Apr 11: ICE is back
ICE is back, Kindred issues a profit warning, American Affiliate analyst call, startup focus - quarter 4 +More
Kindred pins Dutch withdrawal for 76% collapse in profits.
ICE is back at the Excel Centre, London.
Startup focus looks at AI sports prediction company Quarter4.
American Affiliate has a chat with Truist.
London Calling. Click below:
On ICE: Welcome back to the Excel Centre in London. It’s been more than two years since the European betting and gaming industry’s flagship event last took place. While there has been much talk over recent weeks about high-profile absentees and the timing of the event, there has also been much social media commentary looking forward to getting together once again.
This newsletter will be there and will be reporting back later in the week.
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Kindred profit warning
Q1 EBITDA falls by 76% to €25m while revenue is down 30% to €247m.
Ex-Netherlands revenue down 5%, 1% down in constant currency terms.
Take a dive: Kindred’s Dutch woes continued after it announced that Q1 revenues and operating profits would be well down on the previous year.
The news follows on from its Q4 decline when revenue fell by 33% and EBITDA was down 77%. Sequentially, revenues rose €2.1m but EBITDA fell €2.6m.
Share price reaction: Kindred’s shares fell by over 13% on Friday as investors absorbed the news.
Ticking clock: Kindred reiterated the Netherlands exclusion was temporary. At the time of its Q4 earnings, it said it would be back up and running in the Netherlands by Q2.
American Affiliate analyst call
Good call: Chris Grove and Sean Hurley from American Affiliate (the owners of this newsletter) and part of FansUnite spoke last week with the analysts from Truist who came away “incrementally positive” on the prospects for the affiliate marketing sector.
The pair noted that the “rule of thumb” for affiliate marketing was that it was worth c.10% of the combined OSB/igaming TAM.
This supports fellow listed affiliate Gambling.com’s estimate for US betting and gaming affiliate TAM of ~$4bn.
Skinning the cat: Noting the debate over CPA versus revenue share, Truist said that American Affiliate prefers the CPA route.
Revenue share provides theoretically higher upside but LTV is “difficult'' for operators to estimate, players rarely hit the target levels and the technical capability to track is also not yet in place.
The CPA model allows affiliates to see “more dynamic pricing” and variations between operators as well as benefit from brand churning.
Typical CPA for at scale affiliates ranges about $350 for sportsbooks, while iGaming customers could be worth 2.0-2.5x, though fewer iGaming markets are online today while states have been much slower to legalize.
Affiliate shift: Truist said Grove and Hurley see more of operators’ paid advertising spend to move towards affiliates, noting it is more trackable than many above-the-line advertising options.
Truist: “It makes increasing sense for operators to shift spend to (affiliates) given the promotional marketplace has rendered traditional advertising costs unreasonable.”
Startup focus - Quarter4
Who, what, where and when: The Canadian-based Quarter4 is an AI-driven sports prediction business founded in 2019 by co-founders Kelly Brooks and Danijela Covic.
Funding backgrounder: The company has received two rounds of funding totaling $1.75m from Canadian fund Cardinal Sports Capital.
So what's new? The company recently partnered up with the FTN Network to produce data streams and in-game probabilities for FTN’s fantasy sports offerings. It has also done a deal with Parleh Media for the provision of data analysis and betting picks videos for its range of digital content and followed up with a deal with BettorEdge, the sports-betting exchange and social platform.
The longer pitch: “The machine loves data,” Brooks says of the AI-driven sports prediction platform she and co-founder Covic have built. She adds that the product “exists to reduce acquisition costs”.
“Our customers use it to engage their own customers. Whether that is a sportsbook or a media player or an affiliate. It’s almost like a very rapid Twitter feed, offering insights on the probability of the team winning the next face off or the next three point shot going in.”
Latency: An obvious route for expansion would be into sports broadcasts but Brooks admits that latency issues are a tough hurdle to get over. “A lot of times our predictions are running ahead of the broadcasts,” she notes. To counter latency, the company is working on providing insights for the next fifteen minutes.
