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SCIENTIFIC GAMES POSTS A Q3-2014 NET LOSS
2014-10-31

Struggling with a falling share price due to bank delays on the $5,1 billion in funds necessary for its acquisition of Bally Technologies (see previous InfoPowa report), Scientific Games further disappointed shareholders in reporting a net loss in Q3-2014 this week.

Although revenues increased higher than forecasted, the company reported a wider net loss as acquisition and other related costs rose.

Interactive gaming performance improved, with a hefty contribution from social gaming.

Third quarter revenue increased to $415.6 million from $234.4 million in the prior-year quarter, primarily reflecting the contribution of WMS operations and a 9 percent increase in total lottery revenue. That topped forcasts for $413 million.

EBITDA increased $38.3 million from the prior-year quarter to $128.2 million.

The company incurred a net loss of $69.8 million, or $0.82 per share, which included a $0.23 per share, non-cash impairment charge to write down the company's equity investment in its Northstar Illinois joint venture; $0.07 per share, of transaction- and financing-related costs associated with the pending acquisition of Bally Technologies $0.02 per share, of employee termination and restructuring expense.

In the prior-year period, the company reported a net loss from continuing operations of $0.4 million, or $0.01 per share, inclusive of $2.5 million, or $0.03 per share, of WMS-related transaction costs.

"During the quarter, the company generated $126 million of cash flow from operations, which after $62 million of capital expenditures resulted in $65 million of free cash flow," said Gavin Isaacs, president and CEO.

Scientific Games also posted its results for the nine months year-to-date, revealing that revenue increased $531.6 million from the prior-year period to $1,220.6 million, primarily reflecting the contribution from WMS' operations.

EBITDA over the nine months ended September 30 increased to $383.1 million from $252.0 million.

The net loss increased to $187.2 million from $26.7 million, primarily reflecting an operating loss of $16.3 million, which includes $13.0 million of transaction-related costs and legal contingencies, and $12.4 million of employee termination and restructuring expense, compared to operating income of $49.2 million in the prior-year period.

In addition, the net loss for the first nine months of 2014 was also impacted by a $25.9 million loss on early extinguishment of debt, the $19.7 million non-cash impairment charge referenced above and $8.0 million related to the company's share of an estimated net shortfall accrual recorded by its Northstar Illinois joint venture, and $67.6 million of higher interest expense, partially offset by a $14.5 million gain on the sale of the equity investment in Sportech plc. In the prior-year nine month period, the company had $9.5 million of transaction- and financing-related expenses and $0.3 million of employee termination and restructuring expense.

"In addition to the progress being made with the WMS integration, we are focused on the potential to meaningfully increase free cash flow following the Bally acquisition, which we continue to anticipate closing this quarter, and deploying our free cash flow to reduce net debt," Isaacs said.

"Our plans are now expected to yield greater expected financial savings than originally anticipated. As a result, we are increasing our estimate of annual cost synergies anticipated to be realized from the pending Bally transaction by the end of 2016 from $220 million to $235 million.

"In addition, we now expect to realize an additional $15 million in annual cost synergies from the WMS acquisition, bringing the total to $115 million in annual cost savings by the end of 2015, of which slightly more than half has been achieved to date.

"We remain confident the combination of Scientific Games and Bally will deliver significant strategic and financial benefits."

Interactive activities.

In the Q3-2014 report, Scientific Games reported that its interactive activities generated $38.5 million - mainly from WMS and $5.7 million of it from social gaming products.

The growth in interactive gaming revenue from social gaming activities also reflected a 78 percent growth in the average Daily Average User to approximately 1.6 million compared to the approximately 900,000 average DAU in the prior-year period for WMS, partially offset by a 26 percent decline in Average Revenue Per Daily Active User to $0.23 reflecting the impact of a significantly larger player audience and growth in players on mobile platforms

During the quarter the company inked a deal to provide its interactive Play4Fun Network to Bay Mills Resort and Casino; the company additionally entered into six new game content agreements with online operators.




