Better Collective, Rank, Catena & Spelinspektionen:
the week in numbers
Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. In this latest edition we take a look at the UKGC’s annual report, the key drivers for Better Collective’s H1 performance and the outcome between the Rank Group and HMRC.
Better Collective has highlighted its expansion across the US, as well as its key breakthroughs in media partnerships, as two key drivers of growth.
Releasing its 2021 interim results for the period ending June 30, the company’s Q2 revenues stood at $40m, an increase of 162 per cent compared to the same period in 2020 ($15.2m).
The firm maintained growth across its publishing network, registering Q2 revenues of $26m – up 79 per cent – and period EBITDA outcome of $11.2m – up 68 per cent compared to 2020 – as its platforms and media partnerships benefitted from a strong Euro 2020 performance.
“Q2 marks yet a record quarter in terms of revenue and NDCs delivered to our partners,” commented Jesper Søgaard, co-founder and CEO of Better Collective. “At the same time, we continue to record strong profitability and cash flows. The strong performance is especially driven by the US business, and by our media partnerships that saw breakthrough performance during Q2.
“The peak of the quarter was the closing of our largest acquisition to date, Action Network, which is a game-changer and consolidates our leading sports betting media position in the US.”
The UK tax authorities, HM Revenue and Customs, has concluded that it will not appeal against a tribunal ruling involving casino operator Rank Group over value added tax on slot machines.
The casino operator noted that the first-tier tribunal had agreed a 60-day extension to allow HMRC and Rank to agree the exact size of the claim, which the company still values at £80m.
Concerning VAT paid on slot machine income in the period of April 2006 to January 2013, the decision was handed down by the first-tier Tribunal on June 30, 2021.
Gaming Innovation Group has been recertified with the ISO 27001 accreditation for four of its core products – its PAM platform, frontend development & CMS solution, its sportsbook platform and data platform.
The certification will be subject to annual surveillance audits and will cover a three-year period. Additionally, GiG has been awarded accreditations for headquarters in Malta – the GiG beach office – as well as its Spanish and Latvian offices.
Using a ‘top-down, risk based approach’, ISO 27001 assesses and identifies specifications and requirements for comprehensive information security management systems (ISMS).
The certification is accepted by regulatory bodies as an attestation to organisation’s ISMS, allowing GiG to ‘optimally and centrally evidence its dedication to information security’.
By holding the certification, GiG will be able to ‘smoothly onboard employees’ for its platform department in all three locations while keeping its operations in line with the ISO accreditation’s rules of conduct.
Publishing its ‘2020/2021 Annual Report & Accounts’ – period ending March 31 – The UK Gambling Commission has cited the tough regulatory climate in governing UK gambling under the circumstances of the global pandemic.
However, despite the challenges, the UKGC issued in excess of over ‘£30m in fines and regulatory settlements’ during last year.
Noting a slight decline of 0.6 per cent in total gross gambling yield to £14.2bn, the pandemic year registered approximately 22.1m gambling consumers, down 2.6m from 2019 results.
Moreover, the Commission also outlined the heightened uptake of online gambling – which registered a 1.3m increase in new consumers to 12.1m – underlining the UKGC’s importance for extra vigilance.
Seasonality was cited as a “recurring challenge” by Catena Media as its 2021 interim results showed a one per cent dip in casino revenue.
Catena reported €21.1m (2020: €21.2m) in year-on-year revenues along with a drop of four per cent in adjusted EBITDA to €12.3m (2020: €13.9m).
The company also made reference to the relaxation of COVID restrictions, which it stated has resulted in fewer sessions as players shifted offline, causing the slight dip in year-on-year revenue and earnings.
Updating investors, Catena Media, CEO, Michael Daly, noted: “I am exceptionally pleased with the group’s financial results for the second quarter, in which we surpassed last year’s revenue by nine per cent and lifted adjusted EBITDA by one per cent.
“This outcome represents a notable achievement considering the one-off spike in casino gaming seen in the second quarter of 2020, when COVID-related lockdowns sparked an unprecedented surge in consumer interest and player activity.
“The results demonstrate the robustness of our business model as they came in the face of low seasonal sports activity in the US, the re-opening this year of land-based entertainment venues in North America and other locations, and a sharp increase in product investment in Q2 compared to the same period last year.
“These factors together explain the expected drop in quarter-on-quarter revenue and EBITDA. “
Mr Green has been fined SEK 31.5m (€3m) by the Swedish regulatory body – Spelinspektionen – due to the William Hill subsidiary failing to fulfil its AML and customer care duties.
Split into two, Spelinspektionen fined Mr Green SEK 30m (€2.9m) due to customer care failures as its team were deemed to have not undertaken “sufficient measures to help customers reduce their gambling spend”.
In addition to the first fine, the company was also penalised SEK 1.5 (€140,000) for failing to maintain its customer reporting duties as a requirement of the Money Laundering Act – whose rules are applied within Sweden’s reformed Gambling Act 2018.
Spelinspektionen’s casework provided details on 15 customers that displayed problematic behaviours or AML criminal intent engaging with Mr Green between the period of January 2019 to June 2020.
Gambling.com Group Limited highlighted “continued strong top-line growth” as it published its Q2 2021 financial results.
Reporting its operating and financial results for the second quarter ending June 30, 2021, the company revealed revenue growth of $10.4m – a 66 per cent increase – compared to $6.2m in the same period in 2020.
Furthermore, the firm reported a Net income of $2.3m, $0.08 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $0.4m, a loss of $0.02 per diluted share, in the prior year.
Adjusted EBITDA of $5.5m; grew 46 per cent compared to $3.8m in 2020, representing an Adjusted EBITDA margin of 53 per cent. Additionally, free cash flow of $3.1m decreased 3 per cent compared to $3.2m last year.
“Our second quarter results (which were our first interim financial results as a public company) were highlighted by continued strong top-line growth, and, based on our Adjusted EBITDA margins, we are among the most profitable names in the online gambling industry,” said Charles Gillespie, chief executive officer and co-founder of Gambling.com Group.
“Since our founding in 2006, we have built an affiliate marketing powerhouse with recognisable brands around the globe. Players trust our services to help them find a safe, fun and legal betting experience while our B2C operator clients utilise our best-in-class technology platform to support their increasingly important customer acquisition initiatives.
“We are incredibly excited about the next step in this journey as a public company and look forward to sharing the success with our new investors.”
- better collective
- Catena Media
- Charles Gillespie
- Gambling.com Group Limited
- Gaming Innovation Group
- HM Revenue and Customs
- ISO 27001
- Jesper Søgaard
- Michael Daly
- Mr Green
- Rank Group
- UK Gambling Commission
- William Hill