Bet-at-home income down; signs of life at Purple Lounge; FanDuel doubles staff


fanduel-purple-lounge-bet-at-homeBetClic Everest subsidiary Bet-at-home had a rollercoaster Q1, with revenues significantly up but income dramatically down. Turnover rose 23.5% to €527m, gross gaming revenue rose 15.4% to €21.1m and net revenue was up 15.9% to €18.85m. Despite all this, income fell 43% to €1.43m, weighed down by a 39.3% boost in advertising spend to €11.09m. The company says it’s just amassing a larger player base ahead of the Euro 2012 Football Championship this summer.

The circumstances behind the abrupt shutdown of online gambling operator Purple Lounge last month by parent company Media Corp remain somewhat opaque. But on Tuesday, player @MattboyAU tweeted a screenshot of what he claimed was the “first communication” he’d received from Purple Lounge since being locked out. “Apologies for the ongoing suspension of our gaming services. We are continuing to work towards a resolution for all Purple Lounge players and will be in contact within the next 5 business days. “

Online fantasy sports betting service FanDuel expects to post a profit in 2012. The Edinburgh/New York-based company, which began life as Hubdub, made its US debut two years ago on the pages of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Players liked FanDuel’s concept of reducing a fantasy team’s entire season to a single day or week – the Rush Poker of standard rotisserie leagues – while FanDuel liked taking 10% of player entry fees. The company pays out $830k to players each week and co-founder Nigel Eccles told Scotland on Sunday that FanDuel had converted but “a tiny fraction” of the estimated 30m US fantasy sports players.

FanDuel has benefited immensely from the fantasy sports exemption contained in the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA); so much so, Eccles says the company needs to double its workforce (to around 45). FanDuel also needs new Edinburgh digs in which to house all these buzzing brains, so the company raised an additional $1.3m last month from existing investors, including Pentech Ventures and Piton Capital. Eccles called his firm’s approach “the future of fantasy sports. Our users are in their 20s, while traditional players are now in their 40s. In ten years time, this will be the dominant way of playing fantasy sports.”