GALA CORAL GROWS ONLINE BUSINESS
2014-02-18

Gala Coral Group said its online business has exceeded the Board's expectations showing strong growth in active customers across all its online properties.
Key Group highlights for the quarter ended January 18, 2014 were:
-Turnover was 12 percent ahead of last year and gross profit was GBP 13.8 million or 6 percent ahead.
-EBITDA was GBP 60.5 million, 2 percent ahead of last year despite the adverse impact of exceptional football losses.
-Underlying year on year growth of GBP 11.8 million or 20 percent.
-Coral Retail's gross profit was GBP 5.3 million or 4 percent ahead of last year.
-Online showed strong gross profit growth, up GBP 11.1 million or 4.3 percent versus last year.
Carl Leaver, Group Chief Executive of Gala Coral Group, commented:
The Group delivered strong underlying EBITDA (pre-exceptionals) growth in the quarter, as we continued to leverage the investments we have made over the last two years, particularly in online and in Italy. Active customers numbers are increasing strongly across all our online websites and spend per head is exceeding our expectations.
"This clearly demonstrates that with market leading brands and technology we can achieve significant growth from this business in the years to come."
Key Highlights of the online business include:
-EBITDA (Pre-exceptionals) of GBP 10.3 million, up GBP 3.1 million or 43 percent.
-Customer growth of 60 percent in Coral.co.uk, 18 percent in Eurobet.it, 18 percent in galabingo.com and 142 percent in Galacasino.com
-Gross profit of GBP 11.1 million.
-Marketing investment of GBP 6.3 million and a 17 percent increase in other operating costs.
-Coral.co.uk sports stakes were GBP 55.6 million or 92 percent ahead of last year.
-Adverse football results are estimated to have reduced gross profit by GBP 3.8 million
-Gaming stakes in Coral.co.uk were 124 percent ahead of last year .
-Coral.co.uk gross win was GBP 8.7 million or 146 percent ahead at GBP 14.7 million.
-Mobile penetration in Coral.co.uk increased by 24.6 pp to 62 percent of actives and is expected to increase further following the launch of a new iPad app at the end of the month.

-Eurobet.it total gross win was GBP 2 million, a 23 percent increase over last year.
-Eurobet.it sports stakes were GBP 7.6 million or 28 percent ahead
-Eurobet.it gaming stakes were GBP 64.4 million or 51 percent ahead
-Eurobet.it mobile penetration grew, with 45percent of actives accessing the site through a mobile device, helping drive an increase in sports betting market share to 9.8 percent.

-Galabingo.com actives were 19 percent up over last year resulting in GBP 56.2 million or a 20 percent increase in stakes.
-Galabingo.com reported a GBP 2.9 million or 15 percent increase in gross win.
-Galabingo.com mobile penetration increased by 45 percent.

-Galacasino.com showed a 142 percent increase in active customers driving a 165 percent increase in stakes and a GBP 4.1 million (140 percent) increase in gross win.
-Galacasino.com mobile penetration increased to 28 percent.

-Across the two Gala branded websites gross win totaled GBP 29.4 million
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EDUCATING POLITICIANS WITH NEW POKER MOVIE?
2013-08-16

In what could be seen as an indictment of the tragic paucity of knowledge among US politicians regarding online poker, reports surfaced this week that the land gambling trade body the American Gaming Association is considering using the new fictional online poker movie Runner Runner to persuade lawmakers on the need for federal regulation.
Starring Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake the movie is due to premier within the next month, and features a college student who becomes embroiled in a highly dramatized offshore, online poker industry with violent consequences see the trailer here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyboDr1e2xI
AGA chief executive Geoff Freemen is reportedly supportive of the move to use the film to persuade Congressional representatives on the need for federal regulation, presumably because the film depicts the allegedly seedier side of online gambling.
Two relevant bills one on general online gambling legalisation, and the other for online poker only have been introduced to Congress this year, and there are rumours that Nevada Senator Harry Reid is about to launch a poker-only proposal soon (see previous InfoPowa reports).
The respected and generally reliable Las Vegas journo, Jon Ralston broke the news and claimed to have seen an internal AGA email referencing the upcoming movie and its possible use as a vehicle to further the AGAs well known agenda of federal legalisation of online poker only, and under conditions best suiting its members.
In the email, Freeman allegedly shares his views with other AGA luminaries, noting that the movie involves: .illegal online poker and unscrupulous offshore operators, dramatically underscoring the risk American consumers face in a poorly-regulated market.
He concludes that the film could support the AGAs message for Washington politicians.ie federal regulation and only for online poker.
Freeman seems to be a man with a plan; according to the email the initiative using the movie could be accompanied by the release of research stats on how much illegal online gambling is happening in the USA, thus linking the AGA push to the movie and generating traffic to the Associations website and its proclamations on the subject.
He also appears to believe that there could be merit in holding screenings and discussion sessions with relevant audiences.


