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LeoVegas carries out strategic measures in the UK and related cost initiatives

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LeoVegas is carrying out strategic changes coupled to the UK market and the Group’s organisation. During the first quarter the brands Rocket X provide managed services for will be migrated to the Group’s own technical platform, while the Royal Panda brand will leave the UK to instead focus on fast-growing markets in Europe and the Rest of the world. This will result in a more focused and efficient operation that fully uses economies of scale in technology, product and organisation. As a result of the company’s efficiency improvement work, a planned relocation to new offices in Malta is being called off. These various initiatives will lead to annual cost savings of approximately EUR 3.7 m. One-off restructuring costs of EUR 6.1 m will be charged against operating profit for the fourth quarter. LeoVegas is also recognising an impairment loss of approximately EUR 10 m on its investment in Royal Panda.

The UK market for online gaming has changed dramatically in recent years, such as with respect to stricter demands on compliance and higher gambling taxes. At the same time, since the trade and assets of IPS (Rocket X managed brands) and Royal Panda, LeoVegas has conducted its operations in the UK on three separate technical platforms and with three slightly separate organisations, which has resulted in internal complexity. As a result, in 2019 the marketing organisations for LeoVegas UK and Rocket X were integrated into a single unit. The Group is now taking the next step by migrating the Rocket X managed brand portfolio from a third-party solution to the Group’s own multibrand platform Rhino, where all technology is owned and run by LeoVegas. Parallel with this, Royal Panda is leaving the UK market, which entails that all operations coupled to the UK going forward will be driven on the same technical platform and with a joint organisation for technology, products, customer service, marketing and compliance.

The strategic initiatives were begun during the fourth quarter of 2019 and are expected to be largely completed during the first quarter of this year. The measures are expected to generate cost synergies in areas such as marketing, products, payments and customer service, and will result in reduced complexity in compliance. The annual savings relating to the UK are estimated to be approximately EUR 2.0 m after the migration has been completed and consist mainly of lower platform and product costs and a more efficient organisation.

During the fourth quarter Royal Panda had sales of approximately EUR 1.1 m in the UK with negative profitability and is not expected to generate significant revenue during the first quarter of 2020. Revenue for the remaining operations in the UK, consisting of 13 brands including LeoVegas, 21.co.uk and BetUK, grew 15% during the fourth quarter over the third quarter and showed good profitability.

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LeoVegas’ focus on efficiency and cost control during the past year, including the now-communicated measures in the UK, have contributed to a much more optimised organisation with improved processes. The number of full-time equivalent employees in the Group has decreased from just under 900 to around 800 during the past year. The Group has therefore decided to cancel its contract for new, larger premises in Malta in 2021 and will instead stay in its existing facilities during the coming five-year period. The annual cost savings compared with the previously planned move will amount to EUR 1.7 m per year.

The initiatives will give rise to total restructuring costs of EUR 6.1 m, which will be charged against operating profit (EBIT) for the fourth quarter. The costs are mainly related to early cancellations of third-party agreements on platforms and products, penalties for cancellation of the new lease in Malta, discontinuation costs for Royal Panda’s operations in the UK, and impairment of LeoVegas Gaming’s intangible assets coupled to Rocket X’s previous technological development. In addition to this, LeoVegas is recognising an impairment loss of approximately EUR 10 m for its investment in Royal Panda. All of the cited costs will be reported as items affecting comparability in the fourth quarter interim report. The operating profit in the fourth quarter will also include a capital gain of EUR 11.4 m from the previously communicated sale of the subsidiary Authentic Gaming, which will also be reported under items affecting comparability.

“The strategic initiatives we are now carrying out will create optimal conditions to be successful in the large, but at the same time complex, UK market,” comments Gustaf Hagman, Group CEO. “The consolidation of brands into one and the same platform will contribute to large economies of scale in the Group – both by allowing us to fully utilise our multibrand technology and through a more efficient organisation. Already during the second half of last year, the LeoVegas and Rocket X managed brands in the UK began to perform favourably, and the new structure gives us a good starting point to increase both growth and profitability in the UK market during 2020. At the same time, Royal Panda – which has struggled with weak performance in the UK but has performed well in other markets – can now focus fully on growth outside of the UK and also launch the brand in a couple of new markets in and outside of Europe.”

LeoVegas will publish its interim report for the fourth quarter of 2019 at 8 a.m. CET on 14 February.

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Press Releases

Southampton Football Club announces Rollbit as its Front-of-Shirt Partner

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Southampton Football Club has announced that Rollbit, an innovator in the world of online gaming and entertainment, has become its official Front-of-Shirt Partner.

The partnership will see Rollbit’s logo front and centre of the Men’s First Team shirts and they will have visibility around St Mary’s through LED advertising and hospitality.

Launched in 2020, Rollbit is making huge strides in the online gaming, esports and entertainment space. Through their platform, Rollbit blends entertainment with investment in an innovative way, including the creation of digital gaming spaces for its users to explore.