Player props: Another area of focus is the player. “I think it is one of our key drivers,” says Brooks. “Player props are going to be a vital part of in-play going forward.”
The week ahead
Super Group publishes its Q4s on Wednesday. The company behind the Betway and Spin betting and gaming brands has already announced 2021 NGR of $1.53bn and H121 EBITDA of $179m. Analysts have said the cash flow generation could lead to more M&A as the group looks to provide value to its shareholders. As mentioned, ICE and IGB Affiliate are back and Wagers.com Earnings +More will be there to report on the comings and goings at the event.
The shares week
888 ended the day (Apr 7) up 24% following news of the £250m discount it negotiated with Caesars over its acquisition of William Hill’s international business. For the week it was up 6.25% as it announced a price of £1.95bn-£2.05bn for Hills’ non-US activities. The lack of news flow over the cash raise to finance the deal had led to some uncertainty over whether it would happen and a share price fall of more than 50% since it was announced seven months ago.
New York Mar22: OSB revenue grew 38.7% in the Empire State to $114.2m and handle was up 7.2% to $1.6bn in March. FanDuel is market leader with 41% share of handle and 51% of revenue. DraftKings is second with 25.3% of handle and 20% of revenue.
Illinois Feb22 sports-betting: FanDuel and DraftKings were neck-and-neck on 31.2% of handle market share while Rush Street was thyroid with 17.3%. FanDuel and DraftKings also tied in revenue terms at 31.3% with BetRivers on 20.8%.
Overall market GGR rose 0.6% YoY to $35.6m on handle that rose 33.3% to $679.4m.
Iowa: GGR came in at $163.7m for Mar22, up 14.7% versus Mar19 but down 1.8% YoY. Q122 revenue was up 24.8% vs. Q119 and 6.7% up YoY. Sports-betting GGR hit $14.4m, up 68% sequentially on improved handle. GGR and handle increased YoY by 7.1% and 44.7%, respectively.
Missouri: GGR of $176.4m was down 0.1% YoY and 6.0% above Mar19. Penn National’s properties GGR was up 16% YoY while Bally’s rose 12% YoY. But Caesars’ properties were down 11.2% as was Boyd’s (down 5.5% YoY.
New York will launch a bidding process next year for three downstate casinos as part of the $220bn budget signed into law by Gov. Kathy Hochul. Licensing fees will be set at $500m, license terms will most likely be for 10 years. MGM’s Empire City and Genting’s Resorts World are early favorites for licenses as they offer the option of getting full resorts up and running quickly. On the sports betting front, Senator Joe Addabbo has ruled out additional licenses for 2022-23. West Virginia expects to have online lottery products available to residents by Spring 2023, the state’s lottery director John Myers has commented.
PokerStars and FanDuel, both part of Flutter Entertainment, today announced a joint partnership with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. The strategic partnership sees the FanDuel Sportsbook designated as an official sports betting partner, and PokerStars as an official gaming partner. The NHL has expanded its partnership deals with BetMGM and FanDuel to include Canada, following last week’s Ontario launch.
A safe pick: Bruce Lowthers, former FIS President has been appointed as CEO at Paysafe and will join the company by May 1. He succeeds Philip McHugh. The company reaffirmed its revenue and adjusted EBITDA guidance for Q1 and FY2022.
Ad ban support: The Betting and Gaming Council has announced its support for new rules banning the use of professional athletes and celebrities in betting and gaming advertisements. The new rules take effect on October 1.
And they're off: PA Betting Services has partnered with Quantum Leap Solutions to create a new range of innovative betting products focused on international racing.
Pitch: Kambi has added Major League Baseball (MLB) betting options to its parlay product, allowing customers to combine multiple baseball bet offers when placing their parlay bets.
What we’re reading
John Authers: What you’re expecting from earnings season probably isn’t going to happen.
Day-trading is ruining middle-class people’s lives.
When the ship goes down: bet365, SkyBet, William Hill and Ladbrokes all down during the Grand National.
Apr 11: Intralot analyst call
Apr 12-14: ICE, London
Apr 13: Super Group Q4
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