The value of individual shares in Maltese online wagering technologies innovator Kambi Group dropped by almost 4.16% earlier today to approximately $54.93 following news that the firm’s founder had offloaded a significant slice of his shareholding.
The Valletta-headquartered firm used an official Thursday press release to declare that the move from Anders Strom (pictured) saw 2.2% of its shareholding offloaded ‘to Swedish and international institutional investors’ courtesy of ‘an accelerated book-building process’. The Nasdaq Stockholm-listed company moreover revealed that these 675,000 stocks had come with an individual price tag of about $55.56 to earn the iGaming pioneer gross proceeds of slightly over $37.53 million.
Kambi Group explained that 50-year-old Strom, who announced late last year that he would not be seeking re-election as its non-executive chairman, had conducted the sale through his Veralda Investment Limited vehicle and now holds roughly 17.5% of its shares. It also proclaimed that this residual shareholding is to become the subject of ‘a customary lock-up’ that is to last for 90 days from the settlement date.
Read a statement from Strom…
“I am very pleased to see the overwhelming interest from both current and new shareholders wanting to invest in the growth of Kambi Group. The company has developed into a leading premium sportsbetting technology company with significant opportunities in new and existing markets. By divesting a small part of my shares in Kambi Group, I have affected an elemental reallocation within my overall portfolio of investments. I remain committed as a long-term major shareholder and intend to continue to support Kambi Group through my representation on its board of directors.”
Strom established Unibet from his London home in 1997 and subsequently led the firm, which rebranded as Kambi Group in 2016, as it became one of the planet’s largest business-to-business sportsbetting service providers and consumer-facing iGaming operators. Despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the company recently saw its aggregated revenues for 2020 rise by 28% year-on-year to $142.63 million as its annual profit surged by 131.7% to $29.21 million.
Despite all of this success and Legal Sports Report nevertheless reported that Kambi Group felt the wrath of several partner operators last Sunday after its turnkey sportsbetting platform was forced to suspend pre-game betting on Super Bowl LV for a full 30 minutes. The source disclosed that this outage was caused by a failure in geolocation compliance technology supplied by an outside vendor and had impacted the American-facing online sportsbook from Penn National Gaming Incorporated, Rush Street Gaming and DraftKings Incorporated.
Kristian Nylen serves as Chief Executive Officer for Kambi Group and he reportedly pronounced that his firm was nevertheless able to permanently fix the offending problem ‘seven to eight minutes’ before the beginning of the gridiron contest from Florida and then went on to process the highest volumes in its history.
Reportedly read a statement from Nylen…
“The issue experienced prior to kick-off was related to one particular bet offer for which we increased the number of possible outcomes especially for the Super Bowl. This bet offer was the third most popular offer on the day and, due to the extended number of outcomes, required extra technical capacities as part of our bet validation process. Unfortunately, this additional capacity caused a backlog and slowed, and eventually stopped, the bet validation process for all bets.”
The provisional opening date for the €550 million ($668 million) integrated casino resort being built in Cyprus by Melco International Development Limited has reportedly been pushed back by over nine months to the autumn of next year.
According to a Wednesday report from the Financial Mirror newspaper, construction on the giant City of Dreams Mediterranean development began in June of 2018 in hopes that the five-star facility would be able to start welcoming guests to its 500 rooms by the end of this year. The source detailed that the finished Las Vegas-style development is destined to be the largest of its type in Europe and come complete with a spa, a gym and meeting and conferencing facilities alongside a 1,500-seat theater and an 80,720 sq ft casino offering a selection of over 80 gaming tables and approximately 1,000 slots.
However, the newspaper reported that construction of the 16-story property for the Limassol suburb of Tserkezoi was paused for over seven weeks last spring as Cyprus struggled to come to terms with the coronavirus pandemic. Work only resumed in May with progress purportedly being subsequently hampered by a strict set of social distancing guidelines issued by the island nation’s Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance, Department of Labour Inspection and the Medical and Public Health Services division of its Ministry of Health.
