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Playtech Partners with Hard Rock Digital

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Playtech, the leading platform, content, and services provider to the online gaming industry, announced a landmark strategic partnership with Hard Rock Digital (HRD), the exclusive, global vehicle for interactive gaming and sports betting for Hard Rock International and Seminole Gaming.

Under the partnership, HRD will license a range of the company’s proven technology solutions and iGaming content to deliver the authentic experience customers have come to expect across Hard Rock’s global ecosystem of entertainment, hospitality, and bricks and mortar casinos. In the US and Canada, HRD’s customers will enjoy a variety of Playtech’s iGaming content offering including market-leading slots, RNG, and live dealer table games through HRD’s existing proprietary platform and technology offering. These products will also be enjoyed outside of the US and Canada where HRD will also have access to additional software and services solutions from Playtech including its IMS player management platform and certain ancillary services including operational, customer support, payment advisory, and marketing services.

The company will supply its products and services predominantly on a revenue share basis under long-term commercial agreements.

Alongside these commercial arrangements, Playtech has also invested $85 million in exchange for a low single digit minority equity ownership stake in HRD.

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The proceeds from Playtech’s investment will predominantly be used to help fund HRD’s continued global expansion. Hard Rock branded online and retail sports betting and iGaming is currently being operated in select U.S. states, as applicable, including Arizona, Indiana, Iowa, New Jersey, Ohio, Tennessee, and Virginia, with the expectation for additional launches in the future. HRD also plans to extend its online sportsbook and iGaming offerings to select international markets over the next several years. Hard Rock’s global brand strength and recognition combined with Playtech’s broad international market knowledge and software and services offering provide an exciting platform for international expansion. Additionally, Hard Rock’s extensive and expanding global operating footprint of cafés, hotels, and casinos positions HRD as the only operator with a truly global omni-channel opportunity.

The company expects minimal impact from this agreement on its B2B segment results in FY2023. Contribution to B2B revenues is expected to increase in FY2024 and thereafter as HRD continues to increase penetration in established markets and as additional markets come online.

“The Playtech team is thrilled to announce our strategic partnership with HRD. Hard Rock International has cemented itself as a marquee name worldwide, not just in gambling, but more widely in entertainment. HRD will combine the strength of this global brand with a proven management team, some of whom we at Playtech have known for many years and believe to be among the strongest in the online gambling industry. For Playtech, this partnership significantly advances our position in the North American market and is very much in line with our B2B strategy,” Mor Weizer, CEO of Playtech, said.

“This partnership will act as an accelerator to Hard Rock Digital’s planned strategic initiative to expand its online gaming offerings to international markets, becoming the first operator with a global omni-channel offering under a singular, irreplaceable brand. This announcement only reinforces our commitment to lead innovation in the gaming industry and expand the ‘Hard Rock’ experience worldwide. We look forward to providing an authentic, digital experience for Hard Rock’s global fan base within a comprehensive, omni-channel offering,” said Jim Allen, Chairman of Hard Rock International and Chairman of the Board of HRD.

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Canada

Glitnor Group expands IBIA’s betting integrity presence in Ontario

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Glitnor Group, operating under the LCKY Group in Ontario, has joined the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA). Glitnor Group’s luckycasino.ca brand sportsbook will feed into IBIA’s world leading betting integrity monitoring platform. The operator joins over 50 companies and 125 leading sports betting brands in IBIA and further cements the association’s position as the leading sports betting integrity monitoring body in Ontario and globally.

David Schwieler LCKY Group CEO, said: “At Glitnor Group, we’re dead serious about keeping our betting games fair and square. That’s why teaming up with IBIA is a big deal for us. We know how crucial it is to protect the spirit of sports, and we’re ready to roll up our sleeves and work closely with the IBIA to make sure sports betting stays exciting, speedy, and above all, fair.”

Khalid Ali, CEO of IBIA, said: “I am delighted to welcome Glitnor Group as IBIA’s latest member in Ontario. Glitnor and IBIA share a common goal to maintain the integrity of the sports betting marketplace and to protecting consumers and sports from match-fixing. Ensuring product integrity is paramount to our approach and we look forward to integrating Glitnor within our leading global sports betting integrity monitoring system.”

IBIA is a not-for-profit body that has no competing conflicts with the delivery of commercial services to other sectors and is run by operators for operators to protect regulated sports betting markets from match-fixing. IBIA’s global monitoring network is a highly effective anti-corruption tool, detecting and reporting suspicious activity in regulated betting markets.

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Through the IBIA global monitoring network it is possible to track transactional activities linked to individual customer accounts. IBIA members have over $300bn per annum in betting turnover (handle), accounting for approximately 50% of the global commercial regulated land-based and online sports betting sector, and in excess of 50% for online alone.

IBIA recently released a report on the Availability of Sports Betting Products which highlighted Ontario as a leading regulated gambling jurisdiction, with an expected onshore channelisation for sports betting of 92% in 2024 forecast to rise to 97% in 2028. IBIA currently represents over 60% of the private sports betting operators licensed in the province. All online sports betting operators licensed in Ontario are required to be part of a betting integrity monitoring body.

