribute to our newsletter.

IAGR consists of representatives from gaming regulatory organisations throughout the world and aims to advance the effectiveness and efficiency of gambling regulation.

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Industry News

GiG strengthens iGaming offering to operators by adding Playtech’s iPoker to its platform

George Miller

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GiG strengthens iGaming offering to operators by adding Playtech’s iPoker to its platform
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

Gaming Innovation Group Inc. (GiG) has integrated Playtech Plc’s iPoker product to its platform, allowing GiG to extend its iGaming offering to its partners.

Playtech’s iPoker product boasts a poker network of over 35,000 players. They operate in the regulated markets that offer Poker and deliver a solid omnichannel solution for operators.  The partnership will enable operators to gain access to one of the largest poker networks in the world, through GiG’s leading-edge iGaming platform. Operators can take advantage of a wide selection of game types, an extensive offering of table stakes and buy-ins and a rich range of games via  HTML 5 web, mobile, iOS and Android.

Ben Clemes, Chief Commercial Officer, “We are excited to have partnered with Playtech in entering the poker betting vertical. The integration of Playtech’s iPoker product with our iGaming Platform allows us to further extend our betting options and enables our partners to offer a strong poker betting player experience. As part of the process, we added to our microservices, which gives us the ability to scale and integrate with other third-party poker providers in the future —providing our partners with more flexibility and choice.’’

Shimon Akad, Chief Operating Officer, Playtech, comments: “We’re delighted to partner with GiG and welcome them to our iPoker network. Having invested heavily in our new poker web client, in addition to our native poker app and popular downloadable desktop poker client, together Playtech and GiG can offer operators access to an exceptionally flexible platform as well as an ever-growing network. GiG is an important strategic partner for us, we look forward to continuing to work with them to bring industry-leading technology to the sector.”

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