The Financial Mirror reported that news of the delay was relayed by the Vice-President for the Cyprus Gaming and Casino Supervision Commission, Phidias Pilides, during a Tuesday meeting of the House of Representatives’ Finance Committee. The official purportedly explained that Hong Kong-listed Melco International Development Limited has now laid out a detailed post-pandemic construction timeline that is expected to see its City of Dreams Mediterranean development open before the winter of 2022.
Melco International Development Limited is the parent of Asian casino giant Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited and was granted a 30-year license in 2017 that gave it the right to bring casino gambling to Cyprus. The firm subsequently opened its temporary C2 Limassol venue before premiering smaller ‘satellite’ facilities in the nearby communities of Nicosia, Larnaca, Ayia Napa and Paphos, which Pilides pronounced have recently seen revenues decrease owing to temporary coronavirus-related shutterings and an associated drop in tourism nationwide.
Maltese online wagering technologies innovator Kambi Group has released its financial results for the final three months of 2020 showing that its aggregated revenues rose by 76% year-on-year to top €46.9 million ($56.8 million).
The Valletta-headquartered firm used an official Wednesday press release to declare that this outcome was attributable to ‘a busy sporting calendar, exceptional operator trading margin and growth in new markets’ despite the lingering impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and took its full-year revenues up by a comparable 28% to approximately €117.7 million ($142.7 million).
Kambi Group revealed that its fourth-quarter cash flow from operating and investment activities had swelled by almost 366% year-on-year to about €20.5 million ($24.8 million) and improved its associated annual tally by 233% to roughly €28.7 million ($34.8 million). The firm moreover explained that its operating profit for the three months to the end of December increased by 258% to around €22.2 million ($26.9 million) off of an improved margin of 47.3% to take its twelve-month reckoning some 119% higher to €32.2 million ($39 million).
The innovator additionally divulged that all of this took its aggregated fourth-quarter profit after tax to beyond €17.3 million ($20.9 million), which is an improvement of 276% year-on-year, and helped its correlated annual reckoning surge by 131.7% to €24.1 million ($29.2 million).
Kristian Nylen (pictured) serves as the Chief Executive Officer for Kambi Group and he used the press release to proclaim that his firm’s operator turnover index came in at 989, which he described as ‘a clear all-time high’, while its business model continued to showcase ‘the scalability it possesses with an operating margin of 47%.’
Read a statement from Nylen…
“As we reflect on what has been an exceptionally challenging twelve months, it’s particularly pleasing to complete the year with a record fourth-quarter performance and annual revenues up by 28%. At the start of 2020, full-year revenues of €117.7 million would have been deemed a great success, so to have delivered such a performance in spite of the sporting calendar being severely impacted for the best part of four months speaks volumes for the business we have created, our talented people and the upward trajectory we are on.”
In Australia and the Consolidated Press Holdings Proprietary Limited (CPHPL) vehicle of billionaire businessman James Packer has reportedly severed its boardroom ties with prominent casino operator Crown Resorts Limited.
According to a Tuesday report from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the investments enterprise holds a preeminent 36% stake in the casino firm although it has now nevertheless terminated the consultancy contract it held with Crown Resorts Limited non-executive director John Poynton.
The broadcaster reported that Poynton was the last remaining CPHPL appointee left on the board of Crown Resorts Limited following the Tuesday resignations of fellow non-executive directors Guy Jalland and Michael Johnston. Although the experienced businessman is to remain on the Sydney-listed casino firm’s board, the move purportedly means that its largest shareholder now effectively has no direct representation.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported that CPHPL’s blow came only hours after a special inquiry being conducted by former New South Wales Supreme Court Judge Patricia Bergin had determined that the Melbourne-headquartered casino firm was currently unfit to hold a gambling license for its Crown Sydney development. This decision is purportedly now headed to the New South Wales Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority with its release having immediately sent the value of individual shares in Crown Resorts Limited down by some 9%.
