BUSINESS

Sky Betting & Gaming cements status as major UK player

TAGs: Sky Betting and Gaming

sky-betting-gaming-revenueOnline gambling operator Sky Betting & Gaming (SB&G) has confirmed its status as a major UK player with the release of its fiscal 2017 report card.

Figures released Wednesday show SB&G generated revenue of £516m in the 12 months ending June 30, a 38% rise over the previous year’s sum and more than twice the £248m generated in fiscal 2015. Earnings were also up 38% to £146m.

SB&G reported 2.6m registered customers across its five betting and gaming brands, 31% more than the previous year. The company cited Kantar research indicating that nearly one-third (32%) of the UK’s monthly online gamblers are now using SB&G brands.

The customer growth helped push sportsbook stakes up 40% year-on-year to £3.4b, more than twice the £1.5b that Sky Bet handled in fiscal 2015. Average revenue per user rose 5% to £201.

Mobile continues to be a source of strength, with mobile channels’ share of overall revenue improving 12 points to 82% in the most recent report as mobile log-ins rose more than threefold over the past three years.

The past year saw SB&G’s workforce add nearly 200 jobs, bringing its total workforce to 1,253. The company has also expanded geographically, launching licensed operations in Italy in late 2016 and hanging out its shingle in Germany as of this month.

SB&G CEO Richard Flint used his company’s results to reveal that he’d written to UK Chancellor Philip Hammond urging him not to boost gambling taxes in the government’s upcoming budget, saying any “unsustainable” increases would threaten SB&G’s plans to continue boosting its local workforce.

The government hasn’t signaled any plan to hike the 15% online point of consumption tax it imposed in December 2014 but Flint suggested it was “not inconceivable” that the government would look to squeeze the industry to make up revenue shortfalls in other areas, such as new restrictions on fixed-odds betting terminals in high street betting shops.

Flint dismissed talk that SB&G would join the UK online gambling market’s current mergers & acquisition square dance, saying the company has “no plans to participate in any consolidation.” Flint suggested the company’s hedge fund owners CVC Capital Partners might consider a public float for SB&G at some future date but there are “no current plans” to do so.

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