It was obvious that 2022 would be a year of significant M&A and trading activity. Companies published quarterly updates, and the UK Gambling Commission had to take some major decisions.
Begining Q2, Betsson (GiG), and Gaming Innovation Group(GiG), both made major achievements. The former had a great start to the year with its quarter-end earnings calls, while the latter was able to complete its key takeover.
Betsson, a Stockholm-listed international operator, reported an 8.8% rise in its group revenue towards the end April. It went from EUR157.4m Q1 2021, to EUR170.2m for the first three months 2022.
GiG secured all the major approvals to acquire Sportnco. The firm’s sports betting subsidiary will later be a major part of a variety of partnership deals throughout the rest of the year.
Another commercial development was the completion of another large M&A deal for another supplier. EveryMatrix acquired Leapbit to enhance its omnichannel capabilities.
The EveryMatrix CEO Ebbegroes commented at the time that the acquisition was necessary to grow the ecosystem’ of Oddsmatrix. He highlighted it as one of the three pillars of his company’s operations.
Another look at the performance of operators shows that Betway and Spin’s parent company Super Group described a positive start in trading, as it is NYSE-listed. It also had sacred registration on the stock exchange in 2021.
This firm had a revenue of EUR311m. Betway split the 53%/47% of its revenues between Spin and Betway. The income from Spin’s sportsbook business was EUR186m. It has seen growth in every region except Europe, where it lost 19%.
However, it wasn’t all smooth sailing. 888 Holdings was prepared for a difficult trading period after its PS2bn acquisition of William Hill. This was at the beginning of the year.
In the midst of the merger, there was an important shift in leadership within the gambling industry. Ulrik Bengtsson, the long-term Hills CEO, resigned after declaring that the company had met its corporate goals during his tenure.
While commercial activity was up 25%, the UK’s main focus was on regulatory updates as the nation continues to review its gambling laws.
While policymakers, reformists, and stakeholders from the industry debated which of the Gambling Act’s recommendations was the best, the UK’s Committee of Advertising Practice issued new guidelines that would affect operators’ marketing strategies. They banned the use of athletes in their campaigns.
Cameot criticized the UKGC for granting the National Lottery’s next 10-year license to Allwyn, a newly rebranded government agency.
Camelot initiated a High Court Case. Camelot claimed that an independent review of the Commission’s decision was necessary. However, the regulator responded that the license contest was fair, open, and robust.
The UKGC was undergoing a review as well Camelot’s court proceedings. Andrew Rhodes, who had been serving interim duties, assumed the position of permanent CEO.
After the discussion on the review was well under way, heated discussions began around the industry funding for gambling harm treatment. SBC spoke to Jordan Lea, Dealmeout CEO, who argued that mandatory levy could do more harm than good. This prompted Zoe Osmund, GambleAware CEO, to openly respond to Lea’s argument.
Lastly, and most importantly, a significant development was made in Australia’s betting industry. News Corp Australia announced its plans to create a new gambling business. This set the stage for what would be a transformational year in Australia as well as the rest of the world.