Philip Crawford (pictured) leads the New South Wales Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority and he reportedly told the broadcaster in advance of yesterday’s Johnston and Jalland resignations that Crown Resorts Limited would have to ‘blow itself up to save itself.’ When subsequently informed about the departures, he purportedly proclaimed that ‘somebody is listening to us and that’s really positive’ as the moves are destined to send ‘a big message to me and the media.’
The Premier of New South Wales, Gladys Berejiklian, reportedly pronounced that the findings of the Bergin inquiry had been direct, thorough and clear and that she was now prepared to wait for specific recommendations and advice from the New South Wales Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority before proceeding further.
Berejiklian reportedly told the broadcaster…
“It’s all there in black and white and I’m sure both Crown Resorts Limited and any other organization will read that report carefully and accept what action has to occur before anybody is able to have a licence in New South Wales. Anybody who wants to operate a casino in New South Wales has to stick to the rules, has to stick to the law. The government doesn’t apologize for upholding those high standards.”
In Russia and the government for the Far Eastern province of Primorsky Krai has reportedly announced that it is to help casino operator NagaCorp Limited speed up construction on its $350 million Naga Vladivostok development.
According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, Hong Kong-listed NagaCorp Limited is the firm behind Cambodia’s NagaWorld gaming complex and broke ground on its inaugural Russian facility in late-May of 2015. The source detailed that the envisioned venue located some 24 miles north of Vladivostok was originally due to open by the beginning of 2018 but had this timetable pushed back less than a year later after construction workers unearthed some archeological finds.
NagaCorp Limited subsequently encountered further delays caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and now reportedly does not expect to begin welcoming guests to the $150 million first stage of its Steelman Partners-designed facility in the Primorye Integrated Entertainment Resort zone until later this year.
To help prevent any additional setbacks and the jurisdiction’s Tourism Director, Konstantin Shestakov, has now reportedly divulged that the next few months are to see his office expedite the granting of permits for any foreigners working on the 279-room Naga Vladivostok. He purportedly moreover explained that NagaCorp Limited has so far constructed about 60% of the property’s eleven-story first phase at a cost of approximately $84 million and hopes to begin welcoming guests to the development’s casino, hotel, concert hall and water park by the end of June.
Reportedly read a statement from Shestakov…
“Due to the situation with coronavirus, Naga Vladivostok was unable to bring in workers from its Chinese contractors. We hope that with the support of the government along with the stabilization of the situation in the world, NagaCorp Limited will be able to complete construction of this wonderful facility.”
Already home to the 121-room Tigre de Cristal facility from Hong Kong-listed Summit Ascent Holdings Limited, the Primorye Integrated Entertainment Resort zone welcomed the $45 million first stage of the Shambala Casino from local concern Shambala CJSC in October. The 1,530-acre precinct is one of only five disparate areas in Russia where casino gambling is permitted and could soon reportedly also play host to a $270 million Las Vegas-style venue from Diamond Fortune Holdings by the start of 2023.
The Kentucky State Senate reportedly passed legislation yesterday that would officially change the definition of parimutuel wagering so as to allow licensed facilities in the southern state to continue offering historical racing games.
According to a Tuesday report from The Courier-Journal newspaper, the Republican-controlled chamber ratified Senate Bill 120 by a vote of 22 to 15 following heavy lobbying from the local horseracing industry. The move purportedly came after the Kentucky Supreme Court last year ruled that the games, which resemble slots often found in casinos, did not constitute legal parimutuel wagering and should be removed from tracks.
