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Sportech Proposes to De-list from London as Half-year Loss Narrows

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Sportech PLC on Monday said it wants to de-list from the AIM market in London, citing “significant burdens,” both financial and non-financial, of maintaining a public listing, while the US-focused gambling operator also reported a narrowed half-year loss.

Shares fell 43% to 55.500 pence early Monday in London in response.

Edinburgh-based Sportech runs sports bars and other betting venues in Connecticut. It also offers online gaming in the north eastern US state via mywinners.com and pari-mutuel betting online across all of the US via 123.bet.com.

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Pretax loss from continuing operations in the six months that ended June 30 was GBP304,000, narrowed from GBP802,000 a year before, as revenue rose by 7.7% to GBP13.5 million from GBP12.6 million.

Sportech credited a focus on margins for the narrowed loss. Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose to GBP900,000 from GBP400,000.

Sportech had GBP7.8 million in cash, excluding customer balances, up from GBP7.4 million on December 31, though this was reduced to GBP3.6 million at the end of August by a GBP3.5 million return of capital to shareholders last month. The company announced no new returns on Monday.

Sportech will ask for shareholders’ approval to cancel its shares from AIM and re-register as a private limited company. Shareholders then will be offered a third-party matched bargain facility to allow them to buy and sell shares following cancellation.

“Despite delivering improving operational results announced today, the substantial financial cost associated with maintaining a public listing, given our current scale, and the increasing volatility in the market valuation is adversely impacting net returns and future prospects,” explained Executive Chair Richard McGuire.

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“Regrettably, in light of these circumstances, we find it necessary to take the difficult but pragmatic step of proposing delisting from the AIM market today.”

partnerships

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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Sports Betting

David Power, Co-founder of Paddy Power, Passes Away at 77

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David Power, Co-Founder of Paddy Power, passed away at the age of 77 on Monday, July 8.

David Power’s family has been associated with betting since 1895. He ran the family betting shop business for several years before deciding to expand. In 1988 he partnered with Stewart Kenny and Vincent O’Reilly, who had sold Kenny O’Reilly Bookmakers to Coral a few years prior.

Kenny and O’Reilly had gone on to open 10 shops of their own, with these merging with the Power family’s 30 shops. From here, the Paddy Power brand was established, with all shops rebranded to reflect the change.

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The business continued to grow throughout the 1990s, with David Power serving as CEO from 1988 to 2002. During this period, the company expanded online and added casinos to its product offering.

Although he stepped down as CEO in the 2000s, he remained on the board until 2013. In 2000, the company was listed on both the Irish and London Stock Exchanges; it became the first bookmaker on the Apple app store in 2010; and merged with Betfair in 2016.

A couple of years later, the business also acquired FanDuel. A year later, the group dropped its Paddy Power Betfair operating name to rebrand as Flutter Entertainment. Months later, it agreed on a mega-merger with The Stars Group.

“David was immensely proud that his plucky Irish business, with its 40 shops initially, paved the way for Flutter to become the global leader in online sports betting and iGaming it is today,” Flutter said.

“Everyone at Flutter, including Paddy Power colleagues past and present, offer the Power family our condolences. May David rest in peace.”

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The post David Power, Co-founder of Paddy Power, Passes Away at 77 appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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UK

Grosvenor Casinos’ Dealer of the Year Competition Winner 41-Year-Old Ray

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Ray Schneider, a casino dealer at The Barracuda Grosvenor Casino on Baker Street, London, has won the Grosvenor Casino Dealer of the Year 2024.

Fighting off stiff competition from 650 other dealers in the UK and 18 finalists, he came out on top in all three areas of the competition: customer service, technical skills, and game control. Ray, who originally hails from Hungary, demonstrated his exceptional talent by scoring the highest in all the competition rounds.

41-year-old Ray won over the judges after going head-to-head in a series of skills challenges in Grosvenor Casinos’ annual “Dealer of the Year” competition final held in Coventry. Ray fell into his job as a dealer by accident, but then after a week or so of dealing, including at the roulette table, he fell in love with the role. Ray has worked at many of London’s top casinos, including his current role at The Barracuda for the last one and a half years.

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Ray finished the competition with a score of 21.267 across all challenges. The skills that wowed the panel of judges included his strong customer service, technical abilities including chip dexterity and chip payout, and also game control, including the close down of betting, and ensuring everything on the table was in the right positions.

18 finalists from all corners of the country were tested by a panel of 18 judges in their aptitude and skills to deal traditional table casino games including blackjack and roulette.

Speaking after his win, Ray said: “I think I am still in shock. It’s been a great event and the competition has been fierce, so I am thrilled to have been awarded Dealer of the Year. It’s such an honour to be crowned the best in the business and show off my skills.”

Dave Allen, Gaming Performance Manager, commented on the Dealer of the Year competition: “The competition is such a fantastic platform to see first-hand the level of talent amongst our team. We have so many passionate experts at Grosvenor Casinos; the competition really highlighted this this evening. Ray stood out to all the judges in all areas of the competition including his exceptional customer service and technical skills.”

Nicci Smith, Managing Director of one of the sponsors, TCSJOHNHUXLEY, said: “We have loved being sponsors of this fantastic event over the past eleven years. We understand the vital role dealers play at casinos – from giving outstanding customer service to wowing players with skill and professionalism. It’s been a pleasure to witness so much talent at the competition.”

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The post Grosvenor Casinos’ Dealer of the Year Competition Winner 41-Year-Old Ray appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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