Renowned gambling entity Betsson recently published its financial results for the third quarter of 2023. The company accumulated a record-high revenue for the third successive quarter, marking a 19 percent year-on-year (YoY) increase. The Casino and Sportsbook segments recorded a YoY increase, with the former showing an impressive 27 percent growth while the latter recorded a marginal two percent spike. Active consumers and the net profit also increased during Q3 2023.
Betsson is a holding company always looking to invest in and manage promising online gambling operators. The Malta-based entity is one of the largest iGaming entities in Europe, and its objective is to outgrow the gambling market organically and via strategic acquisitions. The Betsson-owned subsidiaries offer online casinos, sports betting, and other online games of chance, like virtual slots, poker, and more. With an ambition to provide gambling via multiple brands, Betsson has acquired multiple big-name operators like Betsafe, NordicBet, and more. All subsidiaries operate on a proprietary platform that delivers the best possible interface for their existing and new customers. Thanks to its brands, Betsson holds gaming licenses in 23 regulated gambling jurisdictions. Established in Sweden, Betsson moved its headquarters to Malta to capitalize on the favourable regulatory environment and tax benefits offered by the regulated jurisdiction. A low corporate tax rate of 35 percent and a tax refund system that can reduce the effective tax rate to as low as five percent makes Malta an attractive destination for all gambling operators in the world.
Recently, Betsson published its Q3 2023 report that showcased strong financial development and high customer activity. The revenue recorded a significant 19 percent YoY increase. In the corresponding period last year, Betsson had accumulated €200.3 million. In Q3 2023, driven mainly by the online casino segment, the figure has touched €237.6 million. The casino revenue spiked 27 percent as revenue increased from €135.4 million in Q3 2022 to €172.1 million in Q3 2023. There was no stagnation in the sportsbook segment, but a YoY increase from €61.9 million to €63.3 million only marked a slender two percent increase. Betsson’s earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) increased 46 percent from €38.4 million in the corresponding quarter last year to €56 million in Q3 2023. The net quarterly revenue touched a record-high number for the third consecutive quarter as Betsson marked sequential revenue and earnings growth for the seventh successive quarter. A 17 percent YoY increase in active customers brought almost 181,000 new gamblers to the platforms of Betsson’s subsidiaries. Due to that increase, Deposits spiked 31 percent, reaching €1.2 billion.
This year, Betsson has cracked beneficial deals in the Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) and Strategic Partnerships verticals. In July, Betsson acquired Belgian sports betting and iGaming operator betFIRST. The Malta-based company splashed €120 million on the takeover, of which up to €3 million was an earnout payment subject to certain conditions being met, all payable in cash. Existing cash from its balance sheet and existing credit facilities enabled Betsson to finance the acquisition, which is expected to boost revenue and profits in the near future. Shortly after the takeover, Betsson announced a strategic partnership with a famous French casino operator, Groupe Partouche. The collaboration provided Betsson with critical access to the competitive Belgian market, a further diversified geographical footprint, and an increased share of revenue from locally regulated markets. Betsson intends to continue operating the betFIRST sports betting business as it is today while exploring potential synergies in the mid-to-long term. With a new range of online casino games, the Malta-based company expects betFIRST to become one of the biggest operators in Belgium.
The President and CEO of Betsson, Pontus Lindwall, summarized his company’s performance during the third quarter of this year.
“The revenue and EBIT, which include the acquisition of betFIRST, were the highest ever for Betsson in a single quarter and mark the seventh quarter in a row with sequential growth. Active customers and deposits increased significantly during the quarter, and turnover was high in both casino and sports betting. The sportsbook margin was 7.3 percent for the quarter and was negatively affected by many favourite wins and goal-rich games during the start of the European football leagues. Revenue for the Group growth was broad-based with high growth in all major regions except for the Nordics. The geographical expansion continues and several new milestones were passed during the quarter; betFIRST in Belgium was included in the Betsson Group, a launch took place on the locally regulated market in Serbia and a local license for sports betting was obtained in France, where go-live is expected in the fourth quarter.”
Crucial Strategic Partnerships Signed by Betsson
The partnership with Groupe Partouche after the betFIRST acquisition was not the only strategic partnership deal Betsson was part of this year. Several more deals were struck, either to improve the services of its subsidiaries or increase brand visibility in the global market. In September this year, Betsson struck a shirt sponsorship deal with Racing Club de Avellaneda for the ongoing Argentine Primera Division season. The primary objective of the deal is to increase the brand’s visibility in the LATAM region. Under the terms of this partnership, the Argentine football club will feature Betsson’s logo on the upper back of the men’s and women’s Top Division football teams’ shirts for all matches, including the league games and the ones the club plays in the Copa Libertadores. The Malta-based company’s revenue from LATAM increased 33 percent YoY and touched 51.7 million in Q3 2023.
A similar but bigger deal was struck with 35-time Primera Division champions Boca Juniors in June this year. This deal saw Betsson becoming the main shirt sponsor of the men’s and women’s Top Division football teams for the ongoing season, and this deal will remain active till the end of 2024. Other deals include the strategic partnership with data and betting content provider BETER. The expanded agreement between the two companies will see the Cyprus-based company provide Betsson with a feed for eSports odds and access to its eSportsBattle series of tournaments conducted in real-time between real-world players. In July, Betsson became an official sponsor of the IHF World Women’s Handball Championship, which is scheduled to start at the end of November. The deal will put Betsson’s branding on the LED screens in and around the arena.
European Growth Continues as Betsson Enters France
Betsson had a French connection when it signed a strategic partnership deal with Groupe Partouche. However, the collaboration was for Belgium, not France. The French gambling market is one of the biggest in Europe, and Betsson secured its legal entry last month. The French Gambling Authority, L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ), granted a sports betting license to the Malta-based company as it entered its 15th regulated European gambling jurisdiction.
The company’s sports betting voyage in the French market will not be a solo operation. Betsson will offer its services via one of its subsidiaries. The undisclosed brand will collaborate with a local French gambling brand and cater to the audience in ANJ’s jurisdiction. Betsson secured this license in the third quarter of this year, and the collaborative launch is expected in the fourth and final quarter. As the Malta-based company aims for maximum geographic diversification, its growth and expansion plans are going well.
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