The newspaper reported that Senate Bill 120, which was sponsored by Kentucky State Senator John Schickel, is now destined to head to a vote before the 100-seat Kentucky House of Representatives where a similar outcome would send it to the desk of Democratic Governor Andy Beshear. The local horseracing industry purportedly believes that the legislation’s successful passage would allow it to protect its future and save thousands of at-risk jobs in ‘The Bluegrass State’ including some 1,400 positions at Boone County’s Turfway Park.
The Courier-Journal reported that Beshear used a Tuesday press conference to detail that he would be pleased to approve Senate Bill 120 should pass through the Kentucky House of Representatives as historical racing games are directly responsible for around $15 million in annual tax revenues. The Kentucky Equine Education Project advocacy group purportedly similarly praised the ratification and declared that the ultimate success of the legislation would ‘protect important jobs and investment in communities across the commonwealth.’
Reportedly read a statement from the Kentucky Equine Education Project…
“The future of the horse industry and Kentucky’s economy is in legislators’ hands and real jobs and livelihoods are at risk. A vote to keep historical horseracing in Kentucky is a vote for Kentucky families and the industry that supports them.”
However, it reportedly remains uncertain as to whether the Kentucky House of Representatives will pass Senate Bill 120 with many critics asserting that the measure is unconstitutional as historical racing games can only be approved by means of a statewide referendum. Kentucky State Senator Damon Thayer purportedly stated that such an exercise, even if it was successful, would likely keep the lucrative units out of the state’s tracks until late next year at the earliest and lead to the closure of ‘three to four racetracks’ by the end of 2021.
kentucky state senatekentucky house of representativesdamon thayerparimutuel wageringturfway parkkentucky supreme courthistorical racing gamessenate bill 120john schickelandy beshear
In the Philippines and a proposal is reportedly making its way through the legislative process that could soon oblige all locally-licensed iGaming operators to pay up to a 5% tax on their gross gaming revenues.
According to a report from the news website at Rappler.com, House Bill 5777 was passed by the Philippines House of Representatives via a 198 to 13 margin on Monday and is soon set to be put before the Philippines Senate. The source detailed that the legislation will now become law if it can survive three readings by this 24-member body and subsequently receive the signature of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Should this measure become the law of the land and the domain reported that iGaming firms with a Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) license would escape all existing levies, fees and franchising duties in exchange for agreeing to hand over 5% of their gross gaming revenues in tax. The proposed legislation sponsored by representative Jose ‘Joey’ Salceda (pictured) would moreover purportedly institute a 25% ‘withholding’ levy on all foreign nationals employed by such enterprises earning a salary of more than about $12,400.
The Philippines is reportedly home to 51 firms holding a POGO license although only 34 of these have so far been granted permission to resume operations in the wake of the nation’s coronavirus-induced lockdown. Such iGaming ventures are currently required to pay a 5% tax on their net income with proponents of the new legislation purportedly hopeful that the envisioned change in terms would allow the state to bring in approximately $935 million in annual taxes.
Despite these anticipated financial gains, the Deputy Minority Leader for the Philippines House of Representatives, Carlos Zarate, was reportedly one of those to oppose the passage of House Bill 5777 over concerns that doing so would further legitimize an industry that only entered the country due to its proximity to China, which has outlawed all forms of online gambling.
Reportedly read a statement from Zarate…
“POGOs were created to serve as a ‘legal loophole’ so residents from countries where gambling is illegal, like China, can still engage in such activities. We are against the plan of our government to open our country to gambling activities that are not only illegal in other nations but are often linked to other criminal activities.”
In its report on the matter and Inside Asian Gaming explained that House Bill 5777 would not levy the 5% gross revenues tax on the 131 firm’s currently accredited to offer services to those holding a POGO license. However, this source detailed that such enterprises would remain subject to analogous local and national duties so long as they had first settled any outstanding liabilities, penalties and fees.
Salceda reportedly proclaimed…
“New revenues come primarily from classifying service providers as regular corporations and including their alien employees in the presumed minimum taxable income system and allowing the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation and special economic zones to levy regulatory fees of up to 2%.”