IBIA’s 2023 annual integrity report detailed 184 alerts reported in the year, which represents a decrease of 101 (or 35%) on the revised 2022 figure of 285 alerts. IBIA alerts contributed to the investigations and subsequent successful sanctioning of 21 clubs, players and officials in 2023, an increase on the 15 sanctioned in 2022.

The post Glitnor Group expands IBIA’s betting integrity presence in Ontario appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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Bragg Gaming Group

Bragg Gaming Announces Resignation of Chief Financial Officer

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Bragg Gaming Group Inc., a global B2B gaming technology and content provider, announced that Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Ronen Kannor, has notified Bragg’s board of directors (Board) that he will resign from his position to pursue other career opportunities, effective June 3, 2024. The Company confirms that the search for a replacement CFO has commenced.

Matevž Mazij, Chief Executive Officer and Chair of the Board, commented: “We thank Ronen for his dedication and commitment to Bragg over the past four years and for his unwavering service as a pivotal member of the leadership team.

“During his tenure as CFO, the Company has undergone huge positive transformation including being uplisted to the Toronto Stock Exchange, dual listed on the NASDAQ and successfully completing two acquisitions, all while reporting consecutive years of revenue, gross profit and adjusted EBITDA growth. We wish Ronen all the very best in his future endeavors.”

Ronen Kannor commented: “It has been an honor to be part of the Bragg team which has successfully navigated many challenges and continued to deliver consistent growth over the past four years. I thank the Board for their support throughout my time with Bragg, and I am now fully focused on ensuring a smooth handover to my successor.

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“Special thanks goes to my finance team, who work tirelessly to deliver the positive change and financial growth that the Company continues to achieve. I wish them and all of my colleagues continued success with Bragg now and in the future.”

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Canada

Rivalry Reports Preliminary Fourth Quarter and Year-End 2023 Results

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  • Betting handle of $423.2 million in FY 20231 increased 82% year-over-year, while reducing marketing spend 15%.
  • Revenue of $35.7 million in FY 2023 increased 34%.
  • Gross profit of $16.2 million in FY 2023, up 66% year-over-year.
  • FY23 sets all-time records for average handle per customer, up nearly 30% year-over-year, average revenue per customer up 38% year-over-year, and record low cost of customer acquisition, down 15% year-over-year.
  • Total player registrations eclipsed 2 million in FY23 while extending Gen Z market leadership.
  • FY24 off to a strong start as the capital raised late Q4 is being effectively deployed – delivering strong KPIs, supported by betting margin trending toward a more than 20% increase over the average of FY23.
  • To meet growing consumer demand the Company is adding greater support for cryptocurrency and exploring implementation of adjacent crypto-enabled technologies.
  • Rivalry is seeing a rise in demand to license its in-house casino games, accelerating the advancement of its B2B vertical.
  • Company re-affirms guidance, anticipates achieving profitability in H1 2024.

Rivalry Corp. (the “Company” or “Rivalry”) (TSXV: RVLY) (OTCQX: RVLCF) (FSE: 9VK), the leading sportsbook and iGaming operator for Gen Z, today announced preliminary and unaudited financial results for the three and 12-month periods ended December 31, 2023. All dollar figures are quoted in Canadian dollars.

“Rivalry exited 2023 as an increasingly diversified company – both geographically and across our product suite,” said Steven Salz, Co-Founder and CEO of Rivalry. “Last year we gained meaningful traction in new segments such as traditional sports, casino, and fantasy, which is widening our opportunity set and positioning us for sustainable growth in the medium- to long-term. We’re happy to have finished the year with all-time high customer economics, diversified revenue streams, and a reinforced competitive moat around Gen Z betting entertainment and experiences.”

“During Q1 we have been strategically deploying capital from our fourth quarter investment in areas that are driving customer acquisition and revenue – such as amplifying proven marketing strategies, releasing higher margin products, and developing proprietary betting experiences – that we expect will begin materializing in our results throughout the first half of 2024 and beyond,” added Salz.

“Our operational excellence across product and brand marketing last year are seen across positive KPI trends and continued year-over-year growth. Ultimately, we are proving that we can acquire and retain a coveted Gen Z demographic through an entertainment-led product set, culturally relevant brand, and a team unafraid of pushing past a long-standing industry status quo.”

Preliminary Full-Year 2023 Highlights2

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  • Betting handle was $423.2 million in the year ended December 31, 2023, an increase of $190.4 million or 82% from $232.8 million in 2022.
  • Revenue was $35.7 million in 2023, an increase of $9.0 million or 34% compared to $26.6 million in the previous year.
  • Gross profit was $16.2 million in 2023, an increase of $6.4 million or 66% from $9.8 million of gross profit in 2022.
  • The Casino segment was a significant driver of growth in 2023, with revenues of $6.4 million up 92% from 2022, and representing 52% of betting handle in the year.
  • The Company expanded its casino offering significantly during 2023, including the release of a new original game Cash & Dash in September, entry into the slots category in October, and the launch of its iOS mobile app in Ontario, enhancing the mobile casino experience and its accessibility.
  • Diversified revenue streams through new segments including traditional sports, which has grown by 60% since FY22, and fantasy, highlighting the elasticity of Rivalry’s brand among Gen Z and broadening TAM.
  • Total operating expenses of $38.9 million in 2023 decreased by $1.0 million year-over-year. The decrease was driven by a reduction in marketing expense, offsetting increases in general & administration and technology & content expense incurred to support the growth of the business.
  • Net loss was $24.3 million for 2023, a reduction of 22% or $6.9 million from the net loss of $31.1 million in 2022.

