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BetMakers raises millions for US expansion

Thu, Jun 18, 9:34am by William Brown

BetMakers Technology Group is set to raise $35 million through a placement to fund its growth into the United States.

Market Herald reports that under the placement, the company will offer it shares for 37 cents each.

The company says the raise has been well supported by new and existing investors.

Last week, BetMakers signed a 10-year deal to distribute and manage Fixed Odds race betting in New Jersey.

The company says it continues to see opportunities in the United States to expand its growth.

Managing director Todd Buckingham said this placement puts BetMakers in a strong position as it continues to accelerate its growth plans.

“These plans include the distribution of Fixed Odds race betting into the United States, the expansion of our Managed Trading Services offering globally and the distribution of international racing content to wagering operators in Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom,” he said.

“We are grateful for the ongoing support shown from our existing investor base as well as the strong interest from new institutional investors in BetMakers,” he added.

BetMakers’ major shareholder, Tekkorp Capital, was a cornerstone investor in the placement.

The company has also reconfirmed its 2020 financial year guidance and is expecting around $9 million in revenue.

On the market on Wednesday, BetMakers was trading at A$0.43 at 4pm.

Flutter and TSG performing strongly

If all goes as planned, Flutter Entertainment will acquire The Stars Group sometime in 2020.

The original announcement of the merger in October 2019 noted that the companies anticipated closing the deal in the second or third quarter of 2020.

Casino Aus reported in March that as that time approaches, Flutter and The Stars Group both revealed their 2019 financials last week and both showed full-year revenue increases.

Though news later in the week regarding job losses put a damper on it for some, the overall feeling in the business world about the merger is positive.

The bottom line of the Flutter Entertainment year was a 14 per cent revenue increase to 2.14 billion pounds for the year ending December 31, 2019.

It wasn’t all wine and roses though, as the reported profit before tax was 136 million pounds, down from 219 million pounds the previous year.

Underlying EBITDA was 385 million pounds, down from 451 million pounds in 2018.

And profits attributable to equity shareholders came to 144 million pounds, down from 201 million pounds.

Even so, the proposed full-year dividend per ordinary share remained unchanged at 200p.

And the average number of responsible gambling interactions per month increased to 130,000 from the previous average of 70,000.

Australian revenue alone from Sportsbet was 446 million pounds, up 14 per cent year-on-year, despite the cost of sales as a percentage of revenue rising from 30.1 per cent to 40.7 per cent.

To combat that, Flutter increased its investment in customer generosity and personalised Sportsbet offerings.

That resulted in Sportsbet growing its active customer base by 9 per cent.

Stakes increased by three per cent from the previous year, though that rose to five per cent without counting the World Cup.

TSG posts bumper results

The Stars Group announced even better results, with a year-on-year revenue rise of 25 per cent to $2.53 billion.

CEO Rafi Ashkenazi praised the company’s constant currency revenue growth of seven per cent and attributed it primarily to its primary sports betting brands.

That vertical now accounts for 91 per cent of TSG’s revenues.

The full-year summary showed that 24.6 per cent revenue increase as well as a 16.9 per cent gross profit increase to $1.84 billion.

Operating income was up 1.6 per cent to $264 million, and adjusted ABITDA was up 17.9 per cent to $921 million.

Debts and operation cash were down for the year.


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