UK-listed online gambling technology provider GAN is mulling flogging itself to the highest bidder now that it’s US-based operations are growing.
On Friday, GAN informed investors that its net revenue hit £10.6m in 2018, a 16% improvement over 2017’s tally. However, the company’s so-called ‘clean’ earnings swung to a £1.5m loss from a modest £454k profit in 2017 and the company’s pre-tax losses grew by £2.5m to £6.7m.
GAN insists that the negative numbers don’t tell the full story, noting that its US-facing real-money online gambling and sports betting operations grew much quicker than its free-play Simulated Gaming business, which launched only one new client in 2018. Last year marked the first time that real-money gaming revenue (£5.3m) eclipsed GAN’s social casino operations (£4.3m).
GAN launched its second real-money online casino client in New Jersey (Ocean Resort Casino) last July, joining the New Jersey-licensed Betfair Casino site of UK operator Paddy Power Betfair (PPB). GAN also helped launch online sports betting for PPB’s FanDuel brand in New Jersey.
In Pennsylvania, GAN expects to launch real-money online casino and sports betting operations for the Parx Casino and FanDuel’s sports betting operations sometime this summer. GAN has a similar betting deal for FanDuel’s operations in West Virginia.
Last January, PPB signed a five-year deal to license GAN’s US patent for linking customers’ rewards accounts to their online gambling accounts. GAN remains hopeful that it can convince/cajole/browbeat other operators into similarly licensing its patent technology, thus providing a healthy additional revenue stream going forward.
In Europe, GAN launched the Chickasaw Nation’s ‘Overseas Internet Casino’ site (WinStar.com) in January 2018, although GAN’s report was notably muted in discussing the site’s progress, except to say that it had resulted in a £200k loss to date.
GAN’s biggest announcement on Friday was its commencement of a review of “various strategic alternatives,” including a US stock market listing, seeking a strategic investor to take a non-controlling stake in the company or a “formal sale process” that could see someone else take hold of GAN’s reins.
GAN stressed that it wasn’t currently having discussions with any third parties regarding a potential sale, but the company has engaged advisory firm Union Gaming to provide counsel on this front. GAN investors managed to weather the news without too much panic, with the shares closing out Friday’s trading down 4% to 49p.