BUSINESS

Australia saves Sportingbet’s bacon

TAGs: andre mciver, Australia, spain, Sportingbet

sportingbet logo 2012Sportingbet’s Australian operations are helping to remedy poor economic conditions in the European market. Things are very much as-you-were at the sports betting specialists with Australia continuing to save their bacon – or should we say shrimp? In the final quarter of the year to July 31, net gaming revenue in the country increased 93 percent compared with the previous year. The company said that synergies following the integration of Centrebet were ahead of schedule and that the country still represents a “substantial majority” of the entire group’s EBITDA. If only the same could be said in Europe.

Spain, the firm’s largest European market, was shut for the first 35 days of the quarter and that had a significant impact as European NGR dropped 41 percent. Even once the Spanish market was back open, the press release blamed “challenging economic conditions” and a combination of new regulation and the subsequent taxation for a slow down in Europe.

This is nothing that we haven’t heard before as far as Sportingbet are concerned with Andrew McIver, CEO of the group, telling our own Rebecca Liggero almost a carbon copy back in March. Sportingbet are still likely to “ride out” the downturn with the hope that their product will carry them through the economic strife that is Europe. A lot will depend on how long the economy takes to recover and the future of the firm could very much being in the Southern Hemisphere.

South America has long been an attractive part of the world for the firm that McIver heads and it’s not all because of the chance to snare a bikini-clad Brazilian beauty. The region is growing at a rate that will soon challenge Europe with Brazil and Chile the places to watch.

The other American continent to the North is where you’d imagine they’d love a licence at some point. They won’t be too hasty though as a $33m funding transfer to the DOJ will mean they’re a lot more cautious than some. What’s clear is that Australia is their shining light and if they continue to perform well Down Under any exacerbation of the European woes won’t be as disastrous as it could be.

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