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The company has grown to have a huge global presence, with recent partnerships including the likes of Serie A giants Napoli and with the world’s most subscribed esports gaming team, FaZe Clan, who have over 8.5million subscribers on YouTube alone.

Southampton Football Club becomes Rollbit’s first partner within the Premier League, bringing together two organisations that share a commitment to innovation and delivering great experiences for their respective audiences.

Greg Baker, Chief Revenue Officer for Southampton Football Club said: “We’re pleased to welcome Rollbit, a leader in the online gaming space, into the Saints family as our official Front-of-Shirt Partner. This partnership marks a dynamic fusion of technology and sport, at an exciting time for the club as we embark on our journey back in the Premier League. Together, we look forward to creating unforgettable moments for our fans.”

Sam Norman, Head of Partnerships for Rollbit said: “Rollbit is delighted to announce its latest partnership with Southampton FC following on from their incredible win in the playoff final. We feel Southampton is the perfect club to embark on this journey with as we look to continue to expand our presence globally with one of the Premier League’s most respected teams. We believe in the vision of the club that embodies our commitment to innovation and excellence and look forward to cheering on with Saints fans everywhere in this exciting next chapter for Southampton.”

 

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Oddin.gg fuels Dafabet with its esports odds feed and a variety of fast betting content including eCricket

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Oddin.gg is proud to announce its new partnership with Dafabet, a globally recognized platform and online betting powerhouse with global reach. Oddin.gg’s awarded odds feed has further improved the offer of one of the world’s biggest online bookmakers.

Dafabet stands out as one of the premier online betting platforms, boasting a vast, worldwide user base and a top-quality selection of offerings. With the integration of Oddin.gg’s comprehensive suite of esports products, Dafabet will enhance its esports betting experience for bettors by providing creative, esports-only markets and superior betting odds.

Leveraging Oddin.gg’s cutting-edge odds feed, known for its reliability, industry-leading uptime, and profitability, Dafabet will offer an enriched betting experience. The Dafa Sports betting site will also feature Oddin.gg’s fast betting content, including eFootball, eBasketball, and a unique eCricket.

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Additionally, it will introduce a globally unique Counter Strike 2, 1 on 1 format and both male and female versions of a fast-paced table tennis betting product.

By incorporating Oddin.gg’s advanced technology, Dafabet will expand its esports markets, offering a broader range of options to its users regardless of their preferred platform: desktop, Android, iOS. This integration not only enriches Dafabet’s esports portfolio but also sets a new industry standard, combining Dafabet’s robust betting infrastructure with Oddin.gg’s expertise in esports betting.

James Barnfather, Head of Sports at Dafabet, comments: “With the esports industry skyrocketing, a trend we’ve already observed in our sportsbook, we recognized the need to supercharge our offerings to match market demand. Choosing Oddin.gg was an easy choice due to their unparalleled expertise and ideal product suite for our needs. This new alliance with Oddin.gg empowers us to intensify our commitment to esports betting globally. We have been eagerly anticipating the launch of these enhanced features for our players. On top of it, we see great potential in a 24/7 eCricket solution in line with growing appetite for cricket betting, yet lacking enough content such as football. The product is a perfect solution to fill the gaps. On the integration side, we have collaborated with various partners, and the feedback on Oddin’s integration has been overwhelmingly positive. Our team rates it as one of the best experiences, noting the prompt and precise responses.

Marek Suchar, Managing Director and Co-founder at Oddin.gg, explained why he is enthusiastic about the partnership: “We are really excited about this partnership with such a strong and well-known traditional brand. We admire the top expertise of Dafabet’s team combined with the massive community impact they have with their sponsorships. We feel honored to bring the most engaging esports betting experience to all Dafabet’s clients globally. Dafabet is also renowned for their commitment to responsible gaming and integrity which is in line with our long-term vision for the esports industry.”

 

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The post Oddin.gg fuels Dafabet with its esports odds feed and a variety of fast betting content including eCricket appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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MERKUR UK strike 3-year University project to research next-generation gaming technologies

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MERKUR UK is pioneering the development of the gaming machines of the future following a partnership agreement with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

A group of ten students from the University’s technology department will participate in the three year project entitled ‘The next generation of gaming technology’.

The research project will explore machine design, the use of composite materials to reduce manufacturing and transport costs and how AI can be applied in predictive machine maintenance.

Sascha Blodau, General Manager at MERKUR UK said: “I am delighted to confirm this dynamic project which will bring a fresh and exciting perspective on how technology can be deployed to develop the next generation of gaming machines.”
He added: “This type of collaboration is a first in the UK land-based sector and the outcomes could well have profound implications for the way in which gambling entertainment is delivered to and enjoyed by players.”

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MERKUR UK joins an illustrious list of UCLan research partners which includes NASA, the English Football Association, the Professional Golfers Association and the International Olympic Committee.

The post MERKUR UK strike 3-year University project to research next-generation gaming technologies appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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