Fourth Quarter 2023 Highlights

  • Betting handle for the three-month period ended December 31, 2023 was $85.2 million, an increase of $1.2 million or 1.5% from $83.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2022 while marketing spend decreased by 32%.
  • Revenue was $6.5 million in the Q4 2023, representing a decrease of $3.0 million or 32% from $9.4 million of revenue in Q4 2022 due to less favorable sportsbook outcomes compared against an abnormally favorable result experienced in Q4 2022. The Company notes that revenue as a percentage of betting handle was near the average achieved throughout FY23, highlighting the abnormally favorable margin outcome in the comparable quarter, Q4 2022.
  • Gross profit was $3.0 million in Q4 2023, a decrease of $2.0 million or 40% from $5.0 million of gross profit in Q4 2022. The year-over-year decline follows the relative margin impact noted previously. Gross profit as a percentage of betting handle in Q4 2023 was equal to the average in FY23. Rivalry is also pleased to note that its ongoing efforts to stabilize and improve margin are yielding results, with Q1 2024 trending toward a more than 20% improvement over the average in FY23.
  • Net loss was $9.0 million in Q4 2023, a reduction of $3.3 million compared to a net loss of $12.3 million in Q4 2022. Net loss adjusting for accruals, other non-cash items, and one-time expenses, would have been approximately $7.0 million.
  • On November 15, 2023, Rivalry strengthened its balance sheet with the announcement of a private placement offering of $14 million principal amount senior secured convertible debentures to scale several strategic verticals across marketing, product development, and geographic expansion.
  • Released Rivalry Ultimate Fan, a free-to-play NBA fantasy app, to acquire new users and engage existing customers within the product suite.
  • First-party game ‘Cash & Dash’ released in September demonstrated next generation appeal as it became the fifth most-played casino game on our platform and among the top ten highest-grossing by revenue with momentum carrying into Q1, creating downstream licensing opportunities for Rivalry’s IP.

Outlook

“The year ahead is rife with new, innovative product releases arriving in Q2 and continuing throughout 2024,” Salz added. “In addition to the strength of our core roadmap, we are in the process of unlocking what we believe to be two of the most material developments to our business model since launching Rivalry in 2018. The first is a B2B vertical to license our in-house developed games, and the second is exploration and development within the crypto ecosystem – each representing an impactful growth catalyst on our path to profitability this year.”

“I have never had more confidence in our product roadmap and what Rivalry is building this year. Apart from new products, original games, and proprietary features, we have been working to dial-up the overall feel and entertainment value of our core product to provide a tech-savvy, next generation customer with a tailored experience that is well-differentiated within the larger sports betting marketplace.”

Investor Conference Call

Management will host a conference call at 10:00 a.m. EDT on Friday, April 5, 2024 to discuss the Company’s preliminary unaudited year-end and fourth quarter 2023 financial results.

Dial-in: 800-717-1738 (toll free) or (+1) 289-514-5100 (local or international calls)
Webcast:         A live webcast can be accessed from the Events section of the Company’s website
A replay of the webcast will be archived on the Company’s website for one year.

Rivalry expects to file its audited financial statements and management discussion and analysis for the period ended December 31, 2023 by the end of April 2024. The documents will be available on SEDAR+ at sedarplus.ca, and on the Company’s website.

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Related Party Transaction

On April 17, 2022 the Company entered into a secured demand loan (the “Loan”) with Kevin Wimer, the Chief Operating Officer and a Director of the Company. Pursuant to the terms of the Loan, the Company loaned Mr. Wimer US$385,000 which amount bears interest at 3.2% per annum and was repayable on demand by the Company and in any event by April 17, 2024 (the “Maturity Date”). The Loan was entered into to assist Mr. Wimer with the funding of certain tax obligations and is secured by a pledge of Mr. Wimer’s subordinate voting shares of the Company. The Company announces today that it has entered into an amendment to the Loan (the “Loan Amendment”) to extend the Maturity Date to April 17, 2026. The Loan Amendment was approved by the non-interested directors of the Company.

Mr. Wimer is a “related party” of the Company within the meaning of Multilateral Instrument 61-101 – Protection of Minority Security Holders in Special Transactions (“MI 61-101“). As a result, the Loan Amendment is considered to be a “related party transaction” as such term is defined by MI 61-101. The Company is relying on an exemption from the minority shareholder approval requirement set out in MI 61-101 as the fair market value of the transaction does not exceed 25% of the market capitalization of the Company, as determined in accordance with MI 61-101. The Company did not file a material change report more than 21 days before entering into the closing of the Loan Amendment as the details of the Loan Amendment were not settled until shortly prior to the entering into thereof.

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