A GOOD FIRST QUARTER FOR INTERNET GAMBLING GROUP
2013-04-25

Online gambling group 888 Holdings plc issued its first quarter 2013 results and its interim management statement Tuesday, reporting another successful quarter and promising business prospects.

Q1 2013 Key Performance Indicators to the three months ended 31 March 2013 were:

* Group revenue reached a record US$103 million (Q1 2012: US$94 million), an increase of 9 percent year-on-year

* Revenue B2C of US$92 million (Q1 2012: US$83 million), an increase of 10 percent year-on-year

* Revenue B2C Casino US$48 million (Q1 2013: US$42 million), an increase of 13 percent year-on-year boosted by the launch of slots in Italy

* Revenue B2C Poker US$24 million (Q1 2012: US$21 million), an increase of 15 percent year-on-year driven by successful winter marketing campaigns

* Revenue B2C Emerging Offering US$8 million (Q1 2012: US$6 million), an increase of 27 percent year-on-year driven by stronger sport betting margins

* Number of active customers B2C Casino and Poker at 634,000 (Q1 2012: 566,000), a 12 percent increase year-on-year

* As at 31 March 2013, 888 had 13.8 million Casino, Poker and Sport real money registered customer accounts, representing an increase of 23 percent since 31 March 2012

Brian Mattingley, CEO of the 888 group, said:

"These are a fantastic set of results across all key metrics. Our excellent product offering, supported by our constantly innovative marketing and CRM capabilities, has helped us to deliver consistent growth and has positioned us well to take advantage of positive regulatory developments."

Breaking the results down, performance looked like this:

B2C

* Revenue B2C at US$92 million (Q1 2012: US$83 million), an increase of 10 percent

* Revenue B2C Casino at US$48 million (Q1 2012: US$42 million), an increase of 13 percent

* Revenue B2C Poker at US$24 million (Q1 2012: US$21 million), an increase of 15 percent

* Revenue B2C Bingo at US$12 million (Q1 2012: US$14 million), a decrease of 12 percent

* Revenue B2C Emerging Offering at US$8 million (Q1 2012: US$6 million), an increase of 27 percent

* Number of active customers B2C Casino and Poker at 634,000, an increase of 12 percent compared to Q1 2012

* Number of active customers B2C Casino at 236,000, an increase of 3 percent compared to Q1 2012

* Number of active customers B2C Poker at 474,000, an increase of 17 percent compared to Q1 2012

* Quarterly revenue B2C per active Casino and Poker customer was US$113, a 1 percent increase compared to Q1 2012

* Quarterly revenue B2C per active Casino customer was US$202, a 9 percent increase compared to Q1 2012

* Quarterly revenue B2C per active Poker customer was US$52 a 1 percent decrease compared to Q1 2012

Dragonfish B2B performance:

* Revenue B2B at US$11 million (Q1 2012: US$11 million), flat year-on-year

Management reported on current trading trends, revealing that the second quarter 2013 has started in line with expectations where trading reflects the historical seasonal pattern.

Daily average revenue during the first 20 days of April was more than 3 percent above April 2012, and performance continues to be led by core online casino and poker products, with increases in customer deposits, bets and first time depositors.

As at 19th April 2013 the 888 group had US$89 million of cash and cash equivalents and US$50 million liabilities to customers.


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2015-02-15

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